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Photographers spreading cheer through front step portraits for charity

Posted by Adam in Local News, 3/24, 3:26 PM

Thanks to the efforts of a handful of local photographers, an international project aimed at spreading joy to those impacted by COVID-19 is doing just that in Westman this week. 

The Front Steps Project sees photographers visit local families on their doorsteps for five minute photo sessions, capturing local folks at their best during this unprecedented and challenging time.

The local initiative was spearheaded by Brandon’s Stacey Gabriel Photography after learning about the wider Front Steps Project that began last week in Boston, Massachusetts. Gabriel has since been joined by photographers Alyssa Friesen and Kendra Sitko in an effort to photograph portraits of approximately 30 families each over the coming days. Additional Westman photographers have since joined the initiative with plans to cover surrounding towns including Souris and Neepawa. 

Out of consideration for social distancing measures that Canadian residents are being asked to follow, arrangements are made for families to watch for the photographer’s arrival so that they can meet on their front step. Thanks to the magic of a long lens, photos are then taken from a ten foot distance on either a family’s front step or in front of their garage depending on suitability of lighting.

Photographers participating in the project do so as volunteers and are asked to choose a charity. Local efforts are seeing donations of non-perishables being collected on behalf of Project Fill the Trailer, which will see donations go to Samaritan House, Helping Hands and The Women’s Resource Centre.

A handful of this week’s initial photos can be seen below. With sessions fully booked over the days ahead, folks will be able to see more local portraits by checking out the Instagrams for each of Stacey Gabriel Photography, Alyssa Raeanne Photography and Kitko Photography as well as the #westmanfrontsteps hashtag on Instagram. 

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