'Front Steps Project' Offers Family Portraiture During Social Distancing

NEEDHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Friends Cara Soulia and Kristen Collins, two photographers in Needham, wanted a way to keep themselves busy during the coronavirus outbreak while bringing cheer to families stuck at home.

So, they started the Front Steps Project. They've spent the past week travelling from home to home in Needham, taking outdoor family portraits in exchange for a donation to the Needham Community Council.

"Families love it when we show up, and we've figured out why," Collins said. "None of us have anything going on. We're all trying to manage through our days. Families have been cooped up."

Collins said that, when families hear a photographer is coming, they all get ready and get excited.

"Families in Needham have told me they're excited to have a reason to shower!" she said.

Collins and Soulia are amazed at how the project has taken off.

"Watching photographers across the nation have fun, find joy, get excited, support each other, support the nonprofit, is really fulfilling," Collins said. "I watched the comments on Instagram come in for our effort, and they are so uplifting. There's so much support."

So far, the pair have raised over $17,000 for the council.

They've put a pause on taking family portraits in Needham right now because of Gov. Charlie Baker's stay-at-home advisory, but plan to resume after the advisory is lifted.

"The big message has been, we all need this right now," Collins said, choking up. "That's what matters to me."

WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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