Front Porch Family Portraits Raise Money for Charities While Documenting Family Life in the Time of COVID-19

Jean Bycenski says this photo of her family took minutes.

Photo-journalists have captured the time warp created by the coronavirus virus pandemic with images of vacant airports and city streets. Those of us who are not essential workers have spent almost two months of a day-to-day existence now, with virtually no travel and minimal human contact. 

History is in the making as most of us simply stay at home to play our vital part in defending our selves, families, neighbors, and the region against the highly contagious virus. Home is virtually the only place essential workers go when they leave their jobs in hospitals and nursing homes, police and fire stations, food production facilities, delivery services, and grocery stores. Local photographers like Leslie Massaro have been showing up outside these homes briefly– while still practicing social distancing – to document these historic times on a personal level. Last month Leslie, along with photographers around the country, participated in the Front Steps Project to raise money for charities due to the coronavirus outbreak. As of mid-April the Windsor Locks photographer raised over  $3000 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. By that same time the national effort totaled more than $225,000 for different organizations and nonprofits.

“It’s a chance to capture a big piece of history,” said Leslie. “It literally takes two minutes.”Customer Jean Bycenski first heard about the national Front Steps Project on a CBS morning show. Then she saw Leslie’s photo shoot offer posted on Facebook’s Windsor Locks Forum. The appointment took minutes,” says Jean. “She jumped out of her car, we were already sitting on the porch, and then she jumped back in her car.” Through the quick session Leslie wore a mask and stayed well over six feet from her subjects. Jean’s donation was transacted online. 

“Half my subjects get into their Sunday best. The other half wear sweatpants,” says Leslie, who plans to continue the practice of “porchraiture” during the time of the conoravirus through mid-May. She can be reached via a private message on her Leslie M Photography Facebook page or at (860)922-5657.

The Korte-Hebebrand Family portrait wouldn’t be complete without their two beautiful dogs. 

The McAbee-Sevick family of 5 brightens this strange time with springtime smiles. 

One of the photos of the Levine Family took on a humorous view of the times. 

All photos by Leslie M Photography

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