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How to get a professional family photo of quarantine life (from the safety of your front porch)
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Forsyth County photographer Brandy Craig has been taking portraits of families on their front porches as part of her "front porch project." (Photo courtesy Brandy Craig)

Brandy Craig’s photography business is booming, even in the middle of this social distancing-moment.

Neighborhoods have been calling on the Forsyth County resident to participate in her “front porch project,” which is exactly what it sounds like: Craig walks from home to home through subdivisions and takes a photo of families on their front porch from the social-distancing safety of the front yard or sidewalk.

Craig snaps two to three photos, picks the best one and uploads it to her social media account where the family can download it for free.

“I feel like I’m giving back in a way,” Craig said. “This community’s been so good to me as a photographer.”

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Forsyth County photographer Brandy Craig has been taking portraits of families on their front porches as part of her "front porch project." (Photo courtesy Brandy Craig"
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Forsyth County photographer Brandy Craig has been taking portraits of families on their front porches as part of her "front porch project." (Photo courtesy Brandy Craig"

Craig has lived in Forsyth County with her husband for 15 years. Craig had been a real estate agent, but she rethought that career when the Great Recession hit in 2008. 

Craig was a new mom at the time (she and her husband now have three kids). Craig also had a passion for photography. She decided to pursue a business that focused on birth, newborn, maternity and family portraiture, and she’s been at it ever since.

Most of Craig’s clientele is in Forsyth County, and a few reached out to her last week with a request: a photographer in Massachusetts was taking portraits of families on their front porches; could she do the same?

Craig decided to test the idea in her own neighborhood first. Last Wednesday, she posted on the neighborhood’s Facebook account and asked if anyone was interested in a front-porch portrait. The only requirement was that families had to use outfits and props to create a crafty, humorous scene about life in quarantine.

Craig got plenty of interest, and families were game to show off their creativity.

“I love to see that everybody’s able to have that creative side,” Craig said.

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Forsyth County photography Brandy Craig has been taking humorous family photos of quarantine life for her "front porch project." (Photo courtesy Brandy Craig)
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Forsyth County photographer Brandy Craig has been taking portraits of families on their front porches as part of her "front porch project." (Photo courtesy Brandy Craig)

After Craig posted her first photos on Facebook, requests from other neighborhoods poured in. She usually visits one to three a day, and she’s fine-tuned her method. One resident of the neighborhood generally coordinates the effort. Craig will start at that family’s house or a neighborhood entrance and go through a list with each participating family’s name and address. To help, Craig asks families to put a white piece of paper on their mailbox.

“It’s amazing the outpouring and creativity that comes from everybody,” Craig said. “I think it’s really cool.”

It’s also a lot of work. Craig estimates she’s done about eight or nine neighborhoods so far. She has 10 more scheduled, including one with 50 participating families.

Craig has thought about charging for the portraits, or at least slowing down. But she also recognizes that the coronavirus pandemic is causing financial harm for many families. 

Plus, Craig is having plenty of fun herself.

“I’ll do what I can,” she said. “It’s fun for me, too.”