• Karissa Raya

Porch Portraits in the time of COVID-19

Updated: May 23, 2020

Covid Birthday Drive By Parade

Our day to day life came to what felt like an abrupt halt in mid March. Social distancing in your home became and still is an indefinite normal. Social media flooded with online classes, what to do now, how to be productive at home and lists that never ended. With a toddler, I took it day by day. Toddlers demand a lot of attention and play so my time is spent most days with her. Creatives across the country began to slowly lose their minds. With all major events cancelled including weddings, graduation ceremonies, prom, baby showers, you name it, photographers wondered how to satisfy their creative energy.

I started seeing front steps photos in photography groups I'm in and at the time, I thought it was reckless given our order to stay sheltered and only leave the house when absolute necessary. I admired the work of the photographers Cara Soulia and Kristen Collins who created the project.

I took notice in the Front Steps Project hashtag on Instagram that there were almost no people of color. I scrolled down many lengths of photos to no avail, also taking notice that most of the families are in single family homes. I wondered where the families were that live in apartments and multigenerational living situations like mine.

It wasn't until weeks later that I felt more ready to get out and take some portraits myself. So I set out with the intention of documenting primarily people of color living in varied types of homes.

The outcome has been incredibly beautiful.

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." —Elliott Erwitt

A moment in time

These are truly unprecedented times, what I hope to offer the families I document is a keepsake, treasure, and kept history of a story they will most definitely tell throughout their lifetime.

Santa Ana sessions May 27-28 are full. To request a session please click here.

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Birthwork & Photography for Orange County & Los Angeles Families


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