Photographer’s socially distant ‘dortraits’ raise hundreds for children’s charity
- Credit: Carolyne Burton Photography
An east Cambs photographer has raised hundreds of pounds for a children’s charity after reviving her business during the coronavirus lockdown.
Carolyne Downham from Ely has raised £1,425 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) by snapping families on their doorstep amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The 44-year-old usually specialises in maternity and new-born photography but decided to branch out in a bid to raise money for charity.
She said: “Having been on lockdown for a number of weeks, all at home together, I started to wonder what I could do, if anything, to help.
“Having recently trained to become a doula I was disappointed I couldn’t really offer any assistance to birthing or even new mothers due to the restrictions.”
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She decided to travel around her local area on a bicycle, offering the opportunity and has, so far, managed to capture 85 families.
“I wanted to capture this moment in time when everybody was at home with their families. It was about giving people a reason to dress up and lifting spirits”, she said.
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“How many people have a family photograph, especially with teenagers? For some families, this is one of the only pictures they have together.”
Ms Downham also says chatting on the doorstep at a distance had also been good for her physical and mental health.
“It has definitely lifted my spirits, going from house to house and meeting so many families has been lovely.
“On occasions it meant a string of bookings, literally cycling around from door to door for a whole day, I’ve met so many new neighbours, some familiar faces and meeting lots of new ones too.
“Chatting with them about how life is going amid the pandemic.
“Every family has had such unique experiences of the situation, many working through it and some now facing some new difficult challenges in life.
“There will likely never be time like this again and I thought what better way to capture it than to cycle around the local area and offer doorstep portraits, and also a way of raising money, too!”
After seeing the effects the pandemic has had on charities like EACH, Carolyne said: “Ultimately, I wanted to choose a charity that supports families.
“The doorstep portraits were capturing family units all stuck at home together.
“I know how much families who have children suffering with life-threatening conditions rely on the hospices for support.
“I also wanted to support a local charity, so EACH seemed like the perfect one for us all to support.”
Karen Newton, EACH community fundraising manager, said: “It’s great to see the creativity and passion people have discovered during lockdown.
“We’re ever so grateful to people like Carolyne who saw the opportunity to fundraise in a different way and decided to help EACH during such a challenging and uncertain time for our charity.”
As restrictions ease, Carolyne has said she plans to move away from the family doorstep portrait to capturing family groups outdoors instead, including families meeting up with grandparents and cousins for the first time since lockdown.
To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carolyne-burton-photography