Massachusetts

#TheFrontStepsProject: Photographer Starts Project to Boost Spirits

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Cara Soulia is newborn and family photographer in Needham, Massachusetts. But now, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, work has come to a halt, and she and a friend have started #thefrontstepsproject.

From one Needham home to the next, she spends five minutes photographing families on their front porches, practicing social distancing more than six feet away.

"We're in this unique time in history where there's so many people home in their houses. People are working from home, their kids are home, and we're all just together under our roofs. It's such a unique time in our history and feels like it needs to be documented," said Soulia.

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Soulia doesn't charge, but the families are urged to make a contribution to Needham Community Council, which provides food and other essentials to people in need.

For the Pavlik family, its a chance to give back.

"I think it's great because you can do something from your house, because you wonder what you can do to help, other than stay away from people," said Cory Pavlik. "So it's nice you can help out."

Soulia says a lot of people are motivated to participate because they want a great family picture, and it's an excuse to get outside and get a little fresh air while also giving back to the community.

And Soulia says the sessions are also a time to bring people together when they feel isolated, and the world has stopped.

"In a weird way, I feel like we're all going to look back at this time with nostalgia," she said. "'Remember that time when we were all stuck at home together?'"

Soulia says she's been overwhelmed with responses in Needham, so she's encouraging photographers worldwide to pick a charity and do the same thing with the hashtag #thefrontstepsproject.

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