The COVID-pandemic has been both a stressful and worrisome time for many, and it’s in times like these that we should appreciate the creative people who do their best to change our moods.
Photographer Kent Miller is one of those people; after sitting at home for weeks without any direct contact with the outside world, Kent decided it was time to get creative in order to help his community (as well as himself) to deal with the mental anguish brought on by isolation. He posted a short blurb in his local Tarrytown, NY, Facebook group, asking families if they’d be willing to get photographed while sitting on their front porch. Sure enough, enthusiastic replies soon started pouring in and before long, Kent could start shooting with his 1954 Linhof Technika 5×7 film camera and early 1950’s black & white film. He explains the photographic process as such:
“We never touch during the process. Schedules were arranged by email, text, or phone calls. The entire experience is socially distanced: When I arrive at their address, I text them and we greet each other from a distance in their yard. I ask them to sit on the porch or sidewalk in front of their house. I set up my camera and make 6 quick shots on 3 different kinds of film. We say goodbye and off I go. Later that evening, I develop everything in my darkroom, do a quick scanning of the film, and email the family a few images. Some of the older films take on a very weathered look. It’s part of the magic of film. I make an actual print from the scanned negative for the family to hang in their house if they’d like.”
Ultimately, Kent’s main purpose for the project is to put a smile on peoples’ faces and, if only for a few minutes, have them forget about the pandemic and just sit together as a family while enjoying each other’s company. “These quiet moments help us realize that we are much stronger together – as a family and as a community.”