As the world battles the COVID-19 crisis, two Upstate photographers are offering mini-photo sessions outside each client’s home to benefit local nonprofits.
Lasting between five to 10 minutes, these mini shoots have allowed Cameron Reynolds of Cameron Reynolds Photography to raise $1,625 for Mill Village Farms and Madison Gingery of Madison Nicole Imagery to raise $210 for the Julie Valentine Center. Gingery has also raised $705 on Facebook.
After speaking to out-of-town relatives about other photographers doing porch portraits, both women were inspired to do photo sessions to benefit charity.
“My sister-in-law had a porch portrait done of her family in North Carolina a few weeks ago and told me about how fun and easy they were for her family of six,” said Reynolds. “When coronavirus escalated in the United States, I started looking for a good way to give back to COVID-19 relief efforts and thought tying the two together would be a no-contact way to capture memories for families and also raise money for people in need. I posted my idea for pandemic porch portraits online, and everyone in the community was really supportive. I was able to schedule 26 families in one day.”
Reynolds chose to support Mill Village Farms because she loved their mission to empower youth with experiences in basic job skills, sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship as well as their efforts during the pandemic to deliver boxes of healthy food to families in need.
“I’ve followed Mill Village Farms for years because I love their mission but hadn’t had an opportunity to get involved previously,” Reynolds said. “When thinking through where I wanted to give, I knew I wanted a local organization that was meeting immediate needs in the community as it related to the coronavirus. It didn’t take me long to do some digging and see that Mill Village Farms was doing exactly that.”
Like Reynolds, Gingery saw the opportunity to do the porch portraits as a way to support a local cause that spoke to her, while still promoting her small business. She chose the Julie Valentine Center after a friend told her about it. As a victim of sexual assault, she connected with the nonprofit’s mission to stop sexual violence and abuse.
“When I was 15, I experienced sexual assault by an adult whom I was very close to,” said Gingery. “I still remember every moment of it to this day. The feeling of hopelessness, anger, embarrassment, confusion. I even felt guilt for some reason.”
Gingery said that the person who hurt her did eventually own up, and she got help through therapy and support from her family. But not everyone has access to that kind of help, which is why she decided to make donations to the Julie Valentine Center, she said.
“While this time has provided great opportunities to grow personally and professionally from home, it’s also creating opportunities and the likelihood of domestic and sexual abuse,” Gingery said.
In addition to still booking porch photos, Gingery is continuing to raise money for the nonprofit on Facebook.
Reynolds is open to working with other nonprofits in the future as well as doing additional sessions to support Mill Village Farms.
“There are so many local organizations in need right now, so I’m still looking into how I can support even more nonprofits working on COVID-related relief efforts,” Reynolds said. “I’d also love to keep supporting Mill Village Farms, too. I would love to do more pandemic porch sessions and am still working through logistics. As soon as I have more information, I’ll post it on my Instagram page and website.”
Pandemic porch session details:
Madison Nicole Imagery
Cameron Reynolds Photography
- 5-minute sessions
- Around five images per session, depending on family size
- Raised $1,625 for Mill Village Farms
- For more information, follow @CamReynPhoto on Instagram or visit cameronreynoldsphoto.com