UNION, NJ – Three Union photographers teamed up with others from around the state to offer free five-minute front porch photo sessions, through the Front Steps Project created by Cara Soulia of Massachusetts.
Stephanie Steinmetz-Napholtz, Jennisse Uy, and Rosa Herrera said they partnered to photograph families “during this hard time to bring joy to their day.” They practice safe social distancing, photographing families on their front stairs at least six feet away. “During these sessions we have met so many families who thanked us countless times for doing such an amazing project,” said Steinmetz-Napholtz.
"COVID-19 is not only affecting people's physical health but also their mental state of mind,” said Steinmetz-Napholtz. “The virus has brought along fear, anxiety and panic, but we as a society can and will work together in order to overcome this difficult stage of our lives.”
Steinmetz-Napholtz said they have photographed families celebrating birthdays and “since they had to cancel their planned events, I was able to bring some joy to them by taking their picture.”
"I nearly lost my father twice in the past year,” said a client of Uy’s. “And with this virus I worry I won't be able to protect him. Knowing I have this photo of the three of us means more than you could know."
“Not knowing what can happen the next day, I live for moments like these,” said a single mother in isolation for the past month due to her son’s health condition prior to the pandemic. “Thank you so much for bringing joy to my life."
Steinmetz-Napholtz, Uy and Herrera remind the community to stay home. “Medical professionals, from urgent cares centers to the hospitals, even to these make-shift hospitals, are doing their very best to help cure the sick. Please let’s do our part to PREVENT or slow down further infection.”
To view images for the project, use the hashtag #thefrontstepsprojectnj.