Dore photographer records isolation with lockdown family portraits

A Dore photographer has been creating a visual record of her community’s time in lockdown by photographing families outside their houses.

Danielle Richardson, a local photographer, has embarked on a project to document the strange situation families are currently finding themselves in due to COVID-19.

Danielle, 40, said: “I think it’s really important to remember what we’re doing and what’s happened.

“If I can somehow document that as unpoised as possible then I want to try and do that.”

Charlotte Harris said she enjoyed getting to see her neighbours through the pictures

The project consists of photographs Danielle has taken of people living in Dore and Totley standing outside their houses. The photographs were taken from the end of the driveway or across the road to comply with social distancing rules.

The families involved were advised to be photographed in as natural a state as possible, in order to create a record of what isolation was truly like.

They were also encouraged to donate a small sum for the photograph. Danielle has raised over £1000 for the nearby Grace foodbank.

Dr Parya Rostami, 29, from Totley, said: “I think it’s great. Obviously, it’s quite a strange and scary time so anything like this that brings people together I think is really nice.

“We’re physically self-isolating but that doesn’t mean we have to mentally self-isolate from other people.”

Parya and her family recently had a baby, and were particularly eager to take part so they had a family portrait to show to family members who haven’t been able to meet their baby.

Parya Rostami looks forward to showing the family portrait to extended family they haven’t been able to see

All of the photographs have been uploaded to facebook so members of the community can see how their friends and neighbours are faring while they’re not able to meet up.

Natalie Clarke, 39, from Totley, said: “It’s a bit of positivity in a time when it can be quite dark and scary.

“One thing that has come out of this experience is the community aspect. It’s very much a community area and I think this is a nice way to show all the different families coming together.”

Danielle has taken over 50 photographs already. She plans to do many more in the coming weeks with the intention of making a collage of them all at the end.

COVID-19 has meant that Anna Hughes and family are living with half-finished building work

Charlotte Harris, 38, from Dore, said: “The community spirit is great. It’s bringing everyone else on their doorsteps and it’s lovely to see all your neighbours that you’ve not seen for a long time.”

The photographs started with parents Danielle knows from her children’s school, and have attracted further attention over facebook and through word of mouth.

Natalie Clarke expects her children will show their own kids the picture when telling the story of lockdown

Danielle said she was originally inspired by photographs of people during rationing that captured  day-to-day life in such a historic moment.

Anna Hughes, 36, from Dore, said: “I just thought it was a really nice way of recording such a unique point in our lives.

“It feels like it’s going to be historically an important time, and this felt like a nice way to document it.”