DELPHOS — Delphos photographer Heather Clark visited 19 homes in the town Wednesday and took photos of families on their porches to bring hope.
Clark, 34, is a 2004 Delphos St John’s High School graduate and a 2008 University of Dayton graduate with a degree in early childhood education.
She started photography full time in 2011 and moved into her first brick and mortar studio on Oct. 1, 2012, in downtown Delphos and opened Heather Marie Photography in June 2011.
She got the idea for the Front Steps Project from a former student’s parent in Charleston, South Carolina, where she used to live and taught first grade for three years.
The Front Steps Project is a national program where photographers visit the homes of people in their communities and take photos of families as they stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The photographers use a zoom lens to abide by safety rules to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Clark’s friend Annie Lindeman, of Ottoville, also followed her to videotape the experience as Clark took photos.
“I feel this is part of history that will be talked about for a very long time, and I think it should be documented,” Clark said.
Clark will send the photos using a digital gallery today and families can pay what they can for the photos. Along with sending each family the digital images, she will give each family one 5-by-7-inch print of their family on their porch.
She posted on her Facebook page and Instagram for families interested in getting their pictures taken to contact her. Her post received over 200 views with 90 comments and she selected 17 families.
She has a website she uses to book mini sessions and families signed up for the photo sessions within their neighborhoods.
She started photographing at 3 p.m. Wednesday and went until 7:30 p.m. and messaged them when she drove up to their homes alerting them she had arrived to take their photos. She used her Nikon D5 to take photos of smiling families and used a zoom lens as she drove around in her MC Terrain vehicle with her business logo on the window.
She said she hopes families receive joy from the photos and have that to cherish.
Delphos residents Amanda Arnold and her two sons, Austin, 12, and Kolton, 6, made a sign with chalk that was on their porch that read “Our Trip To Disney Was Canceled.”
They were scheduled to take a spring break trip to Disney this month.
Amanda wore a Minnie Mouse shirt, Austin wore a “Toy Story” shirt and Goofy hat and Colton wore an Olaf shirt and Pluto hat for the photos. They had originally purchased the clothing and hats to wear to Disney.
“We hope to go next spring break to Disney. We were really excited to get our photos taken and to be able to support Heather while she can’t work,” Arnold said.
Clark said she is happy to bring cheer to the community.
“Other than wanting an excuse to get myself outside to shoot, I want to give people something to get excited about, to take their mind off everything that’s going on,” Clark said.
“Everyone is affected so differently by this, so we are simply freezing this moment in time, giving families high-quality images to pass down for generations while they tell their personal story of this part of history.”
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.