During the Covid lockdown, I joined a movement created by photographers across the country called #thefrontstepsproject. From March of 2020 to 2022, I took five-minute, safe distance “Front Steps Portraits”.

It meant that you, your family or your business could have a portrait taken from a safe distance on your front steps. At a time when people were feeling isolated, it was a chance to connect. I welcomed it and so did the people I photographed. It started with me walking around my neighborhood of Lake Oswego, Oregon and expanded across the Willamette River to neighborhoods in Portland, and then to from my hometown of Kansas City once air travel became safe again.

After a casual photo session, I would email the family or business digital files of their portrait. In exchange, I asked for a good faith donation to the Oregon Food Bank. Judging from the “thank you letters” from Oregon’s food bank, people followed through and made donations.

I posted the images on instagram using the hashtag #thefrontstepsproject under wendlandphotography.

The purpose of this project was to bring us together when we might have been feeling alone. At the same time we stepped up and helped those who needed it most.

If you live in the Portland metro and are interested in getting a front steps portrait taken, you can reach me at kathleenwendlandphotography@gmail.com. I still enjoy getting to know new people while spending a few minutes taking front steps photos and the food bank still welcomes donations!