A Wokingham photographer began May on a mission to raise £250 for the Royal Berks charity. 82 photo shoots later, and she’s smashed her target fivefold.
Carrie Naish from Carrie Naish Photography has been touring the borough as part of her Lockdown Front Door project in an effort to support those working on the frontline.
Beginning the initiative as a small scale fundraiser in Spencers Wood, Carrie aimed to raise funds for the Royal Berkshire Hospital while helping neighbours create precious memories.
Reflecting on the project which has so far raised £1,256, Ms Naish said: “I came up with the idea as a way of giving something back to my community and showing my thanks to a hospital which has helped my family on multiple occasions.
“The first lot of photos were taken locally, but as interest increased I extended my work to Shinfield, Three Mile Cross and Riseley.”
And although enjoyed by Carrie, the charitable endeavor hasn’t been light work.
She said: “The most photo shoots I’ve had to complete in one day is 28. There was also an evening that I edited 1,400 photos in.”
Carrie’s customers have included families, couples, individuals, pets and newborns, all of which she has photographed outside their homes in a social distanced manner.
Ms Naish added: “The idea of the photoshoots is to capture this unusual moment in time.
“This is a challenging period for everyone, particularly those who are unable to see family members so I wanted to help create something positive from the situation.
“I’ve had some customers express worries such as their house undergoing an extension or their front doors not being the most aesthetic.
“However, I reassured them that this is the whole part of the photo shoots, to capture this period as it was and how we will remember it in years to come.”
Each of Carrie’s customers is invited to make a donation to the Royal Berks charity, which she stresses should be what they can afford during this time.
The generous creative said: “Although the goal of this project was to raise money for a good cause, I wanted to make the opportunity accessible to everybody, even those who are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.”
“Donations have ranged from five to fifty pounds, all of which have been gratefully received.”
And although photography was only a part-time hobby for Carrie prior to the lockdown, her front door project has helped her strengthen her portfolio while meeting hundreds of new faces.
She said: “At first taking the photos was a bit of a challenge as unlike normal photoshoots, the social distancing measures meant there was only one setting and a short amount of time with the customers.”
“The whole process has been a good test of my skill and resulted in a nice range of natural photos capturing the positive moods of the families.
“I’ve felt a real sense of community from doing this.”