WalthamStayHome Doorsteps by Jack Barnes
4 - 10 June 2020
As a BBC stills photographer, Jack Barnes is used to shooting dramatised versions of community settings, but the WalthamStayHome Doorsteps project saw him capturing the reality of his own neighbourhood during the COVID-19 lockdown.
After TV productions were put on hold, he wanted to try and help the local community during daily exercise time by using his skills in a creative way, so he reached out via online networks to see if any households would like a portrait shooting in their doorway from the street in exchange for a voluntary donation for the food bank Eat or Heat.
As well as raising funds and giving households a keepsake to share with the friends and family they couldn’t be with, the aim was to create a collection of photographs that offered a glimpse of the lives behind doors at a time when statistics were dominating the press, and with that increase people’s awareness of their own local community. As the project grew organically on social media, it also provided a means of connection for neighbours - some of which had never previously spoken, skewing the very idea of the lockdown breaking down communication.
After 280 shoots, £6,000 has been raised for Eat or Heat. Households included families, individuals and sharers, while donations have ranged from £5 to £100, demonstrating to effectiveness of ‘pay what you can’ schemes when it comes to community-wide projects.
If you live in Walthamstow and want to get involved follow you can follow the project on Instagram @walthamstayhome
© Jack Barnes