Today on our COVID in the Community series, we’re taking a look behind the lens of a Langley photographer on maternity leave who is taking part in #TheFrontSteps Project. She recently snapped a photo of my family on our front porch from afar. Although we only chatted briefly, I just knew I wanted to put this new Valley Mom in the spotlight.
Between weddings, family portraits, and graduation, spring is usually a busy time for professional photographers. But then along came the COVID-19 pandemic that had all events canceled and in-studio sessions banned.
Rather than retire her lens until restrictions lift, Langley’s Stephanie Mountain has joined the Front Steps movement — a project that started in Needham, MA, and has spread like wildfire around the globe.
The goal of #TheFrontStepsProject is to highlight the faces of our community during these stressful and uncertain times by taking photos of families—albeit from a safe social distance.
Towns and cities around the world have welcomed it with open arms and supported fundraising efforts that will directly benefit each hometown.
Stephanie Mountain, Langley photographer
“We are living in stressful and uncertain times,” said Mountian. If I can do one thing right now to bring some joy and comfort into my community and also share my passion for photography, it’s a win-win!”
With her 15-month-old son, Austin, often in tow and a telephoto lens strapped around her shoulder, this new Langley mom has already snapped 39 photo sessions and has collected $295 for the Langley Food Bank on her Go-Fund-Me Page.
“I wanted to find a way to give back to those less fortunate in these terribly hard times,” she said.
“ I knew that when taking these photos, people would ask how much I am charging. I figured that by asking for donations instead for a local charity, it would hit close to home for a lot of people.”
The photos are given to the families for free, or by donation. The smiles are priceless.
“I think the prospect of getting dressed up and having something to look forward to has brought a lot of joy to people, given them something to look forward to during these days of quarantine,” she said. “Everyone has been very friendly and incredibly thankful.”
Mountain received her first camera for Christmas when she was just seven years old. Ever since, she has been hooked on capturing beautiful images, even in darkness.
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“Throughout the years, it has been a positive outlet for me and an immense source of happiness,” she said. As someone who has had mental illness for most of my adult life, it has helped me through some tough times.”
Since having to be quarantined during maternity leave, Mountain says her daily routine hasn’t changed all that much.
“Apart from not being able to see or visit my friends and family, it’s been business as usual. I try to get outside every day with Austin for some fresh air and exercise and have taken on a couple of projects around the house, as I’m sure most of us have recently. But on the days that I know I will be venturing out to meet another family to photograph, I have to admit, I wake up with a little extra bounce in my step.”
For more information, or to check out some of Mountian’s front step photos, visit her Facebook page.