Porch Project raises thousands for food bank, Deltassist

A pair of local photographers helped raise thousands of dollars for two local organizations while creating lasting memories for area families.

Shelby Dowling who has been the owner of Shelby Rose Photography in Ladner since 2014 saw a number of photographers in the Lower Mainland and across Canada participating in A Porch Project, whereby photographers capture a portrait of a family from a distance while the family is on their porch, front or back yards.

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“I have a six-month-old at home and we were getting a bit isolated. I saw the project online and thought was a great idea,” she said. “With the food bank being a local organization in need, it seemed like the perfect organization to support.”

For two weeks from April 20 to May 2, Dowling, with her young child in tow, made her way around the community doing four photo sessions a day.

After the project was complete she delivered 383 photos, had 41 generous donors, 38 families photographed and $3,225 raised for the South Delta Food Bank.

“I had a goal in mind of $1,000 if we were lucky, but I was shocked. I was working at night on photo editing and my fiancé came home and I was in tears. I couldn’t believe how generous this community is,” she said. “People are very excited. They just think it is great to give back. I’m born and raised in Ladner and we know the sense of community and what community means. It’s nice to see people participate and give people something so they can see what the donation has given them.

“They get something in return and they will remember what they did when they look at that photo, which is special to me.”

Emily McCart is an up and coming photographer from Tsawwassen.

The 19-year-old started taking portraits when she was 15 and has continued that as well as grad photos and has a wedding lined up for next year.

She too saw the idea for A Porch Project and posted in the Tsawwassen Loop thinking she would only get a few responses. She initially received close to 100.

“I couldn’t believe the response,” McCart said. “Once I got into it, started contacting people and lining things up, I ended up with just over 50 families that I drove around and took photos of.”

She asked every family that was in a position to do so to donate directly online to Deltassist.

“I think almost everyone did, which was awesome,” she said. “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. So many people were so excited and said that it was something to look forward too.”

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