Family takes “porch portrait” amid pandemic

Taking pictures during a pandemic probably isn't the first thing families think to add to their to-do list, but the practice called “porch portraits” is popping up across the country.

If there were ever a family who could benefit from porch portraits during this time, it would be the Thomas family. Twin sisters, Morgan and Makenize, never pictured their senior year ending so abruptly — virtually over, with no prom or promise of a graduation ceremony.

“We’re picking up our diplomas at the school on May 20,” said Morgan. "So we’re still getting them the day we’re supposed to.”

The sisters have been through a lot of heartache outside of the school year ending abruptly: their parents are selling the family home in Roanoke and are moving to South Carolina.

Their home was under contract just a few hours after hitting the market; and ironically, they close on June 10 — the same day Virginia’s Stay At Home Order is lifted.

“Just gives us kind of time to like appreciate all the times we’ve had here but at the same time we can’t be with our friends anymore and just have these last moments with them," said Makenize.

That’s when their realtor, Amanda Ostrander, had an idea for a complimentary “porch portrait” session.

"You can read about porch portraits taking over the nation,” said Ostrander, “Because it's a very socially safe way to keep distance and to capture special moments and celebrate this chapter."

Capturing a family stronger than any circumstance.

“I think it will be nice to hang them up in our new house and remember to just like remember everything,” said Makenize.

Ostrander is now offering free porch portraits to any past, present and future clients. She said now is the time to bring as much joy to others as she can.

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