Every picture tells a story and photographer Kathleen Martin has many stories to tell. This one starts with one picture on March 25th. The rest of this journey has been somewhat of a blur.
Through her photography business, LKN Images, Martin is typically busy this time of the year photographing graduating seniors or sporting events. With ceremonies and sports canceled, she realized she had some extra time.
Martin heard about a movement that started in Boston called the Front Steps Project. The idea was simple. Take pictures of families on their front porches in exchange for a donation for charity.
“We can do this,” said Martin to her husband Ed of thirty years. Kathleen is the dreamer. Ed is the doer.
“She was the one who latched onto this idea. We took their idea and implemented it here,” said Ed Martin.
“It’s a moment in time. Years from now we’re going to tell our grandchildren that this was me when I was seven and we had to stay home with my mom and dad,” explained Martin.
Kathleen reached out to her neighbors, the Christians, to see if they would smile for the first picture at the end of March.
“It’s not surprising that Kathleen came up with a way to help Feed NC and a fun activity for people,” said Jennifer Christian.
“We started getting the word out through Facebook and an email list. Jennifer also stuffed fliers into all the mailboxes in our neighborhood,” Kathleen said.
The response was overwhelming. Ed Martin started organizing days and shoots by neighborhoods. The Martins text families as they make their way down the block. In just a few weeks they have visited 14 zip codes, taken 7,000 pictures of almost 700 families.
Every family has made a minimum donation of $25 to the non-profit that feeds families in Mooresville. The support could not have come at a better time when the demand for food assistance is at an all-time high.
The Martins do not touch any of the money. Families go straight to the non-profit to donate. However, they did accept a bottle of wine from one family.
Families have a reason to smile thanks to the Martins and while every picture looks a little different, they all share something in common.
“When they come out of the door they are all happy to see you and that’s awesome and the common theme we see,” said Ed Martin.
“I think we are seeing more togetherness. They are a quaran-team and it all comes down to being a family,” said Kathleen Martin.