A Warren and Brookline, Massachusetts, photographer has been capturing Valley residents in all their full April glory for her Front Porch Portraits project.
Lynn Osborn, an architect and second-home owner for 20 years, conceived of the idea of taking pictures of people sheltering in place on their front porches.
“Everyone has been hunkered down and some families are multigenerational with kids home from college,” she said.
The result is an eclectic collection of people on porches in various family groupings, stacks of wood, snow shovels, brown April earth visible in spots and dogs variously paying attention to Osborn or not.
Footwear choices reflect the vast range of early spring weather in Vermont, including bare feet, winter boots, sneakers, flip-flops, leather boots and more. There are skis and motorcycles on the porches and in many of the pictures the faces of those photographed are unsmiling and serious, as in American Gothic.
Capturing people in places where they live and work appeals to Osborn, who had planned to work on a collection of pictures of people who work with their hands, specifically businesses that do handcraft work.
She’d done something similar in Brookline where she photographed people working at a zipper hospital and a dressmaker and more. She’d planned something similar for The Valley this spring and had about 50 people she’d planned to visit.
“After COVID, it was not practical to go into people’s workshops,” she said.
So Front Porch Portraits was launched. As a longtime Warren homeowner, she had the Prickly Mountain community email list and then another list for her closest neighbors and homeowners association.
Osborn said she’s enjoyed it a lot and she’ll probably continue it after the Stay Home, Stay Safe order is lifted.
“I’m happy that this project is part of the public record of how people sheltered in place during this pandemic,” she said.
Her online gallery can be found here: https://lynnosborn.smugmug.com/Front-Porch-Portraits/.