*CORRECTION-There was incorrect information in the April 7 published version. The initiative should have said “The Porch-rait Sessions” and not “The Portrait Sessions.”*
By Justin Seward
A Redcliff photographer has come up with an initiative that is meant to brighten the spirits for those families in self-isolation, health care workers and hospital patients during the COVID-19 crisis.
Bradley East is the brainchild behind “The Porch-rait Sessions” initiative where he takes photos of people however they want during these unprecedented times from afar with the social-distancing in effect and are given for free.
“You can interpret the photograph however you want,” said East.
“You could use it send out messages of support to those that need it. It could simply be a family photo … I’ve had families do signs, really funny ones (and)more serious-toned ones where nurses will pose, reflecting the health care hero.”
East found inspiration through fellow photographers.
“I was watching the news and I saw a photographer I think it was in Calgary doing it and it just lit a fire underneath me and I started planning it that night and starting rolling it out the next day,” said East.
“I kind of built it as I went because it just hit me at how much of an impact you can really make by doing something so small just with a photo.”
He is accepting donations for the Medicine Hat and District Health Foundation, with the funds going to the health care heroes at the Medicine Hat hospital.
“They will be receiving gift cards for Tim Hortons and the cafeteria so they can get their lunch and coffee, he said.
“The other part I’m really excited about is patient care. What they’ve been doing is they’re delivering newspapers to all the patients in the hospital as well as puzzles, crosswords and they’re even delivering flowers to each patient to brighten up their day. They’re even investing in cell phones so people can stay connected with their loved ones.”
People can contact East through his Facebook page at Bradley East Photography or email Bradleyeastphotography@gmail.com.
His availability is on Sundays and Mondays and prior to the session there will be a survey sent to that family.