In a time that has made homebodies of us all, some photographers, Suzanne Camarata among them, are venturing out at a safe distance to capture this strange time in beautifully touching “porch portraits.”
Camarata has made photography her career and now with her business, The Gallery at Flat Rock, temporarily shuttered, she wanted to join others in this trend of taking cameras to where the people are.
“In normal times, a portrait shoot often takes place in an iconic location,” she says. “During this time of detachment, the home has become our safe haven and the most important environment to capture.”
She suggests that subjects view a photo shoot as a break from monotony and have fun with the portraits. “Dress up in silly costumes, wear a face mask or pose in those pajamas you love to lounge in,” she says. Sessions may be for family groups, couples or individuals in a household of one, and photographs may be taken in yards as well as on porches. “I am excited to see what elements in the photo are important to people at this time,” she says.
Besides “longer hair,” Camarata says, jokingly, she expects to encounter “a tenderness and comfort between subjects because of experiencing this difficult time together.”
Meeting subjects and shooting photos within the parameters of social distancing does not faze her. “We are moving into a new realm of interacting from a distance,” she says, “so I see this as practice in how we connect from six feet away. Personally, I like this amount of distance. When I photographed weddings, my best images focused on the dynamics between the subjects—as if I wasn’t there.”
Gary and Anne Cooley recently posed with their dog Sunny. “My wife is very camera shy,” Gary says, “but Suzanne is so sweet and unassuming we hardly knew we were being directed.” They particularly enjoyed having black and white images as well which they felt added an emotional element. “Suzanne is a fantastic photographer,” he adds.
To learn more, contact Suzanne Camarata at 617.429.3128. Portrait sessions, including all digital files, are $65, with $15 from every session donated to Flat Rock Playhouse.