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Photographer documents families in isolation with the Front Door Project

Using a longer lens, Chelsea Smith is able to take family portraits from across the street

A Victoria photographer is making the most out of self-isolation by taking portraits of people on their front steps.

Chelsea Smith, owner of Vintage Chic, has been driving to people’s homes but with the use of a longer lens, she’s able to stay in her vehicle across the street to take the photographs.

Smith says The Front Door Project wasn’t her idea as it was started in the U.S., but she thought it would a great idea to try out in Victoria. So far, she’s taken more than 35 portraits of people self-isolating at home.

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“People have been making signs and holding them up with what they want to say, it’s been incredible,” she says.

The most common messages Smith has seen revolve around thanking frontline workers, staying positive and choosing love.

The Front Door Project has also been a great chance for Smith to spend some time with her five-year-old son.

“He’s been in the back seat with another camera, being my assistant,” she says. “We’ve had a great time going out and hanging out in the truck.”

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According to Smith, some families were moving and wanted a final portrait in their homes while others just wanted to document this “weird, crazy time” we’re living in.

Smith, who is a single parent herself, has been taking the photos free of charge, but asks those who can to donate to the 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre.

“Hopefully this is helping people keep their heads up, stay strong and positive,” she says. “I’m loving the messages people are sending to each other.”

So far she has raised over $400.

To get in touch with Smith visit

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