Say cheese! Local photographer turns quarantine into priceless photos
By SARA VANDEN BERGE
Erath County photographer Allison Ballinger has been capturing special moments through the lens of her camera since 2003 when she first launched Cross B Photography.
Now she is using her talent to capture something residents will never forget: The Great Quarantine of 2020.
Enter The Front Porch Project.
Ballinger has joined hundreds of other photographers from across the nation who are going to local homes to photograph families on the front porch while they are quarantined during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She has captured kids shooting hoops and creating art with sidewalk chalk; others hugging on the front porch or sitting by the swimming pool.
She has even photographed employees working at local essential businesses like Lida’s Food Basket, Walmart and Bradberry’s Best.
“It’s a way to document how people have spent the past 4 to 6 weeks at home,” Ballinger told me. “I have found a whole new level of joy by doing this. The response has been great. People are excited for a change of pace.”
The photo shoots take less than 10 minutes and Ballinger doesn’t charge a dime, but asks that those who are able make a donation to community outreach projects at Timber Ridge Church.
The idea has been incredibly popular in Erath County.
Ballinger has already taken photos at about 50 homes
“And I have another 10 to 15 that I have committed to,” she said.
The photo sessions have also been a welcome change of pace for Ballinger who specializes in equine and ranch-type photography.
“I do love high school senior sessions too,” she said. “I could do those all day long.”
(She took my son D.J.’s senior pictures in 2011 and they are amazing.)
Ballinger said she isn’t sure how many more sessions she can do for The Front Porch Project because of her other commitments, but it’s something she said she will always cherish.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s meant to give families something to look back on in the years to come.”