Photos: 'Front porch' project documents unity during pandemic

The Pinilla-Schmitz family
Since mid-April, photographer Scott Streble has been taking photos of Twin Cities families in front of their homes. Pictured is the Pinilla-Schmitz family.
Courtesy of Scott Streble

Updated: May 6, 1:12 p.m.

Home has become a familiar place to Minnesotans these last several weeks during Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order.

Numerous photographers across the country have been documenting this historic time. We spoke with one Minneapolis photographer about his Twin Cities “front porch” project.

Since mid-April, Scott Streble been hard at work taking photographs of families outside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. He shows up, snaps a picture within a few minutes — from a distance, of course — and then sends each a copy of the photo the same day or the following day.

"I think it's a historical time and this leaves everyone with a photo that they can go back to and say, 'Do you remember when?'" he said.

He's done 125 portraits so far.

"I thought this was kind of a way of bringing everyone together," Streble said. "When you look at the photos collectively, it's kind of a we're-all-in-it-together sentiment. I think people are kind of embracing that. I sense they want to be part of a bigger thing and this is their way of doing that."

Streble hasn't been charging for the photos because he wants it to be accessible to everyone who wants to be documented.

"When you're charging, it changes the whole dynamic of it," he said. "It would exclude some people who would normally participate."

Eventually, Streble thinks he'll do something with all of the pictures, like a "big piece where you see like a grid of all the photos."

"Back to that we're-in-all-in-it-together sentiment, you can see each individual family, being part of that whole thing gives people a sense of unity," he said.

Correction (May 6, 2020): A caption in an earlier version of this photo gallery misspelled the Pinilla-Schmitz family's last name. The caption has been updated.