2020 has been a year of isolation as COVID-19 forces many people to keep their circles really, really close, like staying home, ordering groceries online, and closing virtual-only happy hours.

Austin photographer Marshall Tidrick quickly felt isolation in the pandemic, but knew he had to be responsible.

So he started his “front porch-trait” series in early April, where he took over 110 socially distant photos of roommates, friends, friends of friends and strangers.

“The idea was born from several converging ideas: the desire to see the people I love, to portray them and to realize myself while working on a meaningful project,” Tidrick explained to me via email. . “That said, I had NO idea what it would be like. I was thinking about doing maybe 15-20, but that was back when we thought it would all only last a few months! Now I am at number 113, I think, with no intention of stopping.

The series ‘first Legend was a simple announcement of the series’ plan, but it has since morphed into sharing short stories about the people he captures. Stories of how they cope during the pandemic, how they spend their time, and how he came to take their picture gave them a excuse to pull out sweatpants.

“It has been an incredible learning experience for me. I learned so much about how different people have come through this very difficult year, ”he told me. “I learned a lot about people that I might only see by passing by at social events or cafes maybe once a month, and I really appreciated the opportunity to get to know these wonderful people in a deeper way that this project has given me.

“The real surprise for me was how much people liked it. Honestly, I had no idea that people would be able to relate to him and have joy in learning little details about our Austin community through the meandering stories of the legends I write. It makes me so happy and really pushes me to keep going, ”Tidrick told me.

A month after the start of the series, Tidrick was rocked by the murder of George Floyd and decided to rotate the series and added an aspect of donating a portion of the series funds to organizations fighting for racial equality and justice. So far, he has raised around $ 1,900 for “various organizations aligned with these values.”

“After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, I took a break from the show and moved on to participating and documenting the protests around Austin,” he told me. “I have also thought a lot (and continue to think) about my role at this point in history and how best to work to fight for racial equality and justice. In the short term, I thought that I could devote the profits of the project in the form of donations to various organizations aligned with these values. “


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