PORCHrait Journal – Your Family – Your Story

PORCHraits:

Porchraits Journal – News Media for the Quiet Corner

Amended 5/16/20: Thank you to all the families who have participated in my PORCHrait Journal. 

At this time I am trying to get caught up on all the applications we currently have. I will be accepting applications only until May 20th.

There is no fee for me to come out to you.

Participants who purchased images & signs have helped to raise $1300 for our local  “Friends of Assisi Food Pantry”.  Thank you!

It is a difficult time for so many and I am grateful that we are here close to family and for all the people continuing to work, and on the front lines. We are all experiencing this incredibly historic time in our country’s history as well in our families. I have never seen or experienced anything quite like what our country and our world is dealing with right now.

I believe I found a way to do something in a safe and responsible way (following all current CDC and Government policies of social distancing as it is allowed) while doing something that is important, to me and I hope your family.

The PORCHraits Journal idea is to photograph my neighbors on your home’s front porch while, we both abide by the current CDC approved guidelines for social distancing. I want to know what you are feeling, how you are coping and what are some of the positives you can share with your community. My goal is to  share how important we are to each other during this crisis through a beautiful image of your family.

If you are on the front line of this pandemic please consider having your portrait created with your family today, now! Let us show our support for you! What you do is beyond valuable for our community. 

I will be photographing from that safe distance using a longer zoom lens creating an environmental portrait of your family. Although it may appear I am close it is because I am using a 200mm zoom lens and have the capability of cropping tighter in light room. Your portrait will be shared on my website, social networks and in printed materials along with your story. 

You will also receive three of my favorite posted image as a shareable files as a thank you for participating. You will also receive a link that is open for 5 days to view all the images so you can order prints for your home, any purchase of portraits will also help to donate funds and support our local food pantry.

I am looking to feature the families of North Eastern CT. Our Quiet Corner. ( Woodstock, Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson, Killingly, Brooklyn, Sterling & Plainfield )

If interested please fill out this form! I will review all forms and based on location and approximate to one another, let you know of when and if I can make it out to your area. Sessions are only 15 minutes long. 

Stay Safe, Stay Confident, We Will Get Through This Together!

Charleen 

This is how people see me when I come out to photograph them. This is how I see them. 

Your Family - Your Story

  • It’s been very stressful being pregnant during a quarantine period with so much sickness going around. My husband is an essential employee and we are constantly worried about the germs he could potentially bring home. It’s hard knowing that family and friends will not be able to celebrate the birth of our first child with us because of the risk to a new born.
  • I plan to never take family get togethers for granted. My whole family usually gets together at least once a week, and it seems like forever since we have been able to be around each other.
  • I hope that people take time to sit back and appreciate when times are well, and they never take their good health for granted.

  • This pandemic has impacted our lives as well as our community.  I’m the Killingly High school nurse and my role changed from nurse to teacher. I love and am blessed to have quality time with Evan but it is challenging as well. My son is a freshmen at KHS and online learning is different.  Not having the teacher connection and friends that provide a social advantage is difficult. We do the best we can and think outside the box. My husband is an essential worker in manufacturing.  He works daily and everyday he leaves the house he risks acquiring Covid 19.

  • Family is the most important thing to me.   Being together more has built upon our strong loving bond we already had. Watching Evan navigate through these uncharted waters makes me proud. Children truly are resilient and  his response to change is commendable.

  • A  concern I have is the mental health of front line workers. These folks need an outlet to speak about daily tragedies they face . We need to help and listen to one another during this time of uncertainty.
  • Dad lost his job as this virus came to a head which is understandably negative however this has allowed Dad to be at home and available full time for the kids needs at home. Moms job at the hospital unsurprisingly has increased in responsibility tenfold. The support from the family during this time has allowed Mom the ability to focus on her job in Infection Control making sure the public stays healthy at her hospital.
  • Family time is the most important thing. Even if the time has been forced due to COVID-19 it has allowed us to grow closer as a family through games, movies and home improvement projects.
  • The family’s main concern is maintaining everyone’s health during this time. Ensuring that everyone maintains a safe distance and clean environment will help to flatten the curve so we can get life back to steady state.
  • I try to find the positives in each day. Mark’s business is considered essential so he is able to work each day, but my salon was mandated to close in March, so I have been keeping myself (and Mark) busy with endless chores and projects I haven’t had the time to get to.  Karly is a graduating senior at KHS and was looking forward to her last season of high school softball, prom, senior night, class night, and all the other milestones and memories that will surely look different than most years.  She’s keeping herself busy with online school, as well as finding roommates for college and getting to know some of her classmates at Bryant University, where she will attend in the Fall. Cam’s a freshman at KHS and is able to get out to golf a few times a week because the golf courses in CT are able to operate.  Overall, I feel like this shut down has been a blessing for our family to spend so much time together, where normally this time of the year we barely see each other with our schedules being booked solid.  I do look forward to getting together with family and friends, and I pray that some of Karly’s end-of -the year celebrations can be recreated somewhere down the road.
  • Life is a constant balance.
  • My concerns are for my kids to get back to a normal, outside of the house routine.  I want them to be able to get back to school, play sports, hangout with friends, and work.
  • This social distancing is affecting each member of our family differently. We are all having a hard time not being able to spend time with others because we are a social.family. The ” crisis” schooling brings it’s own challenges every day. Having so much ” unknown” weighs on everyone; some.fear, some fruatration, some anxiety. We make the best of every day. We attack school.early so the majority of the afternoon is free to do whatever we want. Someday its a hike, or a bike ride, an art project, baking, cooking movies, or just vegging. Our children love being outdoors ! We are blessed to have a nice big backyard along the river…so exploring and fishing are some things they do besides the sports. Our children have their moment with each other because of the ages, but mostly have helped each other and workers together on anything from school, too cooking to flag football and making things for others. It has been a joy to see that they are trying to make the best of the situation.
  • Making sure to remember that we have all that we need is right in front of us. We need to appreciate each other more and not take anything for granted, especially the everyday little things. We are learning to understand each other better and choice better words and actions to express it.
  • It has been amazing to see the heart of humanity come together to support each other during this crisis. The earth is healing ,people are believing in things they never did before. There is a sense of a  revival across the globe- people joining each other in prayer and turning to the God who can offer hope- there are no lines dividing many, we are standing as a United front. God always works things to the good, and it is truly evident throughout the world.
  • This is a very uncharted time. We are truly enjoying the family time and family dinners. Usually, we’re running from school to dance to Girl Scouts all while Anthony is traveling. With having him home, and everything canceled, sitting at the table together has become very special. We have more time for little things like walks outside and putting together puzzles.
    The downside to this, is I work as a substitute in KMS and miss the students and staff, the girls are missing friends, activities, and especially dance and figure skating. And being in dental sales, Anthony is unsure of what the future holds for employment and financially. It’s quite scary.
  • We are resilient. I battled breast cancer 5 years ago and we got through that so I know as a family we are strong. We will bounce back from this too.
  • Anthony and the girls are afraid I will get sick. We’re all very cautious so I’m not as concerned as they are.
  • With Kaileigh being a senior we are saddened by all the once in a lifetime experiences she is missing.  We just adopted a kitten and are loving our time together with each other and loving on our pets.
  • How important it is the stay connected with your kids as they get to be teenagers and start the next phase of their life.
  • My children have special needs with my youngest having autism this has been hard on him. To not be in his schedule has be a difficult adjustment.  My daughter who is a senior suffers from autism and anxiety and has worked so hard to graduate.  All her hard work she deserves that moment.
  • Negative- mom is alone with two toddlers during the day while working from home

    Positive- spending precious time with each other and getting projects done. We have more time for spiritual reflection and prayer.
  • Be still
  • I have a compromised immune system. I don’t think I will ever return to a true normal after this.
  • Derek and I recently welcomed our first child into this world on March 31st. We are so blessed that she is healthy. During this time derek and I are grateful that we are able to stay home together with her. We’ve been able to spend so much time together as a family and watch her grow every day.

    Although we are grateful to be home together as a family we have struggled not being able to share our baby with our closest friends and family. Her grandparents have met her via “video chat” or via seeing her through our large front window.

    We can not wait for our families to meet her!
  • I plan to take away from this experience how important it is to give hugs, give kisses to your loved ones and soak in all the times we have with people physically. And again being able to stay home with a newborn along with my husband as been a blessing in disguise.
  • A concern my family and I have is keeping our baby healthy and safe. What will daycare look like and what will going back to work look like as we are both educators in the school district.
  • We are very grateful to have this time to spend together and for Scott and myself to be able to work from home while so many others have lost their jobs. My son Jack is in the 8th grade and is missing those 8th grade memories like sports, first formal dance, class field trip, lock in, field day, yearbook signing and graduation. He didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to some classmates he won’t see next year when they are ofc as Freshman to different schools! We are thankful we are together and healthy! Stay safe, Stay home! Thank you!
  • We will not take for granted some things we miss like having a game or practice and have to be two places at once and have to feed everyone! I would love that kind of stress right now!
  • I’m concerned that my kids are missing out on some crucial parts  of their education and will fall behind starting Middle School and High School
  • Barstow  – Moosup Ct
  • Please tell us how this time is affecting your family Both the Negative and the Positive:  Negative: I am a lover of freedom. The loss of freedom is challenging for me. Not so much having to wear a mask in public, but not being able to just jump in my car and go to the beach, or shopping or visiting or have a gathering with family and friends without thought about the possible implications of these activities due to the threat of the coronavirus.  Positive: I know that I should find something positive in all of this…it’s not that I’m miserable, but there’s nothing that comes to mind when I’m asked to say how this has affected me in a positive manner. Maybe grateful would be a better thing to express my feelings about. I’m grateful that people in need (those who aren’t working) are being taken care of through better unemployment benefits. I’m grateful that people are taking more care to check on their elderly family members, friends and neighbors. I’m grateful that I, personally, have not been touched by this virus at this time my family and my friends are healthy as well.
  • What is something that you plan to take away from this, that is a positive:  That we need more nature, more love, more understanding, more peace and we all need to care more about our neighbors. 
  • What are some of the concerns your or your children have or something you would like to share during this time? I do worry about the collapse of our economy. I worry that this could go on for months and I desperately miss spending time with my family! Especially my grandson, Wyatt. It’s really, really hard. I know it’s difficult for me, and I am generally a very positive person.
  • Positive we’ve become even closer, spend more time before Matt heads away to college in the fall. Having to “distance learn” has allowed Matt and Michelle to become more independent. I am blessed to still be working, assisting people in their homes. Negatively, it has impacted both Matt and Michelle because they have not been able to spend tome with their friends in their last year in high school and middle school respectively. Matt is also missing his Senior year baseball season
  • The strong bond between the three of us and new memories we’ve made
  • We’re worried about the health and safety of family and friends as well as ourselves. My biggest concern is how different the world will become when this is over.
  • Brad and I are essential employees, I’m a nurse and he’s a manager at a warehouse. On top of working full time we are forced to find a balance between work, and childcare that won’t pose a threat of infection. On top of finding time to educate our daughter so she won’t fall behind….
  • Instilling in my child that washing your hands should not be taken for granted!
  • My husband and I are the only ones that leave the house and are petrified we will bring it home!
  • As a registered nurse & Administrator of a 76 apartment Assisted Living Facility in RI (The Villa at Saint Antoine), it’s very difficult managing a staff of 70, 82 Residents & their worried families – and also worrying about your own family at home. Long hours at work and time away from my family is very hard but I know I’m needed at work right now. Thankfully my family is understanding, helpful and supportive even though it’s hard for them too.
    The positive things in all of this is that my family remains healthy, happy and they are reconnecting and truly bonding again and learning to appreciate the little things.
  • We are strong, resilient and we, as a family can get through anything as long as we have each other. That we shouldn’t take anything for granted and that family time is SO very important. ❤️
  • My children are all afraid to get sick – I’m afraid to bring the virus home to my family….I’m afraid that the people we love may die.  This is such an uncertain, unsettling time – it’s so strange to not hug, touch, or be close to people. I work with elderly – they need comfort, assurance and touch….some have not even been touched in a month- can you imagine not being touched?
    I’d like to share that even though this is difficult, we are truly blessed to have each other. We will get through this. We have put our faith in God and He will guide us through this.  We are learning to appreciate the things that matter – love, patience, support, faith and family. I know we will grow stronger as a family.
    Thank you,
    Love, The Summiel’s 🙏🏼❤️
  • My husband is an essential employee- a sergeant working armed security at millstone nuclear power plant. I am an attorney, still essential, working on wills and conducting real estate transactions. We are not able to stay home, and we have to decontaminate when we come back home. We are keeping our distance from family and each other. The stress on Jackson is starting to show since he can’t see his other relatives. But we are taking this time to get projects done and work together as a family.
  • Even though we are still working, we are still less distracted by retail. We have spent more time working together as a family on projects at home, cooking together, enjoy the sun… when there is some 🙂
  • We have been following COVID-19 developments since before it came to the United States. We are disappointed that so many people dismissed its severity. While this virus knows no boundaries, even if it only affected high risk people, we love so many people that fit into that category.  Please respect the fact that many of us are not allowed to stop working and we hope that you do your part by staying home and staying safe.
  • I was working the front lines in transportation, in the midst of this I’ve gotten a promotion and I now am working from home trying to learn a whole new position through video calls. My fiance cant do his work.
  • Lots of time for Bonding with our son and unpacking our new home we just moved into!
  • A lot of my sons specialists and appointments are being cancelled or postponed which is really scary for us. We hope everyone can stay home, stay safe and stay healthy so we can make it back to his appointments.
  • Teagan chatelle jasmine (cat) Eileen chatelle
  • It’s a change but I think we are coping well and I think people can adapt quickly to any situation.
  • More time with my daughter.
  • Stay strong
  • Both my mother, father, and I are considered essential employees and are constantly put at risk for contracting the virus. My mother works at day Kimble as a sleep tech and also worked part time at killingly memorial school as a paraprofessional before the schools shut down. My father works as an auto body tech and working full time while all those around him are getting laid off. I work as an occupational therapy assistant in Massachusetts at a nursing home. Although it has been tough financially it’s even tougher with the strict regulations. A friend recently passed away and we are unable to attend a funeral or a celebration of life due to the circumstances surrounding us. But I also believe a positive is the amount of time we have with one another and spending time as a family.
  • I believe I will take away the amount of love I have felt through out this time. I feel love from the help of neighbors and the constant outreach of our family members we are unable to see. I also feel love at home with my family. I am able to spend more time with them and do things all together whether that be snuggling on the couch to watch a movie or going for a hike.
  • My brother is constantly at fear of the virus. He has lost many of his friends and has an immense of anxiety surrounding death and illnesses. My mother, father, and I are at constant risk as well as we are considered essential employees. I am terrified to come home some days because I do not want to infect my loved ones from my job.
  • We are definitely focusing more on how we spend our time together.  We get to spend more time with our horses than we usually do.  We still maintain social isolation while we care for our horses and we are so thankful to have that as a safe space.  To do lists and fun family projects are finally able to happen because we “never had time” due to always running in so many directions.  Major project – Vegetable and Fruit garden… Woohoo

    Negative – I think the world has changed and we will never return to what was.  I am not sure if that is positive or negative but it is definitely an unknown that is often stressful to think about.
  • As a family showing the kids how to survive such rapid change and how we will all be fine when it is over.  My kids have learned independence and self reliance when it comes to their school work and proven that they can successfully do so.
  • Concerns about the uncertainty of the future. Once the entire United States has put all efforts into distance learning and remote worksites – how do we ever go back to exactly what it was before?  

  • Kenny is a corrections officer for the last almost 20 years ….8 months left to retirement ….dealing with infectious diseases & taking precautions daily has been our norm although we now are taking an even more cautious approach our focus has been on 
    Morgan works full time at Millstone the Nuclear power plant it’s different for us as we know with Kenny’s job it can be hazardous it’s different when it’s one of your children we are taking every precaution possible & boosting our immune systems to help protect us all
    It’s normal for me to work from home but the added stress of keeping everyone calm during these unprecedented times can be challenging I’m fortunate I can still help my clients purchase their first, dream, second or retirement home while Grace continues  her Junior year with on line schooling 
    Grace and I are Thankful we have still been able to volunteer at a local food pantry as we normally do to help out where we can it gives us something to look forward too….

  • How much family time we have been trying to find things to do together like puzzles & coloring pages & watching movies without having Graces spring soccer season & practices we have also been getting some exercise around the Lake & just enjoying nature & the peaceful location we are fortunate to call home

  • That some of the elderly might not have people to help get groceries or that the ones in nursing homes are feeling lonely without visitors as well as for all the health care providers & nurses we know that they have the equipment needed to battle & beat this pandemic
     
  • It is a scary time, but it has brought our family closer together. We enjoy the little things and every moment we have together.
  • To live in the moment. To slow down and enjoy the time we have together
  • My son is 1.5 so he has no idea what is going on, but we miss the play dates he use to have. He is at an age were he needs interaction with other children, and it worries me that it may be a long time before we can have that again
  • It’s been challenging for Teagan to be out of school and away from her friends. She did her first video classroom on Friday which she really enjoyed. The biggest positive would be the bonding time she has had with her Dad. I am working from home and her Dad has come over every day to help her with school work along with some really fun creative indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Never underestimate the good qualities in others. We all have vallue and something special to offer.
  • I worry we will become a world where social distancing is the new normal in years to come.  I hope hugging a friend or holding a hand does not become taboo.
  • Victoria was born on 3/19 during the Covid19 crisis. Being in the hospital during this time was very stressful and we are so happy to be home now. We haven’t been able to have any visitors, which has been tough but has also given us ample time to bond as a new family of 4 and relax at home. JP is self-employed and returns to work next week. I am nervous about being home with both girls 24/7 without visitors and not able to get out and about, but also looking forward to all of the extra time we have together.
  • Not to take visits with family and friends for granted!
  • It is difficult for Natalie (3 years old) to understand what is happening right now. All of a sudden, she went from attending pre-school and gymnastics, play dates with friends, visits with family, etc., to spending all of our time at home, along with the addition of a new baby sister. We as adults know that this isolation isn’t forever, but as a toddler it’s hard for her to understand that, especially when we can’t give her a time frame. I also am nervous that the baby will get sick with her tiny immune system.
  • Husband and & are both considered essential employees. Marc is a Correction Officer & must go to work.  I am a television producer & also must go to work.  We are both working longer hours due to the virus. Both boys are home & doing school work through online, distance learning. The positive is when we are all home we are all together!
  • WE can do this!!!!
  • Trey would have started his junior year baseball season this weekend.  Maxim would have started his freshman year of lacrosse at LaSalle Academy in Providence. WE haven’t talked about it but both boys are fearful that spring sports won’t come back. It’s sad because sports has a way of really bringing people together!
  • It’s a very stressful time in our family.  Harry is an ER physician at Hartford Hospital and at this crazy time in all our lives we fear for his safety.  We pray every day he and his colleagues get the safety supplies they need to save the lives of those affected.  On a positive note, we are all together, eating meals each night as a family and making the best of our time together.  
  • Don’t take your health for granted. Get out there and exercise, eat healthy foods and enjoy family time.
  • It’s important to teach our children to not panic, but take the advice of the professionals and listen to their suggestions on how we can stay safe.

  • Positive:
    We are enjoying some quality family time. Having Dominic home from UVM is a blessing. He and Ethan have a very close relationship and it’s good that they have each other.  They are both very funny and the house is filled with laughter most days.
    We love seeing how our community is coming together to support each other.  This sense of national unity is reassuring and heartwarming.  
    Negative:
    Not being able to see our friends and family has been difficult.  Our daily routines have changed drastically.  All of us were going to the gym almost every day. We are adapting to our new normal, finding ways to stay connected and healthy.  
    The uncertainty around the duration is daunting if given too much thought.

  • We definitely have a greater appreciation for time with friends and family. Dan has been keeping the house stocked with food and all the essentials while also giving us peace of mind. We are grateful for the technology and the amazing educators that make it possible for Ethan and Dominic to continue their learning.  Elizabeth is grateful to work for a wonderful company that supports working from home.  The sense of normalcy and structure is so important for all of us. 


  • We worry about the health and safety of our family members and friends who are considered high risk. We are very concerned about small businesses and the people they employ.  
    Our love and gratitude goes out to those who continue work in hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc.
  • Loss of work and income-
    Inability to perform live music and continue our normal active high energy lifestyle.
    Positives- time with family, completing home projects and focusing on what’s important.
  • Time with family enjoying the little things in life and perspective on what’s truly important.
  • I see the social media panic and the conspiracy theory and politics creating anxiety stress and division. Its not helping anyone.
    Serenity-  be aware of what is out of your control and what you can not change. Relax…be diligent and change the things you can control for greater good.  Be wise to know the difference and appreciate and enjoy life in what ever capacity you can each and every day.

  • Difficulty getting products; hate seeing my friends struggling to keep their businesses open; recovering from a life threatening illness and have to be super careful to protect me from other people

  • It’s spring time. Able to spend time outside with my granddaughter and my dogs.

  • People…Use some common sense–wash your hands, avoid anyone ill, stay home if YOU’RE sick, and stop touching your face.
  • Positive– Quality family time, because we are usually rushing around.  Movies/board games/video games/cooking/baking
    *Makes us appreciate our health, ability to come and go.
    *Negatives–Not working, not being able to see and spend time with other family members & friends.
    *Canceling family vacations
  • Health!  Life!  Family! Work! And being able to just go somewhere.
  • *The kids are concerned with things becoming–More widespread causing many people to get sick & how long it will last.
    *Economic downturn, poss layoffs.
  • It has been an interesting time. We have been blessed that Kevin was told when this first started that he needed to work from home unless he was needed in the office- that hasn’t happened. I work in Central Office for a school district. It has been stressful as we try to remain calm for the students, staff, and our own families. As of Friday, I have been allowed to work from home as well. We are grateful to have jobs that afford us that ability and not be faced with layoffs as well. The constantly changing information makes it hard not to get anxious.
    It has been hard for the kids to not be in school and see their friends, but I think they are appreciating the slower pace this is bringing with it. We are thankful for our faith and church family who have been very helpful during this time.
  • We plan to take away how to be more prepared, the slower pace, and our time together. 
  • Not knowing when  they will see their friends in person again?
    Will the band/chorus have their Disney trip rescheduled?