Finding things to do as a family during the Stay-Home order has lead to some creative ideas in our community. Bonner County resident Theresa Carlson took a beautiful family portrait that captures a moment with her family during isolation. Last week I wrote about using photos as a way to create a personal historical document and Theresa's project is a great example of a family doing just that. Below you can read about Theresa's experience, and her suggestions on how to make if work for you. What a great way to remember who you were with, where you were living, and how old you (and your kids) were during the 2020 Pandemic .
Theresa, can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your idea to do a family portrait? How was the experience for your family?
We were having one of those weekends where we didn’t know what to do, and nothing sounded fun. The weather wasn’t great so being outside was less appealing. I suggested we get dressed up and take some family photos. Since we have been isolating at home for a few weeks now, it felt good to think about the clothes we would put on. This simple activity actually managed to turn our weekend around.
Do you plan to keep the portrait as a personal historical record? What will it feel like to look back at the portrait in ten or twenty years?
The photos are digital and though we don’t have many printed photos in our home, we do make a photo book every couple of years so that we have something physical to look back on. I think most of us have probably spent time sorting through photos of our own childhood, or of our parents and grandparents. I love referring back to Instagram as a photo record of sorts, but in ten or twenty years it may be obsolete, and really it is no comparison to holding a photo in your hand. Likely these will be printed for grandparents, if not for ourselves, and it will certainly be a good reminder of this time in our lives.
What are some tips and tricks for families who want to take a portrait at home? (Did you use a camera and a tripod?)
We used a digital SLR camera and tripod, but if you do not have any equipment, just use your phone! Prop it up in a place where you know your family will be in frame and set the self timer, works great in a pinch. Some good natural light will always improve your photo.
If the idea of taking traditional family photos doesn’t appeal to you, get creative! Dress up in costume, recreate an old photo, set up a scene inside or outside. Just have fun! If the photos don’t turn out, at the very least you spent some time doing something creative with your family.
Let us know in the comments or on Instagram if you take your own Stay-Home self-portrait. #athomewithBCHS
Activities and experiences to engage with history at home. Share your work with us #AtHomeWithBCHS
If you've enjoyed these activities, please consider making a donation of $3, $5, or $10 so we can continue to bring you great projects for your family.