OTTAWA -- For the last few days, photographer Mandy D’Aloisio has taken her studio on the road and to the front steps of homes across Stittsville.

Inspired by the “Front Steps Project” out of the United States, D’Aloisio has started her own version—offering five-minute photo sessions on the front porch as a way to help people feel less isolated amid COVID-19.

“I have had families contact me after their sessions and tell me it was the highlight of their day and for me personally it allows me to continue to capture the joy that I know is still happening in these households and I’ve seen so much of it,” D’Aloisio said. 

The photos are taken at a distance to maintain physical distancing.

“The whole point of this is to keep that social distancing mandate so I am staying at least 10 to 15 feet away at all times. There’s no physical interaction at all,” she said.

The cost—a donation to the Stittsville Food Bank through a GoFundMe page D’Aloisio set up. It has surpassed the fundraising goal several times.

“Monetary funds at this time [are] really great because we can purchase things. Our shelves are very low, our stock is very limited at this time so purchasing things as one big order coming in is great,” said Stittsville Food Bank chair Theresa Qadri. 

“I think it’s a great idea, it’s amazing” said client Katie Kavanagh, who participated in a photo shoot with her daughter Lennox. “It’s good for our community and it actually gets us out of the house.”

D’Aloisio has about 70 shoots booked over the next few days and is hoping the project inspires others.