Amidst the societal upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic and “safer-at-home” orders, photographer Kira Derryberry asked herself how she could be helpful to the community. Her business has come to a standstill as the owner of Kira Derryberry Photography.
Derryberry says it was while searching for something fun to do with her daughter that the Stay at Home Photography Series was created. Every week, Derryberry is posting free and easy projects for parents to complete with their children using their smart phone cameras. She is asking everyone to share the results to social media with the hashtag #kdpstayathome.
“Social media is so inundated right now with negativity, that when I see smiling pictures from children at home, it brightens up the newsfeed a little bit,” says Derryberry. “I am trying to put good out there. Anything we can do to help the community get through this time.”
Derryberry serves as the director of the Professional Photographers of America, a non-profit that provides its members with tools and resources for their businesses. In the past two weeks, she has led several virtual panels and discussed ideas for photographers and businesses coping with the pandemic across the country.
She has been heartened by many professionals who are turning to social media to create similar projects. Her first assignment, “Make Faces” directed parents to have their children stand against a neutral wall near a window and make as many silly faces as they could conjure. Then, using different accessible phone applications and editing tools, Derryberry instructed them on how to create an image collage.
“We have this gift of time with our family we didn’t expect to have, which is actually a great thing,” says Derryberry. “I think we are taking for granted some of those little moments to remember. Every person has a camera in their hand, and I just wanted to give people ideas on how to document those moments.”
Derryberry fell in love with portrait photography from the moment her father gifted her a film camera. She spent most of her high school in the dark room and majored in fine art at the University of Alabama. She says her father remains the artist she most admires and he has given her unconditional support over the years.
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