Photographer OF Tom Soper (b87-92) has shot a series of unique doorstep portraits featuring people living on his street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, during lockdown.
Tom explains, “One of the real positives to come out of the recent pandemic has been the increased sense of community. Everyone on our street was getting into the lockdown spirit with online chat groups as well as support and advice packages posted through every door. Ironically, although I had hardly been out of the house, I felt like I knew my neighbours better than I did before the crisis began.
As a professional photographer, specialising in portraiture, I was keen to capture some photos of our community during this national crisis. Photography has always been used as a way to record and remember important times and I felt that there was an opportunity to add to the local record.
I decided to shoot socially-distanced doorstep portraits of the residents of my street. There was great enthusiasm and it was lovely to meet a lot of new, interesting people living nearby. The photos were published in the local paper which has led to more requests for doorstep portraits across the town and some other unrelated work which was an added bonus. I am also in the process of producing a booklet of the photos which will be sold to raise money for the NHS.
Having had all my work cancelled due to the pandemic it was really important for me to be able to continue shooting and to have a change of scene from home. I hope that the photos, along with captions about residents’ thoughts of their time in lockdown, will form an interesting archive of this incredibly unusual time.”
Tom specialises in educational marketing photography and portraiture. His clients include Felsted School, The National Trust and Virgin Unite. He is based in Suffolk and travels for commissions across the country.
Photo: Lockdown Portrait #31, Tom, Lizzi, Sam & Fin Soper. A photo of Tom’s family, shot by son Sam using a remote release.