Lens of Hope captures families during COVID-19 pandemic

Lens of Hope captures families during COVID-19 pandemic

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond photographer is making it her mission to document families and their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the virus kept everyone at home last March, Kristin Seward decided to take out her camera and take pictures of families on their front porch. For these photos, Seward asked for donations to help her neighborhood cafe that was struggling during the pandemic.

“It’s just been really inspiring for me,” Seward said. “It kind of distracted me from what was happening in the world and it helped me focus on the good, positive things in our neighborhood.”

Seward photographed 40 families in their front yard to share their stories while they were in quarantine. However, Seward says her project wouldn’t end here.

“As time went on, I realized I had this unique opportunity to follow up with some of the same families and show how much they’ve changed, adapted, grown and maybe stayed the same,” Seward said.

One year later, Seward picked up her camera again to take photos of many of those same families to share their stories of resilience through social media.

Seward says even through the tough times, many of them were able to share their milestones.

“We’re still here,” Seward said. “We’re still doing this thing, but we’re also still celebrating milestones and anniversaries and birthdays, new babies are coming, and people are getting new jobs.”

Seward says these photos resemble strength and how these families have been able to adapt through the changes, which she says has shown her a new meaning of hope.

“I’ve come to discover that hope isn’t always this feel-good fluffy thing that is wrapped all pretty with a bow,” she said. “It’s grit. It’s going through really hard things and it’s tears and it’s pain.”

Seward says she’s developed relationships with many of these families and will continue to keep up with them in the future.

Many of her photos are on display through her Instagram page.

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