Life in lockdown: a ‘doortrait’ of our times

To raise funds for frontline NHS staff, photographers are joining a national campaign: doortraits4NHS

Photographers are offering free doorstep portraits – “doortraits” – for households during the coronavirus lockdown.

Andy Sillett was inspired to launch the project after photographing frontline nurses at his local hospital in Kingston upon Thames, Greater London.

“I photographed their emotional reactions during the weekly applause, and nurses holding up photos of colleagues who had died of coronavirus,” says Sillett. “As an underemployed photographer, I tried to think of a way I could help them.”

In return for their free photo, families are asked to make a discretionary donation to their local hospital charity fundraising appeal.

Photographers around the country are asked to submit ‘doortraits’ to a FB or flickr group (both called Doortraits4NHS).

“We aim to eventually hold and exhibition and publish book to raise more funds as well as provide a historic portrait of Britain during the coronavirus pandemic,” says Sillett, a professional portrait photographer who has photographed numerous celebrities and royals.

So far he has been inundated with requests from families, couples and individuals.

“People are really responding positively to the project,” says Sillett. “Social distancing guidelines are strictly maintained at all times and it’s fun to see the variety of styles, ranging from lockdown casual to very bizarre costumes. People are delighted to have a record of how they are spending lockdown, and who they are spending it with, including their pets.

“It’s a time in history like no other, and I’m trying to help capture that – as well as supporting the NHS.”


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