Local Photographer Captures History in the Making with "Porchraits"
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Owner of Grin Gallery Photography, Marlaina Pacifico, is using her creative platform to document the strange reality we currently find ourselves in.
Marlaina, an extremely talented photographer, is going to homes and capturing community members and families on their porches, in their yards, and even through their windows. She is calling these photos “Porchraits.”
“My mom sent me a link of someone who was doing this in another town, and I thought, ‘That is so important. Everybody needs to be doing this. There needs to be a photographer in every region documenting this. This is history. This hasn’t happened before. This is important.’”
Sessions cost $100, but Marlaina is offering to come for free. “These are really hard times,” she says. “It’s more important for me to get the history than anything.”
Marlaina started taking pictures 10 years ago when her daughter was born, and she has stuck with it ever since by turning it into a successful business, Grin Gallery Photography & Art Gallery.
“I wanted to bring people together to create things,” says Marlaina. “The people I photograph give me a different experience and a new challenge every single time. I like variety in life, and photography allows me to switch things up and be a different person.”
Marlaina describes her photography style as “real.” She never uses photoshop, and doesn’t even own any photoshop software. “Although it’s amazing what people can do with photoshop, I have my own goal of never using it. I want to take a picture and not feel the need to mess with it later,” she says. “I want my pictures to be authentic.”
The authentic “Porchraits” are showing the new ways people are forced to live in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - a life that Marlaina is calling “peacefully uneasy.” She has captured people working from home, playing music outside, and the sweet, tender moments of people being home with their kids.
“I hope the people that are having a really hard time can be inspired by these pictures and mimic some of the things that are happening in the images,” Marlaina says. “I want them to see my pictures and think, ‘I’m going to do something today. I’m going to get to work or snuggle my kids or get outside. I’m going to practice my instrument on the front porch and let my neighbors hear this beautiful music.’”
In effort to practice social distancing, Marlaina has had to find an entirely new way to take pictures. “Most of the time I’m either in my car or on top of my car. I’ve even climbed somebody’s tree so I could get the angle I wanted. These Porchraits are fun because they force me to be creative. I’m stuck being far away using only one lens,” says Marlaina.
Although she is enjoying taking these Porchraits, Marlaina is looking forward to future projects. “When this is all over I want to move on to something big and bright,” she says. “People gathering and hugging and kissing.”
Like all of us here at First Frontier Forward, Marlaine believes in the power of positive news. “I think it’s important that people see good news,” she says. “I encourage the people who are seeking out positive stories to keep doing it. Keep following pages like this, and keep being nice to each other. That’s the most important thing we can do. Be good to each other with what we have.”
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