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Photos from Afar: Photographer Brings Smiles to Families

Many small businesses are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Shops have closed, social interactions have ceased, weddings are being rescheduled. Buffalo resident Heather Bellini has directly felt the harsh effects of isolation in her full-time wedding and event photography business.

Yet knowing the heavy weight of this unprecedented quarantine on local families, Heather recently began a new photography project, “Front Porch Portraits”. Following the government requested social distancing, Heather enables families to schedule a free photo shoot online, arrives in the front yard during each family’s scheduled time, and takes professional photos from 12 feet away using only verbal interactions.

“With over 3 million people applying for unemployment, I can’t imagine asking struggling families for money at a time like this,” says Heather.

In the spirit of positivity and given her desire to celebrate families during this unprecedented time, Heather is offering these portrait sessions at no cost. Clients receive 10 digital portraits via an online gallery, where they can download their photos and review additional purchase options. All appointments for a family photo shoot can be made online or by phone.

Heather hopes that this effort will inspire others to find their own, unique ways of spreading joy and optimism during a challenging time. As families continue to work and learn from home, Heather adds, “It’s a great excuse to get dressed up and do your hair and makeup.”

To book a free family photo session, please email

You can visit Heather’s website.

Written by A Ellis Cairns

A Ellis Cairns

A Ellis Cairns has been living in Buffalo since 2006. Hailing from Pittsburgh, A also lived in Maryland and New Jersey. Graduating from Duquesne University with a BA in Communications, he got an internship with Live Nation the summer before his senior year. Upon graduating, A accepted a full-time position with Live Nation at the Darien Lake Amphitheater. Working in the music industry for over 15 years, A has seen and worked with a variety of artists and performers. In his spare time, A is a concert photographer and board member for the Elmwood Village Association.

View All Articles by A Ellis Cairns
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