Kickstarter for Doorstep Portraits
19 May 2021
by Katy Rink
With your help Birgitta Zoutman's 'Life in Lockdown' could be turned into a fabulous book as a record of the pandemic in Shrewsbury

Photographer Birgitta Zoutman is hoping to turn her pandemic Doorstep Portraits into a new coffee table book, as a record for future generations in Shrewsbury. 

Her 'Life in Lockdown' series catapulted Shrewsbury into the national spotlight and appeared on the BBC News website and in My Shrewsbury magazine, among others. She went on to photograph pets on doorsteps, yarn bombers in Castlefields, the VE Day street parties and Christmas Doorstep Portraits, capturing a wonderful flavour of life during this strange year and the community response to the virus. Birgitta is now planning to revisit some of her Doorstep Portrait families as restrictions ease, to bring the project full circle. 

She hopes that by Kickstarting Doorstep Portraits - The Book, she will raise funds needed to turn the project into a coffee table book that will serve as a historical record of these times. 

Every pledge has a reward from £3 for a limited edition postcard to £130 for your own doorstep portrait, book limited edition signed print and postcard. Once printed, 15% of the profits from the sales of the book will be donated to The Shrewsbury Foodbank and copies will be donated to Shrewsbury Library and The Shrewsbury Archives.

Birgitta explains: "The book will be a collection of all the doorsteps portraits taken during the pandemic, as well as reunion photos, providing a full circle picture of how this global pandemic affected our small market town in Shropshire.

"Three weeks into lockdown and I was starting to struggle with my mental health. Away from friends and family, in this weird isolation, I lost my photo mojo and my anxiety and depression were swiftly on the rise. Having barely left the house for three weeks, even for the recommended daily exercise, I eventually forced myself to dust off my mojo, my camera, and my bicycle and get back outside.

"I didn’t set out to take doorstep portraits, only to ride my bike along the path that runs alongside our local river and photograph our beautiful town. On the way home going down the street where I live my friends were sitting out in the sun and I felt inspired to photograph them. I shared them on my photography page and our community page on Facebook and suddenly were people requesting me to take their doorstep portraits too.

"I decided to go ahead photographing portraits in my local neighbourhood adhering to all the UK guidelines. I didn't charge for any portraits and instead asked for donations to raise funds for The Shrewsbury Food Bank instead. I chose the Food Bank because of my own experience of the incredible help they give in times of difficulty to people in need of that extra support.

"With the Christmas doorstep portraits added to the project by the end of 2020, through the generosity of our community, £2500 for the food bank. The Doorstep Project has been received with much affection, and it is one of my proudest achievements to be able to not only have raised spirits during a difficult time but also funds for The Shrewsbury Food Bank. I hope you'll consider backing this community project."

To help Birgitta turn her Doorstep Portraits project into a book, visit her Kickstarter page here

Birgitta Zoutman Doorstep portraits