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Photographer documents families quarantining; finds community, happiness

A wedding photographer says she expected to find boredom and isolation.

MCKINNEY, Texas — Wedding photographer Brittany Bay has lost out on work and was bored at home.

“I definitely had tons of panic at first,” she said. “I’ve just been finding projects around the house and I was like, 'I can’t do this for a whole month.'”

One night she had an idea to ask neighbors in her McKinney community Facebook group if she could document their quarantine, and she got more requests than she could handle. 

Then, she found something she didn’t expect: smiles.

“When we go on Facebook and we see so much negativity constantly it’s like beating us down, that’s all I’ve seen for the last two weeks,” she said.

She drove around, spending about five minutes photographing families at each home. She used a long zooming lens to help her capture families from far away and even inside their homes as they opened their doors. 

The photos serve as reminders that there’s still light in a historically dark time. There are families playing with pets and kids making funny faces. Community conversations are still happening in driveways. Kids are coloring with sidewalk chalk.

“It turned into something beautiful. It brought my spirits up so much,” Bay said. “There were still people riding their bikes and going for walks and I was like 'OK, we can live through this.'”

The simple parts of the everyday normalcy are still there.

“It was just really nice to see so many smiling faces through all of this,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to find happiness.”

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