In the News
The Herald Journal Friday, May. 01, 2020
Taking pictures is more than a craft or creative pursuit for fine-art photographer Maria Ellen Huebner of Logan. It’s a way to connect with people. During the coronavirus pandemic, personal connection has become harder than ever, but Huebner has devised a way to bridge the gap created by social distancing with a series of photo shoots she calls the Portrait Porch Project. The photos show local residents at the entrances and through the front windows to their homes at a time when many are staying home. And Huebner uses her skills as a black-and-white, documentary-style photographer to capture individuals in a straightforward fashion in their natural environments. In other words, these are not your typical dress-up family portraits where everybody says "cheese." In fact, Huebner tells people not to make any special preparations for her before she shows up at their homes with her old-school Leica Rangefinder camera and her 7-year-old daughter, Olive, who has been serving as her assistant. In exchange for letting her take their pictures and post them on the internet, Huebner gifts her subjects all of the digital images taken in the session along with a print of her favorite image of them on fine-art paper. In this way the Portrait Porch Project is doing triple duty for the USU fine-art photography instructor: as a documentary series, as a way to connect with people, and as a public service.
“It’s a project purely based on kindness and meeting new people,” Huebner said in an interview with The Herald Journal. “I also hope people are inspired by the images, even though they are very simple. There is a realness about them I want people to walk away appreciating.”