The West Lake Porch Project

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

WEST LAKE – Aimee Edgcumbe wanted to do something for her West Carleton community during these strange times. So, she volunteered her time and skills to take family portraits. With a very long lens.

The idea is something sprouting around the globe during a very strange time often referred to as The Porch Project. The Porch Project has been growing nationally during the COVID-19 pandemic and a time of physical distancing. Photographers are visiting their neighbourhood, going door-to-door and taking family photos. They are donating their time and skills and providing their neighbours with a lasting memory during a strange time.

 Edgcumbe, owner of Aimee Caroline Photography, moved to West Lake roughly a year ago last October.

Her husband Adam had a new job with General Dynamics and the couple moved to the West Lake community, just off Carp Road.

“When we first moved here our realtor left us an email from the community association,” Edgcumbe told West Carleton Online yesterday (April 6). “It was about their annual Hallowe’en event. It was such a fun community event. A couple of months ago, I broke my ankle. My husband was at work. I put one text out and I had six people at my doorstep helping. They’re always there when you need them, no matter what. This community is amazing.”

Aimee Edgcumbe made sure to respect physical distancing guidelines during her family photo shoot. Photo by Bahareh Tabrizi
Aimee Edgcumbe made sure to respect physical distancing guidelines during her family photo shoot. Photo by Bahareh Tabrizi

So Edgcumbe wanted to give back. Knowing everyone would be locked in their homes last weekend, Edgcumbe sent out an email to see who would be interested in taking part in her West Lake Porch Project.

“Like everyone else, I’m trapped in my house,” Edgcumbe said. “I’m a raging extrovert. Our neighbourhood is so amazing and we’re so social here in West Lake, I said I can take a walk, keep my physical distancing, and do my small part to keep the community going. Luckily, I have a really nice, long lens. It’s important we still maintain our distance. The quicker we do this, the sooner we’ll be back out doing our thing.”

Edgcumbe grew up in Hanover, ON, where she knew photography was “always something I wanted to do, even as a kid.”

Edgcumbe has been working professionally since 2001 through her business Aimee Caroline Photography.

“My dad was the town historian,” Edgcumbe said. “He instilled in me the want to preserve history and this is how I do it through my art.”

Edgcumbe said 13 families took advantage of the free photo shoot.

“It was so fun for me,” Edgcumbe said. “A little bit selfish for me because I got to visit all of my neighbours. It was a great way f or us to feel we’re all together in this. We’re not alone.”


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One thought on “The West Lake Porch Project

  • April 9, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    From a local photographer:

    The last several weeks have been tough. Tough because hundreds, no, thousands of people around the globe have fallen ill, and sadly many have passed away, from the terrible virus that has plagued the earth – COVID-19. Here in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced that as of March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., all non-essential businesses are to cease. Well, photography (and certainly photography involving humans) falls into that non-essential category. For many of my fellow photographers, and myself included, this meant that numerous already-scheduled sessions would be postponed or cancelled altogether. Weddings would either not be photographed, or would need to be postponed. Newborn sessions (typically photographed in the first few weeks) will be postponed. Maternity sessions might be postponed, or may not even happen at all. BUT… we all realize that while documenting these precious moments is an honour and a keepsake for families, it is not the be all and end all. To avoid putting ourselves, our families, our clients and the public at risk, we as an industry realize that now is not the time to be working for charity, even if we distance ourselves from the subjects. The old saying ‘there is a time and a place’ really fits right now. So… we put down our cameras and we wait. We stay home.