Good Neighbor Stories

Photographer Captures Quarantine With Neighborhood “Porchraits”

Written by Shannon Toliver

Tony Drewry from Fort Worth, TX recently made the big decision to quit his day job and become a full-time musician and freelance photographer. However, just like the rest of us, he never could have predicted the current state of the world due to COVID-19. 

Tony found himself in a tough position with little work and lots of spare time. He came up with a creative side-hustle to not only build out his portfolio, but to also capture this strange moment in time with a historic photo journal. Tony posted on Nextdoor to offer up drive-by family “porchraits” for neighbors and families that were quarantined at home and feeling restless. The result of his post? Over 140 photoshoots of neighbors at home around his local community.

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Photo of Tony by @brianhutsonphotography

He documented these “porchraits” with black and white photographs inspired by the photographers of the Great Depression, and captured many of life’s special moments along the way. In return for this fun project, some neighbors offered Tony donations and tips while others offered toilet paper, paper towels, and even sanitized six-packs of beer as a thank you. 

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Tony was honored to snap some photos of Raphael at 4 days old. His parents welcomed him to the world on April 4, 2020 in the middle of the coronavirus quarantine. 

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He also captured several birthdays, but Esme’s birthday was an extra special surprise party! She walked out of the house onto a fully decorated porch complete with fancy ice cream cones and a photographer to pose for. 

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This newly engaged couple had to cancel their photoshoot, so Tony stopped by to take some unique photos for their save the date announcement. 

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This neighbor reminds us that even during quarantine, you can look fabulous! 

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Finally, Tony made sure to get a photo of his parents on their 47th anniversary, but was surprised when they came out wearing the same outfits from an old photo to recreate the moment when his dad proposed to his mom while serving in the army.

Even during this challenging time when neighbors are physically isolated, Tony has been able to meet plenty of new neighbors and friends at a safe social distance while creating memories to look back on for years to come. Follow Tony’s journey at @drivebyporchraits on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Howdy amigos, I'd like to introduce a new series I'm calling "Drive-by Porchraits" (Porch + Portrait = Porchrait!) Through this project, my goal is to capture the lives of my family, friends, new friends, and a few willing strangers during this unusual moment in time, whereas humanity as a whole is taking unprecedented measures to flatten the curve of the virus now known worldwide as COVID-19. . Strange times indeed, but even in the worst of times life goes on, and it's important to recognize the beauty and simplicity of it, for in the end it's the only thing that truly matters. You, your loved ones, your journey. . I'm still in the process of shooting and editing and intend on getting to a certain point before I share any of the images captured. This is important because for one, I didn't want any of the photos taken to influence the next photos I take so that each one would be unique. Another reason is that the greater purpose of this project is document this time for historical purposes and gather stories, thoughts and data from a variety of people to tell the incredible story of us, for now and later. . One more really important point to note is that every photo I'm shooting for this series is captured from inside my truck out on the street of people who are sheltering in place in their homes, at a minimum 20 foot distance. I've gone to great lengths to be able to make this project happen safely for myself and everyone during our collective efforts to practice social distancing. If you have specific questions, please ask. . Intrigued? Stay tuned.

A post shared by Drive-by Porchraits (@drivebyporchraits) on

Note: for up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), refer to official sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


To connect with your local neighborhood, please login at www.nextdoor.com.

For more like this, follow @Nextdoor on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

18 Comments

  • Beautiful pictures!!! They show who the real Americans are and how they handle stress. The younger ones are learning by our example.

  • This is a great story! We have to encourage generosity and kindness, and Tony is capturing history while giving back to his community. Way to go @DriveByPorchraits!

  • Oh my goodness! What a wonderful idea! Photographing and documenting “history in the making+!! Love it!!

  • I just loved this story. What a great idea and some really beautiful and memorable photos. Awesome Tony. Keep up the heartwarming work.

  • Hope you will create a wonderful album of these challenging time and make it available in the future to everyone. This will become a wonderful remembrance of these awful times when we tried to make the most out of a terrifying new enemy. Cheers !

  • Those pictures brought tears to my eyes. With all that is happen now, the photos reinforced to me the “truly” important things….LOVE is the first thing that came to my mind…Very precious pictures!!!!

  • I was having a sad day and then I saw the photos and especially the HOT tattooed chick in the hair rollers and I will laugh all day at her uninhibited moxie, to pose. I love it.

  • This is a nice story, with interesting photos. Love the Nextdoor Neighbor site — it is helpful in many ways within the community, especially the referrals for me. I don’t participate in any other social networks EXCEPT Nextdoor! I hope we can keep it clean and forever!

  • What wonderful pictures, so many people in the moment, thank you, I am sure it makes many people smile and bring tears to their eyes like me.

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