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Ankeny Photographer Gets Creative in the Name of Social Distancing


ANKENY, Iowa — Nowadays social distancing is becoming the norm. A small business owner in Ankeny is using the six feet distancing rule to help others in the community and giving the community a way to support local businesses.

Normally during Springtime, Abby Martinez’ schedule is packed. This season, things are a little different. She teaches full – time and owns a photography business on the side. Right now, her schedule is wide – open so is the distance between her clients and camera lens.

“Of course with everything going on small businesses are taking a hit and we’re not able to book those sessions. This is way to stay back from people but also document because hopefully this a once in lifetime thing we’ll have to go through and live through,” says Martinez, owner of Abby Ann Photography.

Martinez is offering special mini photo sessions where her clients stand on their front porch and she photographs from the sidewalk or curb. She got the idea after seeing something similar on Facebook and the response was overwhelming.

The Schadwick Family thought it was important capture a photo of their family of four during the pandemic.

“My kids have never lived through a monumental moment and so I think when they look back on these in 20 – 30 years and show their kids they will say wow,” says Jill Schadwick.

Other families say the photo-shoot gave them something to look forward too after days of being cooped up inside.

“There obviously isn’t a lot going on. It’s fun to have a reason to get up and get dressed today,” Mindy Green smiled.

The unconventional idea was brought on by the times forcing small business owners like Martinez to get creative in hopes of generating a little bit of extra of income.

“The small businesses right now and with folks not being able to work, we were looking for a way to turn around and give back to the community,” says Mark Jacobs.

Abby Ann Photography isn’t charging any family who books a “social distancing session” but is encouraging free will donations. A portion of the proceeds will go toward metro families in need struggling to make ends meet.

At a time when the virus is creating a divide between life as we knew it and today’s reality, a photo is a memory even a pandemic can’t take away.

“I really want people to look back on these photos and just think even though these times were uncertain we were able to find some joy in the family time they had together,” Martinez says.


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