Engaging Community Through Portraiture

At the crack of dawn, before the 4th of July parade, Redwood City locals were ready to unfold chairs at 12:00AM along the parade route. Erin Ashford and her business partner went around and checked out all the styles of chairs, pop-up tents, bbq’s, coolers with rope and blankets people had setup. Since the route rolls right in front of Erin’s studio on Arguello at Broadway it clearly became an excellent chance to meet new people celebrating the holiday.

This year, Erin decided to keep her photography studio open during the festivities and invite locals inside to have their portraits captured in front of a huge American flag. More than ever she felt the need to counterbalance the recent fear-based violence and share her gift with her neighbors. She reached out to her network but encouraged walk-ins, aka she pulled folks in from the sidewalk.

For this particular series, the purpose behind these images was to engage the community in a celebratory image. “My art is a gift that needs YOU to become complete.” For art to be effective, people have to interact with it.

Thanks to Jim Kirkland from Climate Magazine for stopping by, getting a photo and publishing the images above in this months August issue. View the new issue here: http://www.climaterwc.com/read/

The studio also engaged RWC Vice Mayor Ian Bain and his family, Mayor John Seybert and Redwood City council Shelly Masur, 5k runners, chalk artist Marlon Yanes, the Stanford band members, Sequoia high school students, local churches and many more. Thanks to everyone that participated.
Erin has a full service photography studio with many sessions available. Reach out and book your portrait or upcoming event here: http://erinashford.com/#/page/a9ee/book-now-contact/

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