The current pandemic has killed creativity in some of us, but it made it improved it in others. Some photographers have been finding creative ways to shoot portraits while maintaining the social distance, and Kyle Roper is one of them. He turned the front door of his house into a large format camera to capture “socially distanced portraits.”
Kyle is the producer behind Brendan Barry’s Skyscraper Camera Project. Other than being creative, his “front door camera” is definitely an example of finding the silver lining through limitation and reinvention. He turned his front door into a large-format camera, and his bathroom became a functioning darkroom.
The “front door camera” was inspired by Brendan Barry’s work, who is also a friend of Kyle’s. He also drew inspiration from the work of Dorothea Lange and Francesca Woodman.
Kyle built everything from scratch, including his DIY darkroom bathroom. The camera consists of a magnetic dry erase board, cardboard boxes, dark cloth (Duvatine), a C-stand, some clamps, sandbags, and of course, some gaffer’s tape. For the lens, Kyle inserted a Nikkor-W 300mm f5.6. mounted in Copal Shutter into his front door.
The project started merely as a way to stay creative, have some fun, and connect with friends in the time of quarantine. However, it became quite popular outside his circle of friends. Kyle has taken quite a lot of portraits so far. Of course, his sessions are properly socially distanced, as they are conducted through the front door via a speakerphone.
“When you have nothing but an abundance of time, you take the time and slow things down. You find that these antiquated processes can reveal and create such beauty,” Kyle concludes. He named his series of images Doorframes, and I guess it brings together the best of all worlds: creativity, DIY, photography, and connecting with people. Take a look at some of the photos below, and make sure to follow Kyle’s work on Instagram and Vimeo.