Building Local Ties During a Pandemic


As time expands further into this coronavirus reality, it’s easy for people to become complacent. Especially in a state like Minnesota where the pandemic casualty news hasn’t coincided with what we hear is happening in other states and around the world.

But LocalTies contributing photographer, Michelle Schmidt of Michelle’s Portrait Design, has seen another side ~ people who continue to take Governor Walz’s “Stay at Home” order seriously. With these community members’ blessing, Michelle is documenting their efforts with portraits of the families outside their home specifically to encourage neighbors, friends and family to stay safe by staying at home.

“By taking family pictures – from a very safe distance and outside – we are sharing this movement to communicate we are all in this together,” Michelle says. “Even though we’re home now,  we can still connect, we can continue to check in with one another. And we can do it safely.” 

Even prior to this surreal health event, every contributor to LocalTies has had a united passion for creating and strengthening relationships, for it is this local tie that bonds us together and maintains a safe and wonderful community.

If some day soon you see Michelle Schmidt taking pictures of your neighbor in front of their home, chances are it’s to continue spreading the word. “I’m grateful to everyone who is doing the right thing, for doing their part,” Michelle stated. “It’s been cool to witness families find the blessing of being home together. By showing others you’re staying home, it will hopefully encourage others to do the same. Even if we’re asymptomatic, we’re keeping the virus contained. We are all in this together.”