Say Cheese!

Local Photographer Launches #TheFrontStepsProject

By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D. • Photo Courtesy of Roger That Photography

Photo By Roger That Photography

Roger Baumgarten first heard about #TheFrontStepsProject through his friend, Leigh-Ann Rietzer. She told him how a photographer in Massachusetts had started taking portraits of families—literally on their front steps—as a way to celebrate family, life, and community during the Coronavirus quarantine.

“I thought it was a wonderful way to focus our attention on the good things still happening, as well as support those in our community,” says Baumgarten. “I wanted to be a part of that here locally, and my only thought was, I’m in!”

Since March 24, Baumgarten has offered safe, socially-distanced portraits of families in their neighborhoods around Harrisburg, Cumberland County and the Dillsburg areas.  He uploads the photos to an online gallery where families may order digital downloads, prints and other photo gifts. And he’s taking all proceeds from online sales made during #TheFrontStepsProject and donating them to the Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region.  

Since starting his local initiative, Baumgarten has photographed more than 200 families in 24 neighborhoods and is looking at photographing more. 

Photo By Roger That Photography

“My business is effectively shut down for the duration of this emergency, and this is the perfect opportunity to lift families’ spirits while supporting a worthwhile charity that is doing so much to support those in need,” says Baumgarten. 

“I encourage other area photographers to join this effort,” adds Baumgarten. “While a Boston-area photographer established the Front Steps Project, I would be thrilled to see it adopted by photographers in communities across the capital region and nationwide.”

Baumgarten is the owner of Roger That Photography, a business he founded in 2009.

For Baumgarten, an accomplished professional photographer with more than three decades of experience in public/media relations, it’s all about bringing joy to those during a period of self-quarantine. 

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