The Lockdown Sessions
By Meda Kessler
Photos by Tony Drewry
Dressing up was optional. Some wore masks, some wore costumes. Everyone had a good time.
Isolated due to the coronavirus, musician Tony Drewry used the time to work on his photography skills. “I ended up taking a lot of photos of my dog. Since everybody was at home, I came up with the idea of drive-by ‘porchraits.’ You make an appointment, and I drive by in my truck and shoot from a safe distance.”
On March 23, he did his first test shoot using himself as the subject. He’s now shot over 150 of the one-off portraits that capture a unique time.
“If I could get people to smile for a photo, I figured that would be a nice little bandage for what’s going on.” It’s a pay-what-you-can project. “I wanted to make this accessible to anyone. If they don’t have any money, I still want them to have a photo. Some gave me rolls of toilet paper and beer as payment. That was OK, too.”
And what started as a way to make a little money and kill time has turned into something more for Drewry. “There are some that have really moved me, people who have lost their job and still wanted to take the time to do this. People have restored my faith in humanity. One guy even chipped in a fairly big chunk of money to pay for others to have their photos made.”
Tony’s family got involved, too. And they had a little surprise for their son. “My mom and dad were like the second or third assignment. Two weeks later, she called me back. This time, she had on the dress she wore when my dad proposed to her. He couldn’t fit in his Army uniform so he held his jacket. They’ll be married 47 years in June, and it was a gift from them to me. I sat in the truck and cried like a baby.”
Follow @drivebyporchraits on social media.