02:05PM, Thursday 14 May 2020
Sophie Balchin with her bike Betsy which she brought three weeks ago
A self-employed photographer is taking portraits of her neighbours on their doorsteps and balconies to create an album for charity.
Sophie Balchin, 29, from Osbourne Road was forced to cancel all her photoshoots when the pandemic hit.
“That was a serious loss in earnings which has affected my income massively and made it very difficult for me to pay rent,” she said.
She was inspired to create the photo album when taking part in the weekly clap for carers on Thursday.
“My balcony looks over so many rooftops right up to the castle and it got me wondering about the stories behind each of the doors.
“I thought that I would be able to cycle around Windsor taking pictures from a safe distance of people on their doorsteps and create it into a book which I can then sell and make money for charity.”
Once the album is completed the proceeds will be split between NHS Charities Together and Thames Hospice.
Sophie spread the word of her idea on Facebook where she asked residents in Central Windsor to contact her if they were interested in having a self-portrait taken on their balcony or doorstep.’
The response was ‘amazing’ and Sophie has been receiving messages every few minutes.
“Going around Dedworth on VE day was particularly special as I got to see all the decorations up and people celebrating on their doorsteps.
“I have really experienced a wonderful sense of community around Windsor.”
Since the Government announced easing of some lockdown restrictions, Sophie is booking photoshoots but only outdoors and everyone at the session must be from the same household.
She is hoping to compile all the photographs next week to send the album to the printers.
The album can be purchashed here www.sophiebalchin.co.uk when they are available.
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