Lisa Scoville knew she wanted to join the effort to support her adopted Monadnock community when the COVID-19 pandemic response began.
But as much as she wanted to be the type of person who could create protective gear for health care workers and first responders, Scoville knew that wasn’t in her range of skills.
“I wanted to find a way to give back to the community,” she said. “But I can’t sew at all.”
Scoville decided to use her photography skills to take portraits of the many people on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. Her plan is to publish a book of the photos, with the proceeds going to the many small businesses in the region hit hard by the pandemic.
She took a lot of photos of nurses and first responders, then branched out to document the many people who are now deemed essential. That could be a child care worker, a grocery store clerk, an office cleaner, a fuel delivery driver or a postal worker, she said.
“They’re all essential now and at the same time they are trying to keep themselves safe because they have families to come home to,” she said.
Scoville said she’s learned how connected people are, and how essential so many people throughout the region always have been.
“Truck drivers are really essential,” she said.
She recently did portraits of the staff at Cheshire Cleaning, where employees go into businesses, hospitals, schools and other areas to clean and disinfect.
“They’re going into high-risk areas to make sure everyone else is safe,” she said. “It’s little things like that every day that have been eye-opening and humbling.”
Scoville moved to Keene with her husband, Marc, from Tennessee, where he was stationed as a Black Hawk pilot with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
He retired after a 20-year career and started work with Boston MedFlight as a pilot.
Scoville posts the portraits to her professional Facebook page Monday through Friday; small business owners are featured on Sundays.
Examples of Scoville’s work can be found on Facebook at Lisa Scoville Photography.