A local photographer has raised over £3,600 for a children’s hospice by offering free ‘doorstep portraits’ to families around Salford during lockdown.
Lian Cunliffe, known as ‘The Snapper Photography‘, decided to put her skills to good use by offering portraits for hunkered down families in return for donations to a children’s hospice close to her heart.
St Francis House, which is based in South Manchester, cared for her friend Samantha Lillico 16 years ago. Samantha suffered from a rare bone cancer called Osteosarcoma.
“It has become a bit of a catalogue of photos of the local people!”
Since starting the portraits in April, Lian has completed 250 mini shoots around Salford, raising 300% more than her initial target of £1200.
Lian spoke to Salford Now about her six-week fundraising effort, which saw her doing up to 10 photoshoots a day.
She said: “At the start I was going here, there and everywhere, but as the demand grew, I would map out my times so I could walk down the street and people would come out ready for me so it got easier as time went on.
“When you hear other people’s stories and reasons for why they wanted the portrait, it wasn’t just to have a doorstep photo, it was to raise money for the charity as well.
“People tell me they saw their friend have a photoshoot so they booked one.
“It has become a bit of a catalogue of photos of the local people!” she chuckles.
“It’s a massive moment in history, so for us as photographers why would we sit at home and waste our skills when we can get out and about to encourage people to have a reason to get dressed up?
“For the photography world it has been tough, all the weddings have been cancelled, all the functions that are usually happening.
Whilst weddings have been cancelled all around the country due to coronavirus, it has not stopped people from making plans for them. Lian was on hand to capture one couple’s special moment.
She said: “That was a memorable moment to be a part of.
“I knew beforehand, obviously the girlfriend didn’t know so I arrived, we did a little photoshoot and then made them face each other and he got down on one knee.
“All his family were round the corner with champagne bottles and confetti.”
Lian’s fundraising has not gone unnoticed by Francis House, who have thanked her on their website.
Karen Flower of Francis House said: “Not only has Lian raised an incredible amount of money for the hospice, she has selflessly given weeks of her time making other people happy during this incredibly difficult period in all of our lives.
“The photographs she has taken will be cherished forever. On behalf of Francis House and the families that we care for, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Lian and to the family of Samantha for enabling her story to be told.”