Smiles from a social distance: San Rafael photographer captures snapshots of neighborhood COVID-19 shelter-in-place

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- During the Bay Area shelter-in-place order, a North Bay mother is on a mission to capture this unique moment in time with her camera, bizarre as it is, she's getting lots of help from neighbors, friends and even strangers.

They are the photos of our new reality. Families sheltered at home, captured by amateur photographer and parent, Cristen Wright.

"I just started thinking, this is historic," said Wright.

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Weeks ago, Wright grabbed her Canon camera to document life with family -- her husband and four daughters.

"I wanted to make sure I remembered it, the hard times and the good times," Wright added.

It started with quick two-minute, 'no contact' photo sessions of friends and neighbors in her Marinwood neighborhood, then friends of friends started calling.

"Saturday was a big day, I got on my bike and did 13 families," she said.

The result has been images of families on front lawns and porches -- smiles from a distance.

"I can't tell you how many families have said, it's been so exciting just getting dressed," said Wright

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There's pictures an impromptu driveway dance recital and joy from mom-to-be.

"Connecting with people in other ways is amazing, makes me feel good that others find joy in it too."

Cristen Wright could be charging families big bucks for these candid closeups but she's not taking a dime.

"I'll take payment in smiles to pay it forward," Wright said.

Life in pictures, a snapshot of these strange times.

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