Lake Mills photographer documents social distancing, life at home during COVID-19 pandemic

A Lake Mills photographer is doing what he can to spread positivity, connect families, document the world we are living in

LAKE MILLS, Wis. — Lake Mills photographer Paul Gero knows that social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. As a full-time photographer, Gero’s business has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Gero is keeping up his passion. Partnered with his desire to spread positivity and document families during this unprecedented time, Gero is working pro bono on a project called “Portraits in the Time of Corona.”

“We do portraits outside on the front porch or sometimes through the widow. Those photos have been so amazingly haunting to me,” Gero said. “They’re beautiful.”

Gero said ever since launching the project one week ago, his schedule has been “busier than ever.”

Although Gero is not making money from this, he said he feels compelled to do this to give people something to look forward to in a time where so many people just want to escape this new reality.

“I think we will be totally different once we get on the other side of this and I want to capture this for people,” Gero said. “I think this is an important thing to do to connect with families here locally but also to record this time in our lives so when the kids and the grand kids and their grand kids look back, they have these portraits to see what they were going through at that time.”

Gero follows social distancing rules by standing more than six feet away from his subjects at all times. Gero asks people to stand on their front porch or behind the front windows of their homes, while he takes their picture. Each session lasts about 10 minutes.

“This will give them something to remember,” he said.

In exchange for the rights to potentially use the photos to make a book at the end of this time of social distancing, Gero gives the portraits to the families he documents for free.

To learn more about Gero’s project, you can visit his website here.