Museum launches pandemic ‘portraits’ initiative

Photos of Sandpoint families in lockdown will be part of COVID-19 history archive

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

The Bonner County History Museum is joining forces with local photographer Kiersten Patterson to launch “Sandpoint Porchraits” — an initiative to photograph Sandpoint families on their porches and then include those images in the museum’s COVID-19 archive.

Patterson said museum volunteer Carlie Johanson reached out to her after seeing the photographer’s #SandpointSpeaksHope project, which highlights local businesses as they navigate the pandemic. Together, Patterson and the museum are creating the “porchrait” project, which will turn the spotlight to families as they follow the statewide stay-at-home order.

Photo by Kiersten Patterson.

“It was something we both thought would be inspirational for generations to see in an exhibit years from now,” Patterson said.

Families who apply for a photo session must be located within a mile of Sandpoint and be available noon-6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, when Patterson will make the rounds and take photos while following social distancing guidelines. Patterson said the photographed “families” need not be traditional — it can also be an individual with their pet, roommates or simply a person on their own.

A digital copy of the image will then be given to the subject(s), as well as filed into the museum’s official COVID-19 collection — made up of photos, writings and oral histories chronicling North Idahoans’ experiences during the pandemic.

Each photo session costs $30 and half of the proceeds will benefit the Bonner County Historical Society.

To learn more and sign up for a photo session, visit, hover over “At Home with BCHS,” and select “Sandpoint Porchraits.”

Those with questions can email [email protected]

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