Gallery: 34 images chronicling Cheshire life in lockdown

A picture speaks a thousand words for this young school girl, Farrah Armitage. Picture by Sarah Jane

A picture speaks a thousand words for this young school girl, Farrah Armitage. Picture by Sarah Jane King. - Credit: Sarah Jane King

Louise Cuppello and Sarah Jane King capture this unprecedented time in history

Knutsford-based Louise Cuppello, who runs The Bride Tribe, has loved photography since she got her first Polaroid camera, aged nine. She left her career as cabin crew for Monarch Airlines and now captures weddings and families and creates gorgeous images. She has been doing doorstep portraits throughout lockdown to raise money for Middlewich and District Food Bank. So far, she has raised more than £1,000.

“The main reason I started was to document life during Covid-19 while trying to raise funds for people less fortunate than ourselves. I started with a donation to NHS Charities at first but then realised there were other charities who may not have been getting that same kind of support. Middlewich and District Food Bank felt right. Everyone has felt the impact of coronavirus but I really wanted to try and help those people who might be without such a basic thing as food.

“I first started shooting locally but then as the lockdown eased, I was able to go further afield to Hale, Macclesfield and Congleton. I’ve been blown away by how people have reacted to the project – the communities have really come together to help each other. I’ve photographed babies just weeks old, met so many fur babies and sausage dogs, including a particularly lovely one called Simon, couples who dug out their wedding attire for the shoot, others who were supposed to be getting married, and neighbours who are now firm friends.

“Among my favourites, though, were the families who welcomed new babies. These first moments navigating life with a newborn, and babies meeting grandparents for the first time felt incredibly special to be a part of. The whole experience has been wonderful. I feel as though together, as a community, we have documented a part of history that can never be rewritten. Every doorstep I visited was so unique and inspiring and I’m proud to have been a part of a project of positivity that has not only brought people together and filled me with happiness and hope but has also raised money for people in real need.”

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A different view of Tatton: Life in lockdown at the Cheshire estate

Sarah Jane King, Sarah Jane King PhotographySarah, who also lives in Knutsford, has turned her lockdown photography into an exhibition, Life in Lockdown, with donations going to Cheshire Community Foundation’s Knutsford Fund and Covid-19 Appeal.

“It started earlier on in lockdown when we could only go out for one hour of exercise. I used to go out every day with my son for a bike ride and I started to take photographs of small, quiet moments of people in their homes. I wanted to capture the lives of people in Knutsford, the teddies in windows and the pets who were getting many people through.

“I was really inspired and curious about how people were surviving lockdown and managing their lives, not only dealing with the enormity of the situation at hand but their ability to be creative, pass the time and still connect. The first picture I got was of a woman sitting quietly, with all the time in the world, doing a jigsaw. I caught her in silhouette, and I was really pleased with it.

“What would ordinarily be a challenge for a photographer, trying to take pictures on bright sunny days and lots of reflections through windows, has been one of the joys of the project as seeing what is reflected in the windows of people’s houses has also given an idea of lockdown life.

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“I also shot Knutsford Royal May Day pictures of people, taken safely while they were in their homes or gardens, and they really embraced the fun and community spirit of it. What has been really special for me is capturing on camera those special moments that make you smile and laugh, as well as reflect. I feel as if we all know each other a little better and we’re doing something for the good of the community, not just as people, but supporting the Cheshire Community Foundation which is doing so much. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

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