AN OXFORD photographer set out to put a smile on her neighbours faces by documenting the pandemic through a collection of family photographs.

Carmen Caldera, 51 from Cedar Road in Botley decided to capture the positive moments of the coronavirus lockdown by taking photos of her neighbours dressed up on their doorsteps to document and donate to the Botley Library.

The photographer has now taken more than 70 photographs of families and couples across the Botley area.

Ms Caldera said: “As a photographer I wanted to do something nice during the quarantine because everything on the news every day is so sad. People are bored and they are stuck at home, so I wanted to create something that is not so sad and document something so people can remember this moment in the future. One day I had the idea, why not take pictures of the people stuck at home during the quarantine.”

The photos are being placed in a private Instagram account called botley2020 and they are also being printed as a physical album.

The album will be titled Botley Under Quarantine and Ms Caldera wants to donate the album to Botley Library as an historical memento for the future.

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Ms Caldera described the experience of taking her neighbours photos. She said it was strange for people to meet her at their front doors, as every day had been the same. But when Ms Caldera arrived to take pictures her neighbours had dressed up for the occasion.

She said: “They were all dressed up and just very happy to chat with another human being.”

All the pictures have been taken in black and white, this not only is to give them an old-fashioned aesthetic and to show the pictures are capturing history, but also to illustrate the sadness of the pandemic.

Ms Caldera said: “I have taken the pictures in black and white for two reasons. The first reason is because it is a moment of sadness and black and white reflects that period of sadness.

“Another reason why I was inspired to use black and white was because I was inspired by very old black and white Victorian pictures of families.”

Ms Caldera Moved to the UK from Spain six years ago and discovered her passion for photography.

She said: “I lived in Spain all my life living and working as a lawyer, but when I arrived in the UK six years ago, I could not work as a lawyer anymore because I would need to study again. Then I started to try other things and other activities, but finally I found photography as a hobby and I decided I wanted to start a new career as a photographer.

“I was taking photos for weddings for events, openings, and birthdays. I am still learning something new every day, but it is my passion. I discovered people were so happy with my quarantine photos, I am not the best photographer in the world, but people say it is beautiful and you have captured the feelings and everyone is congratulating me.”