All posts by Russ Campbell

Bringing us together… at your front steps

PLEASE NOTE: THE FRONT STEPS PROJECT: MAYNARD IS ON PAUSE FOR THE TIME BEING.

THOSE THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED WILL STILL GET THE DOWNLOAD LINK TO THEIR PHOTOS.

THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED WILL BE CONTACTED VIA EMAIL TO DISCUSS RESHEDULING AT SOME LATER DATE.

EVERYONE WHO HAS SIGNED UP WILL GET THEIR SESSION.

The consensus among me and my fellow photographers (doing this project in other towns/cities in Massachusetts) is that we should follow the Massachusetts DPH advisory more closely and #StayHome. I will continue to update with any changes here, on Facebook, Instagram, and the GoFundMe page.


A few days ago I learned about Needham photographer Cara Soulia’s “Front Steps Project.” Cara has graciously welcomed me and other local professional photographers to follow her lead in taking our cameras and our hearts to your front steps and make a difference in our respective towns and communities.

These are unprecedented and extremely challenging times. While my fellow Maynard residents are doing their part by staying home, I think it’s important that we know that none of us are experiencing these times alone…. we are all in this together.

Here is my proposal: visit you at your home, stopping for just a few minutes at the edge of your yard to make a FREE portrait of you, your family (or roomates) on your front steps. My hope is that by sharing the portraits I create, I can spread goodwill, perhaps create some introductions among neighbors, and to hopefully lift our spirits a bit.

I’ll text you when I’m on my way. I will take pictures outside and from at least 10 feet away — I will physically touch no one or no thing on your property. I suspect most portraits will be informal, but it’s up to you how to dress. Fancy clothes, casual, sports uniforms, everyone in their pj’s? Whatever you like!

(more below the photo…)

I’m Russ Campbell, this is me, my wife Sherrill, and our dog, Lincoln on the front steps of our home. I’ve been a professional photographer since 1993.

After your session, I will send you a link to a high resolution digital file of your portrait. You can make prints from it, share it with friends, post on Facebook, whatever you like!

With your permission, I will be posting your portrait, hopefully with a lot of others, on Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #frontstepsproject. Please share the posts or post it yourself!

The photo is FREE to you – I make no money and incur all expenses – but I ask that you make a good-faith contribution to the Maynard Community Chest through the GoFundMe campaign that you will get linked to after filling out the form below. All proceeds go to the Maynard Community Chest!

To set up a time for me to take your portrait, please fill out the form below and I’ll reply to you within 24 hours to schedule our session. I’ll be doing these photos towards the end of the day, from 4pm on.

If you live in a neighboring town, pass this idea along to a photographer who is your neighbor, encourage them to do this too! I apologize, but logistically, I can only do this project for my Maynard neighbors.

I look forward to collaborating with you on a fun and creative project and to sharing smiles with our Maynard neighbors. Perhaps most importantly, I thank you for joining me in stepping up to help those in our community who need it more than ever.

Your neighbor, Russ Campbell
Russ Campbell Photography

More information about Maynard Community Chest Inc (Mcc): The Maynard Community Chest (MCC) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that strengthens our community by supporting 19 local charitable agencies that provide a broad range of essential human services to people who live or work in Maynard, MA. We distribute funds to local charitable agencies and also function as a clearinghouse of information for people who live or work in Maynard to access the wide variety of services available to them by the agencies we support. We work together with our Member Agencies to support them in the work they do helping the people of our community. Donate now

This is where the sign up sheet was. We’ll bring it back again after our “PAUSE” – see the note at the top of this page…

Who am I?

I am a freelance photographer who has been making images of people for over 25 years, capturing them at work and play, celebrating life’s most memorable moments and in quiet reflection.

I also take photos of places and things, most often both of those show evidence of the presence of someone, or more than one person…

I am comfortable producing excellent results in natural environments, workplaces, schools, during events, and in the studio. You will find that I approach photography with a sensitivity that allows me to convey the unique qualities of my subjects.

Client list includes: Harvard University, Harvard Business School, The Fletcher School at Tufts University, Cambridge School of Weston, M.I.T., Johnson & Johnson/DePuy, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and the John F. Kennedy Library.

I have also have covered campaign events for those running for Mayor in various municipalities, Senator, and several candidates and sitting Presidents of the United States.

#thefrontstepsproject #thefrontstepsprojectmaynard Update #4

Strange how all this has altered our sense of time, isn’t it? My last update was ONLY 3 days ago but it FEELS like much longer… like a week ago at least.

The donations to the Maynard Community Chest keep rolling in and we are very close to halfway to our $5,000 goal. (if you’ve received your photos and haven’t donated yet, please do so now, here!).

Meanwhile, I’ve been zigging and zagging all over town – somehow always finding myself pedaling over the top of Walnut Street next to The Mill – and meeting so many terrific, kind, and friendly people.

We really live a special place.

Here’s some selections from recent sessions…

Thanks for the Feedback!

With your help we’ve hit $2,330 of our $5,000 goal! Sign up here.

Here’s the Cioni family. Were they happy with their photo? Here’s what they said:

Hi Russ, 
These pictures are so perfect…we can’t thank you enough for including us in the project!  It was wonderful to meet you, and we hope you know that this experience is sure to be one of the things we’ll treasure most when we look back on this time.  We are so grateful! 
Best, Cate, Joe, Joey, Sam & Tommy 

#thefrontstepsproject #thefrontstepsprojectmaynard Update #3

Folks, we are over 1/3 of the way to our goal as of this today! That’s $1845 in one week!

Other stats:

  • 66 people/families have signed up
  • 27 sittings have been completed and delivered
  • 17 sittings are scheduled to be taken
  • 14 signed up and yet to schedule
Does it get any cuter than this?

Here’s the Crossland family, whom I photographed a couple of days ago. Patty, second from the right, is the president of the Maynard Community Chest – she put her money where her mouth is, made a donation and received this super fun photo of her family!

You can sign up for your session here or just make a donation here.

Meanwhile, yesterday morning, I caught up on all of the prior day’s portraits. Then, in the afternoon, I set out on my bike to do six more. That’s me in the lower left with my bike, “Mumen Rider,” over by The Mill.

It’s a single speed commuter bike. Yes: no derailleurs! For most of Maynard, it’s got the perfect gearing but those trips up Butler, Vose Hill and Fairfield Street are really a challenge.

It’s been great pedaling back and forth across town, going up and down streets both familiar and new (to me) and getting a different perspective on a town I’ve grown to love over the last 15 years. Certainly, having the opportunity to make new friends is the cherry on top!

#thefrontstepsproject #thefrontstepsprojectmaynard Update #2

We’ve passed 25% of our fundraising goal, helping make a difference in the lives of our fellow Maynard neighbors through the good works of the Maynard Community Chest! SO many wonderful and kind people live in this town.

45 people have signed up, 20 families have been photographed and have received their photos so far…

Want to participate? Sign up here. (Maynard residents only!) If you live in a surrounding town, see if you can coax a photographer there to start doing this for you and your neighbors!