Arts
Coronavirus
Yellowknife

Get a socially distant NWT family portrait, through your window


A Yellowknife photographer is offering local families portraits through their windows as they follow coronavirus pandemic advice and remain isolated at home.

Pat Kane, one of the North’s best-known photographers, said the project began as a joke from his wife – but is turning into a hit with the city’s residents.

“It was actually Heidi’s idea, my wife,” Kane told Mornings at the Cabin on Friday. “She was like, ‘You should do portraits of families through their windows.’ We were laughing, and then – wait a second. That’s a great idea.

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“We put it out there as a joke and people are totally into it. I was shocked. So now I’m taking bookings.

“I did four shoots yesterday and I have five today. I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life.”

Darcy Bourassa

Darcy Bourassa at home. Supplied by Pat Kane

As of Thursday, Kane said he had taken more than 30 bookings for the socially distant portraits, which primarily show families and couples gazing uncertainly through living-room windows.

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“It gives people a mental health break, and myself as well,” he said.

“But it’s a super-serious thing and we’ve got to be wary that we’re not making fun of it. It’s a bit of a privilege for me to go out and do this kind of thing.”

As of Thursday evening, the NWT had recorded no confirmed cases of Covid-19. So far, 222 tests of people in the territory have come back negative.

Kane said he’s charging “$20 or $25” for each shoot “so I can help pay the mortgage once in a while.”

The shoots have an element of slapstick to them. Yellowknife windows are often triple-glazed for insulation in the territory’s harsh winters, meaning the photographer – standing outside – must yell and gesticulate to get his models inside to cooperate.

“It’s quite ridiculous,” he admitted.

The broader concept, however, may yet become an international project. Kane says he has heard from professionals worldwide who are taking similar photos.

“This could be some kind of exhibit or an online thing,” he said.

“There’s talk of doing a really big collection of photos like this that might be worldwide.

“This is actually a good documentation of what’s happening right now.”

To book your portrait, you can contact Pat Kane via Instagram or email.

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