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Ashleigh Malangone

When the pandemic first required people to stay at home, one local photographer decided to practice her craft from a distance while helping others.

Ashleigh Malangone, of Ashleigh’s Studio, and daughter-in-law of Meg Malangone, TBR News Media’s receptionist, said she was collecting masks, donating food and supporting local businesses as much as she could but she still felt helpless.

“Perhaps I will never feel like I’ve done enough given what our heroes sacrifice each and every day on the front lines, but I was committed to doing the best that I could,” the Setauket resident said.

Her feeling of helplessness inspired her to create a PORCHrait Project. She started spreading the word on social media that she would come to people’s properties and take photos of them and their families. She then donated the fee, which families paid for through Venmo, to the Three Village Central School District’s food pantry. 

Malangone dedicated a week to the project and photographed more than 75 local families. In that one week, she raised $2,600 which she used to purchase $25 Stop & Shop gift cards to give to the pantry.

 “It was such a beautiful experience and such a wonderful success,” she said. “I met so many lovely families, and it was a win-win for all. I got to continue to do what I love, the families I worked with had a fun excuse to get dressed and now have a tangible memory of their time at home during quarantine.”

The photographer said in addition to subjects paying via Venmo and maintaining a 6-foot distance, she would spend just 10 minutes at each property and then email three or four edited images within 24 hours to the families.

Malangone said the most important part of the project was raising money for a good cause, and she found everyone’s response heartwarming.

“My slogan was: Team Work, Dream Work!” the photographer said.

Malangone said after her weeklong dedication to the fundraiser, she still receives inquiries for PORCHraits. She said she has added the photo session as a permanent option for her clients, and about once or twice a week, she still heads out for quick, social distancing photo shoots for residents who want a keepsake of this period of time.

“I’m loving it and feel really grateful for the smiles this project has brought to me and so many others,” she said. 

To book a PORCHrait photo session with Malangone, email [email protected].