Richardson photographer has raised $30,000 to help feed those in need by taking family portraits

A Richardson mom is using her talent as a photographer to get her neighbors out of their houses and raise thousands of dollars to help feed the community.

“I was missing out on doing all of my photography work at the time. I wasn’t doing bluebonnet sessions or family spring sessions I normally do,” said Amy Abney, with AKA Photography.

Her life was on hold, but there was so much to capture for Abney.

“This is such a unique time. I don’t think there will ever be another time like this,” she said.

In late March, Abney — a single mother of three teens — started putting her talents into front porch portraits.

Homeschooling during the day, then off with her camera for a couple of hours in the evening.

But instead of clients paying her, she has been asking them to donate what they can.

In about two months, she’s raised nearly $30,000.

“Blows my mind. I can’t believe it,” she said.

Most of it is going to the North Texas Food Bank, which has seen an 80 percent increase in need.

“It provides 60,000 meals to hungry North Texans, so people like Amy are really making a difference for those that we are serving right now during this pandemic,” said Erica Yaeger, with the North Texas Food Bank.

Abney said she tries to schedule several families on the same block in an evening, which is a good excuse for families to get out and socialize, socially distanced of course.

“Yeah, It’s fun. Everyone is across the street making faces as you are taking pictures,” Diana Evans said. “We thought it would be fun and the kids have been cooped in the house. Capture the memories from this unique period of time.”

“We do our air hugs. We can’t hug each other but we hug from a distance,” Abney said.

Abney said she’ll keep at it for a bit longer.

But soon, she’ll go back to work like everyone else.

She just hopes these frozen moments will be a happy reminder of an unusual time.

“I hope they remember the love that was shared between one another,” Abney said. “You know, it wasn’t that bad after all, it was pretty cool.