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Milwaukee teacher uses photography to inspire during pandemic

NOW: Milwaukee teacher uses photography to inspire during pandemic

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(CBS 58) -- The click of Kellie Krawczyk’s camera is making its way across southeast Wisconsin.

“Oh that’s beautiful, love it,” Krawczyk said taking photos of a young woman in her graduation cap and gown.

Krawczyk is traveling all over, documenting during the pandemic through photography.

“I’ve been as far as Racine and Burlington and, of course, the East Side, Riverwest,” Krawczyk said. “I’m not really a professional photographer. I took film photography as a hobby and I haven’t really picked up my digital camera until this happened.”

She’s talking about the pandemic. When the COVID-19 arrived, Kellie started taking photos free of charge.

“My idea was to put images on Facebook that were comforting to people to break up the scary stuff,” Krawczyk said.

Krawczyk said she has taken about 300 photos now. Each one comes with its own story.

“The first, very first photograph was of my mom and it made such an impact on me because we are together all the time and when the Stay at Home Order came out, that changed completely. We spoke through the window. Just seeing her photograph made me feel like we were together somehow,” Krawczyk said.

Krawczyk also spoke about a woman with a special request for her photo.

“Her name is angel. I had never met her but it turns out we do have some mutual friends. She contacted me and said please come and take a photograph of me with my oxygen tank and she had never allowed anyone to take a photograph of her with her oxygen tank but she wanted to show people there was a lot at risk,” Krawczyk said.

Krawczyk said she also wanted to support area businesses during the outbreak.

“LuLu is one of my favorites so I wanted to highlight some of the small businesses. I got a few in the collection,” Krawczyk said.

Krawczyk also shared about a comical photo in her collection.

“As I’ve been taking photographs, the pets have been pretty prominent. This particular dog pushed his way into the photograph and just about knocked the family over. It was hysterical… This family is amazing and the father is a firefighter. You know, he’s on the frontlines on one side and at home he’s got this beautiful family,” Krawczyk said.

She also explained the significance behind one of her favorite photos.

“Oh Kelcey! That’s one of my favorites. It got more likes than any other photograph because her baby was born the first week. I think the week of March 16th and she couldn’t have a professional photograph taken in the hospital,” Krawczyk said.

While her “Through the Window” series is coming to an end, Kellie said it’s exactly what she, and so many others, needed.

“Now that things are opening up, it’s time to shut it down. It’s at an end,” Krawczyk said. “I did it because I wanted to do something to contribute to our situation. Artists are doing things to bring comfort and joy to people and I thought, that’s what I can do.”

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