After football was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Aberdeen FC snapper Stephen Dobson found himself with no matches to photograph.
But instead of hanging up his lens and taking a break during lockdown, he turned his attention to Dons-supporting families – creating memories of lockdown and raising vital funds for charity through his Dons on their Doorstep appeal.
Stephen went on the hunt for willing subjects to pose in their Reds attire – and is donating proceeds from the pictures he sells to the AFC Community Trust.
The organisation has so far raised more than £200,000 for the most vulnerable families in the region through its Still Standing Free Covid-19 appeal.
Stephen said: “I’d noticed a few photographers offer doorstep photos in the region so thought it would a good idea to add a Dons theme to mine.
“When I launched my campaign we were in the peak of lockdown and thought it would lighten fans’ spirits by giving them an excuse to dust down their Aberdeen tops while helping to raise funds fo such a worthy cause.”
He added: “So many fans have have contributed in many different ways to AFCCT’s Still Standing Free campaign.
“Everyone involved has done an amazing job helping fans and vulnerable families in what’s been a very distressing time for a lot of people.
“AFCCT’s place in the community has expanded hugely, it’s important it gets the recognition it deserves and continues to be supported by people like those who bought a Dons on their Doorstep photoshoot.
“I’d like to thank everyone who’s contributed to my campaign, it’s been hugely appreciated.”
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More than 20 families have so far taken part in Stephen’s campaign, which will continue until next week.
Alex Sealy, of Rosemount, who bought a photoshoot for his sons Ruairidh and James, said: “Those dedicating time to the trust should be incredibly proud of themselves.
“When I saw Stephen advertising Dons on their Doorstep photos it provided us with a very small way to give something to the AFCCT while we received something that we can keep for life.
“Our two boys are always keen to put on their Dons tops – they just don’t stay that clean for very long!”
Lynne Gravener, of Ellon, bought the shoot for her daughter Sophie and sister Nicola, of Berryden, who are both season ticket holders at Pittodrie.
She said: “Fundraising is difficult at the moment for charities and we were glad of the opportunity to support a charity that is local, linked to Sophie’s hobby and as well as creating a lockdown memory for her.”
James Smith, of Stoneywood, who was photographed with wife Anna and daughters Victoria and Catherine, added: “When I saw the offer of the doorstep photo for a donation to the trust I thought that was a great way to support the AFCCT.
“It was a bit of fun to get the shirts on considering we haven’t been able to go to any games for a long time.”
Throughout lockdown, the community trust has been helped by a number of fundraising efforts – including a charity single.
Chief executive Liz Bowie said: “This is a wonderful initiative by Stephen and we’re looking forward to seeing and, hopefully, showcasing the photos of fans on their doorsteps.
“Throughout the Still Standing Free campaign, Dons fans and the community together have come together in solidarity to support the club, the trust and those in need across our region through a variety of innovative ideas from Eskimo Blonde’s track “Hang On!” to a 24 hour run and various auctions and raffles.
“This is yet another example of fans and friends of the club volunteering their time and expertise to raise funds for the trust for which we are incredibly grateful.”
To book a Dons on their Doorstep photoshoot, visit stephendobsonphotography.co.uk/store