When One Door Closes, Take a Doortrait

Siona Singletary

In this, our new self-isolated world, now more than ever we need to be reminded of things in the world that are beautiful, creative and well, just hopeful. 

Cue Sydney based shutterbug Jim Barker, who created a photography series called Doortraits. Doortraits takes the linchpin of our current forced separation and uses it to bring us together. Thanks Jim.

Doortraits, what are they? Traditionally (as traditional as an Instagram hashtag can be) is quite simply, a photo of a door. The intrigue comes with the mystery; where it leads to, which country it’s in and who is on the other side. And seeing as right now most of us are at home, the humble front door has never had so much attention. We’re spending considerably more time on one side of it than the other and it’s going to be a learning curve for the next 90 days or so.

This is where Jim’s evolution of the Doortrait swings in to save the day and bring a smile to our faces. He says of the project: “It shows our common humanity – no matter our age, social status, tax bracket, postcode we are all, to a certain extent, at the mercy of a common household item – the door. We’re on edge, but we’re in control. Weird stuff is happening all around us and to us but we’re rolling with it right now.”

For Jim, this project has been all about following and trusting his creative thoughts, he’s basically just the puppet at the end of the idea’s strings and watching it play out has been “awesome”.


Some highlights from the series include:

Danny in Bondi. “While not symptomatic, Danny was tested for COVID-19 as a precaution after he hosted the wedding where an estimated 40 people were infected. He was expecting to get the results back the day we made this photo. They came back negative.”



Rae, a journalist in Erskineville. “I caught her between a radio spot and recording a podcast from home. Her partner came out to give me a hug and we both reminded him “no touching!”



And very importantly, Momo the business cat in Rozelle. “He’s not done a lot of work today – just slept on the job, really. Still wants to get paid though, of course.”


You can view the whole series here and if you wish, use #doortraits for your own photos and become part of the latest iso-movement that’s rolling out over the next few weeks on Instagram @_doortraits. If you’d prefer the man himself, he’s available in the Sydney area to capture you in your very own front door.

Social distancing rules and regulations apply. Photographers included, submit your work, Jim is also down for collabs.

As we face an extended stretch of life inside, know that hope remains; it exists all around, especially at the end of your hallway.


TEDxSydney 2020 will take place on Friday 6 November 2020. Read more

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