Lotties in Lockdown | Documenting quarantine without leaving the house

May 1, 2020

What do you do when you’re a family documentary photographer in lockdown with no families to photograph? You start a collaboration with your 9 year old daughter to make photos of her Lottie doll family instead! … and so the Lotties in Lockdown photo series was born.

Meet the Fleming Family:

Living just outside London, single Mum, Amber Fleming, is isolating with her 3 kids; 15 year old teenager Florence and 8 year old twins Humphrey and Hattie. We were granted exclusive access to document the life of the Fleming family as they adapted to the changes brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. 

Doll family at breakfast time for Emma Collins Lottie Doll project

Humphrey is starving, Amber’s lockdown rations just aren’t cutting it. In an attempt to curb the constant moaning she decided to cook a big fry up for breakfast, but things never go to plan in the Fleming house…

Two dolls playing dressing up for Emma Collins Lottie Doll project

Amber Fleming is wondering how she is going to cope with her 8 year old twins at home. All. The. Time. There are pens and paper all over the kitchen floor, felt pen on the Moroccan rug, she found tissue paper on her bottom and now the twins are wrecking the sitting room. After a moment of refocus she realises the benefits of imaginary play and relaxes with a cuppa whilst a frenzied sword fight ensues…

Two dolls having a water fight for Emma Collins Lottie Doll project

Cabin fever is running high in the Fleming house. The weather unseasonably hot, so Amber decides to throw the twins in to the garden for a good old fashioned water fight. For a fleeting moment coronavirus was forgotten and everything seemed normal again…

Two dolls doing PE with Joe Wicks for Emma Collins Lottie Doll project

It’s a small miracle, Florence is dressed and downstairs in time for PE with Joe Wicks at 9am. Amber congratulates herself for mastering the homeschool routine and peeps her head around the living room door to admire her work. But while the twins put their heart and soul in to the routine, the lazy teenager is found lounging on the sofa…

Two dolls in a bathtime scene for Emma Collins Lottie Doll project

Without having to venture out in to the real world, it seems 10 days have passed since anyone in the house had a bath or shower. The situation needs addressing. Whilst Amber and Florence take turns in the shower, the twins take advantage of the lack of supervision to see if they can splash bubbles on the ceiling.

Two dolls in a kitchen scene baking cookies for Emma Collins Lottie Doll project

Like much of the UK, the Fleming family have turned to baking to pass the time. With Hattie’s help more of the mixture ends up on the floor. Amber is not letting it bother her, no one can come to visit so she is enjoying being able to embrace her inner slob.

Background to the Lotties in Lockdown photo series:

My youngest daughter and I began ‘Lotties in Lockdown’ to combat boredom. It gave us something fun to look forward to during the extensive UK lockdown. As a documentary photographer, normally busy photographing real families, it provided me with a way to photograph a family without leaving the house. For my daughter it was an activity that kept her busy and allowed her to indulge her creativity. But best of all it was an incredible way for us to connect and collaborate on a creative project.

Here’s a little clip of all the work that goes into setting up one of our miniature scenes, tucked away into a little corner of my bedroom! To see the finished photo from this behind the scenes clip, and other new images showing what the Lotties got up to during the pandemic, check out the full series here.


I need photos like this of my family!

Has this has inspired you to want your own family captured in a documentary way? If you would you like to invite me into your home to observe how you work together and to capture unique, playful, funny and touching images of your real family life, let’s chat.



  1. Lotties in Lockdown | A mother and daughter pandemic project - […] For a little peek behind the scenes have a look at this blog post. […]

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