• Ninety Six Oak

Omaha Family Front Steps Photo Interviews || COVID-19's Impact

Updated: May 6

On March 18, we put up a Facebook post about Front Steps Family Photos and Interviews - how we'd like to give free sessions to those celebrating birthdays in March-April. Before we knew it, we had 40+ people respond to the post. We said YES to everyone who replied and it expanded to more than 80 families total. We quickly saw how this could bring a shimmer of light to a challenging time.

I asked each family a few questions so there could be a bit of depth behind the photos themselves - to showcase and create a deeper community connection during this quarantine. They gave permission to have their photo/responses/# public. Some share lighthearted, sweet sentiments about what they've learned while in quarantine, while others share a look into what it means to be in the healthcare industry right now. Circumstances vary tremendously from person to person.


We are all living a different story - There are SO MANY more people I'd love to do these photos and interviews with to give a broader representation of who/what Omaha is all about. People are struggling. Some of us no longer have consistent, reliable work (ourselves included). Some of us are non-stop working to save lives and to keep our world clean/safe. Some of us are counting blessings to have job security and an option to work from home safely. We want to hear from everyone. How has COVID-19 impacted your life?

Feel free to reply in the comments.

Photos might be considered 'non-essential' right now, but we wanted to give back in the best way we know how to during this time. If me making squeaky noises so your dog will look at the camera can make you smile amidst this tragedy, bring it on. We just wanted to give people something to cherish and reflect on in the future.


Not everyone has a roof over their head, running water or a warm meal, so we need to stay thankful for the things we tend to take for granted. And we need to do all we can to help and take care of those who are not in the same place as us. Let's start a ripple effect of compassion and love more than ever right now. No matter how much or little you have, you can always share and help others in one way or another. Maybe you don't have extra money to give, but you have your time. That's one of your most valuable assets. You can give your time to help a neighbor with yard work, your time to read to your kids more, your time to check in with more phone calls...

More ideas on helping our Omaha community, visit https://shareomaha.org/covid19.

(These photos were taken around the Omaha metro from Bennington, Bellevue, La Vista, Council Bluffs, Papillion, Plattsmouth, Gretna, Underwood, Iowa.)

Okay, we will let you see the sweet photos now. Thank you for letting us be your photographers and videographers. We care about you with all our hearts, Molly + Joshua Giangreco hello@ninetysixoak.com

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family? "Just this week COVID-19 has personally impacted our family. My great-aunt was 94 years old and living in a assisting home in Des Monies. Last week she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pass away on Monday. No suffering, no pain, just one last exhale. And finally, peace. I work for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Nebraska. COVID-19 has impacted our business especially with the restaurants and bars in our community being closed for the past weeks. I have been working from home for 7 weeks now and homeschooling our daughter for 6 six weeks. Life is way to short and we were running all the time to different family or friend events. We now go on a walk each night, play games and love spending time just the three of us!" - The Barney Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis? "To remember this unique time with our family & to remember to see all the good that happens even during hard times. My kids & I have spent more time with my husband than we ever have. Life has slowed down & we have been able to catch our breath & just do ordinary things together at home. It has been challenging to not see our family & friends, but has brought us closer together as a family." - The Matson Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family? "I’m a high school teacher, so it has been really hard for me to cope with the fact that I won’t see my students again. I am changing professions, so sadly I won’t even get to say goodbye to my kids. Always make sure you take care of your home life first. Tend to your own garden and water it daily. Surround yourself with an amazing support group who you can truly count on." - Emilia Force + Family

"I originally thought being at home long term would be extremely difficult, but the silver lining has been a tremendous amount of really wonderful family time. My sons would normally be playing baseball and we'd all be running around busy, but instead, we're just home and (mostly) enjoying it. There are still plenty of daily challenges, but the togetherness has turned into a surprising family gift I want to remember. The biggest challenge has been the isolation for the kids. It's been hard to be away from school, away from sports, and away from all their friends. They've gotten along shockingly well, but I know they're dying to go over to another house and hang out with other people. Clearly teachers should all be paid a million dollars! But for us, we're reminding each other to be grateful every day that we're safe, healthy, happy, stable, employed, and fortunate to able to get through this together." -The Strotman Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

My husband is working from home with out 2 small kids due to their daycare being closed. I am still going to work in healthcare, but our hours are being cut because patients coming to the hospital has greatly decreased.

-The Burgher Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family? "I'm a DJ, so all of my events have been cancelled/postponed indefinitely. My husband was working from home, but was laid off 3 weeks ago. I have two graduating seniors that have both missed out on prom and won't have a graduation ceremony. I'm also a student at MCC and was supposed to graduate in May, so now I don't get to walk to receive my degree either. But the biggest upside to all of this, has been my family actually getting to spend time together!" - The Forrest Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis? "Three of our children are keeping journals during quarantine, so a family photo seemed like a beautiful addition to their keepsakes. Also two of our four children celebrated birthdays turning quarantine-coming up with creative ways to celebrate those milestones when we can’t have our traditional celebrations. It's not always easy and hate what’s going on outside but have loved what happened inside our home! No rushing out the door, every meal planned and eaten together, praying as a family & the creativeness of everyone to keep busy! I’m sure we’ll jump right back into everything when this is over but as a mama I’ll savor these days together!" - The Arlen Family

"There are the obvious challenges of balancing a little one at home while both my husband and I are working from home. The bigger impact has been when I choose to look at the positive - I am getting family time and time with my son that I otherwise don't get (I work full-time and he attends daycare). We are slowing down our schedule and learning to relax more and be present. I know we are incredibly fortunate because my husband and I are both able to work from home and still have our jobs, and I try to be grateful for that when this all gets to be difficult and discouraging. I am a professor, currently teaching remotely from home. We needed to slow down our schedule. We need to be present, enjoy the time together, and not go back to the "busyness" of the day to day that we had before." - The Frans Family

"We were unable to have newborn pictures taken for our new baby boy. We wanted to capture our new family together. It has been very difficult with a newborn. We have had lots of worries about keeping him safe and healthy. I am a teacher. I am on maternity leave, however, my kids at school are receiving online instruction. Family is everything!" - The Blessings Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis?

"We weren’t able to do 6 month photos for our baby and wanted to capture this time when so few family and friends were able to see Piper grow. Our jobs were not affected except that we now work from home instead of an office. You can create happiness and joy from any circumstance by focusing on the good!" -The Akert Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"I'm still going to work as an ICU RN in Tele-Health and support front line RN’s in the ICU units. My biggest challenge is not feeling like I’m doing enough for them in this challenging time.  My husband owns his own security alarm company and has been able to work on new construction when others are not around. Our daughter and 5 year old granddaughter live with us and we’ve had to be really creative to keep the little one busy!" -The Berry Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis? We needed a family photo and we are working from home. One lesson we learned from going through an in-home quarantine is to be patient. -The Busing Family

We lived a very social life before the quarantine. Whether going out to eat or hanging out with family we were always doing something. We love to travel & actually had to cancel our trip to Washington when this all started. Our new norm has been cooking meals at home, playing Dominos, Zooming with family, taking walks & binge watching Netflix. A struggle has been not being with our friends and family. Not being able to celebrate birthdays or holidays together. We have learned there is no certainty & to never take things for granted. " - The Martin Family

What has been your greatest lesson or takeaway from going through COVID-19?

It’s truly just to SLOW down. Life is too fast. This made me appreciate forming bonds in new unique ways with friends and family. We came up with creative ways to celebrate birthdays, Easter, tuning in to church on Sundays on the weekend and really taking in the time to learn and absorb that week’s sermon. This time helped me reflect on my own personal growth and helped me work on myself. We took up the opportunity to learn to cook different things we’ve never made. We’ve gotten take out on takeout-Tuesday to support our favorite local restaurants. -Laura Behrens

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

My husband has to still go to work and that has been a challenge as he could be exposed to it at anytime. Online learning for my 9-year-old has been challenging too as she needs structure, routine and a teacher in front of her and that she gets from going to school. Being home schooled now, we tend to slack and she misses out on socializing with her friends. As a family we have a busy social life and now with everyone being indoors it has been hard on us. We spend a lot of time together as a family playing board games, spending time in prayer, just having time for each other as a family and most of all, learning to be tech savvy. -The Rodricks Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family? Social life? Any challenges you've had to overcome or are still battling?

"My biggest battle has been homeschooling a kindergartner and 1st grader while caring for 5 month old twin babes. 😬 I am in management at T.j. Maxx. We are currently shut down but I am lucky to work for such a wonderful company! For being such an introvert and a home-body, I sure do miss normal human interaction."

-The Weixelman Family

"We are due for our first baby June 1st. COVID-19 has really impacted the experience of preparing to be first time parents. We had to cancel our baby shower, my husband can't come to appointments, the fear of the unknown, and not being able to celebrate baby with family and friends. I am an elementary special education teacher. We have been teaching remotely. I miss my kiddos so much! In some ways it has taught me the importance of slowing down and taking time to do the things that make you happy. It has also taught me not to take the precious time we have with our friends and family for granted. Also, I will never hope for a snow day again! Haha!" - The Cozad Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family? "Mentally! And having a four year old who doesn’t quite understand why she can’t go to the park has been tough. I'm in child care—I am furloughed currently. But we are learning that family time is the best time!" - The Herman Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis?

"It's incredible to say the least of what is happening in our country and other countries currently. This is our new home, new dog, and new experience we are going through. This Front Steps session will allow us a memory we may not have had the opportunity to capture on a regular day to day. What a way to remember this global pandemic."

- The Hawkins Family

What is one lesson or takeaway you've learned from going through an in-home quarantine?

"Kids are resilient! And we, as humans, are all adaptable.. it doesn’t take very long to adjust to a new normal if you have an open mind." - The Griffiths Family

What is one lesson or takeaway you've learned from going through an in-home quarantine?

"I feel like we have gotten back to what truly matters. We always say there's not enough time. Well, now we have all the time in the world. We have had more nerf gun wars , dinners at the table, and dance parties in the kitchen than we ever have before. I think a take away for me, is that when this is all over, to remember to give all the fear to God and keep pursuing the relationships in life that truly matter." - The Kelly Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis?

"It’s a huge thing that happened during our daughters first year of life so it was worth capturing!" -The Gillespie Family

What is one lesson or takeaway you've learned from going through an in-home quarantine?

"Make time to see your loved ones and stay connected. It’s what will get you through the weird times." -Kelly Jefferson

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family? Any challenges you've had to overcome or are still battling?

I have lost my job and have never received unemployment. I have emailed tons of people and still no answers. Being in quarantine with my kids has taught me that I am not a teacher. But I try my best to be the best mom I can be.

-The Matthews Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"Recently my husband and two youngest were very sick. They was being treated as presumptive positive. I laid in bed at night watching them breathe to make sure they weren’t getting worse and thanked God every morning when they woke up. It was an extremely scary and stressful time but, They are doing so much better now and have fully recovered." -The Trofholz Family

What is one lesson or takeaway you've learned from going through an in-home quarantine?

"To always make time for friends and family no matter how busy things get again. We don’t always have to stay on a schedule and enjoy the walks and talks with family and friends more than ever! Also cherish every hug!!!!" -The Cunningham Family

Any challenges you've had to overcome or are still battling due to COVID-19? "In addition to adding a newborn, we have a 9 year old son. Having just returned to work full time in January from maternity leave and an additional LOA for Natalie's care all while being diagnosed with post partum anxiety and working through those challenges, I was only back to work a full 7 weeks before COVID hit and I became a work from home, home schooling, daycare running Mama. My husband and I have both experienced hours lost in our jobs, our son is super active in sports and activities, we're active in our church, and to go from extremely busy to extremely secluded, these last few months have without a doubt, been the most challenging of our nearly 15 years together and 9 years as parents. I heard recently to simplify your life in order to simply live your life. That spoke volumes to me. I cannot control what I cannot control. But I can make things more simple, in order to live more simply. Not over complicate any of this. Because I can't change it. I'm not the perfect mom. I'm not a teacher. As much as babies need their Mama, she gets really sick of me all day long, and that's OK. My son and I are polar opposites most days and he drives me up a wall, sometimes toward a cocktail on a Tuesday. At 4:55 PM. They still love me." - The Rusch Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"Our life is turned upside down! No school for my oldest and no daycare for my youngest. Add Working from home on top of that and we’ve got a mad house! Haha, but we are loving the time together as we’d never have this much time together otherwise." -The Lindsey Family

How has your job been impacted?

"Sam works in Procurement for a large food company in Omaha. Work has really picked up to ensure grocery store shelves are stocked across the country. Abby works with Nebraska’s nonprofit community and is working to ensure organizations have the support and resources needed to meet community needs during these uncertain times. We are both thankful our jobs allow the flexibility and safety of working from home."

- Sam + Abby

Has your job been impacted?

"Yes, we are in the entertainment/restaurant industry so we are currently not working or getting paid."

-The Phelps Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"Luckily we still have our jobs, but my husband's travel has gone from 50% down to 0 (I don't hate that part!). We are struggling with only having childcare a maximum of 3 times a week. I'm a homebody who already worked from home, so the social distancing isn't too much of a shock." -The Wojcik Family

What is one lesson or takeaway you've learned from going through an in-home quarantine?

"Give myself grace. I had a baby in October and it has just been a whirlwind with trying to work full time from home, taking care of 3 kids all while my husband is at work."

- The Lafrentz Family

What’s a lesson or takeaway you’ve learned from dealing with an in-home quarantine?

"Be empathetic. Be selfless. Everyone handles these times differently and we have to be there for one another." - The Long Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis?

"I think that it will be something sweet to look back on. Everything online is so negative so it’s be nice to have something like this to smile about." -The Stangl Family

Has your job been impacted?

"Yes, I'm a hair stylist and we are closed down right now." - The Kulp Family

What’s a lesson or takeaway you’ve learned from dealing with an in-home quarantine?

"Most importantly, to remember this pivotal time in our society. Where hopefully families will become closer, friendships will become stronger, and we will all remember the true meaning to living this life together." -The Franks Family

How has your social life changed?

We are usually movers and shakers, we go to restaurants and events. This has really dampened our moods at times, and made us stir crazy. We have friends all over the US, and have had Zoom happy hours. At each one, we've all said "why haven't we done this before?" So COVID-19 may have started a way for us to stay in touch better. We're making efforts to support local businesses in different ways & we are finding creative ways to enjoy ourselves-puzzles, cooking new things, walking into different neighborhoods. Yahoo's pay it forward series had Dave Matthews last week, so we ordered sushi from Yamato, got a moscow mule kit from Proof, and Eileens cookies, all for delivery, then streamed the concert."

What’s a lesson or takeaway you’ve learned from dealing with an in-home quarantine?

"Don't take time and those you love for granted. It feels like an obvious lesson and one we all know, but this time has been the ultimate reminder. The ability to travel, to go out to dinner, to see your friends, to hug your loved ones... All of that is now on hold without much understanding of when we'll be able to return to "normal." Things we took for granted—without even really understanding that we were—are now the very things we crave. There will be a day where we'll return to the very things we're missing now, and hopefully we all have a deeper appreciation as a result."

How has your life shifted because of COVID 19?

"We have become a homeschooling, work-from home, eat a home-cooked meal kind of family! Amazingly, our family has been together almost 24/7 for the last 3 weeks (apart from the few trips for essentials such as groceries). This is quite a change from our normal routine as a family composed of two working parents and kids in different schools! We have learned so much more about one another through all this quality time." -The Mayo Family

What lesson have you learned from this?

An in-home quarantine is teaching me the lesson of gratitude. There are so many things I have to be thankful for that from day-to-day do not always get appreciated. I am so thankful I love who I’m quarantined with and the home we are quarantined in. We are blessed to have plenty of food and clean water. I remember telling my husband that we are so lucky to have clean water to wash our clothes, take a shower in, AND to drink. That is huge, and I am grateful.  -The Balkovics

Was your job impacted by COVID-19? "Yes, I run an in-home hair salon so I'm not able to work at this time. I'm learning to enjoy the little things right now." -The Adler Family

Have you experienced any changes in work? "Unfortunately, my husband’s job requires him to still go into work but he is taking all the precautions. My job is an truly grateful that I am able to work remotely. We take the dog out as much as possible for walks and hit the grocery store to get out of the house." -The Eby Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"I'm a nurse. Being pregnant & working the front lines with the all the fears and anxiety has impacted me." -The Bedel Family

Have your jobs been impacted?

"I work at a hospital in radiology. My job has been significantly impacted, we learn new protocols every day, take a ton of extra precautions, and as of right now are preparing for the possible surge of patients. Justin is an elevator mechanic and still must go to work every day. He has even worked on elevators in medical buildings and nursing homes throughout the pandemic. We both feel lucky that we still have jobs but it is a very scary feeling wondering if we are doing enough to not bring the virus home to the girls." -The Walmsley Family

What is one lesson you learned from going through a quarantine? "Honestly, I hope that in the midst of all this chaos... people are happier when this is all over! My hope in all of this is that people have learned to enjoy the small things. I hope folks have spent quality time together, decluttered their homes AND minds, practiced a skill, read a book or snuggled their babies with no interruptions. I hope that everyone has learned to SLOW DOWN!" -The Steinke Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis?

"We just celebrated my boyfriends birthday and bought a house a little over a week ago. And we will celebrate my birthday this week. My job (training dogs) has been extremely limited as I teach group classes and go to peoples homes. I taught virtual classes to finish up the last round but we won’t be holding the next ones."

-Taylor Francis

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis?

We’ve never gone through a time like this in our life. It has changed how we do just about everything from church to work to school to family time to grocery time. I’m teaching from home. We are also planning how to virtually teach summer school and what our fall may look like. The future is unknown. Family is everything. It is the most important thing we have in life. - The Bunn Family

What is one lesson or takeaway you've learned from going through an in-home quarantine?

"We need more in home activities that do not include tv and video games."

-The Foust Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"I am a clinic manager at Nebraska Medicine, and these past three weeks have been very challenging. I love working for a healthcare organization that has been at the forefront of helping people. When you work in the healthcare industry, we don't get to shut down or work from home. We've been working extremely hard to still for our patients." -The Andersons

Have your jobs been impacted?

"I work in healthcare. I am not on the front lines but see it from behind. I still go to work and unable to work from home. Fortunately, we are all doing ok. I'm learning family is everything." -The Sweeney Family

Why was it significant for you to experience a Front Steps Photo Session during this COVID-19 crisis?

"Brand new photos in front of our house currently being built would be fabulous and make us so happy welcoming us into our soon to be house! I've been at home the last 3 weeks from work due to being high risk and had almost zero social interaction since then." -The Crows

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"Our daughter was scheduled to get married March 21 with 275 guests coming. On Monday March 16th, with all the different CDC recommendations coming out, we decided to cancel the large celebration. We were fortunate enough to reschedule the wedding activities and reception for August. Love conquers all and to make the best of the situation at hand. There is always something to be grateful for, somedays you might have to dig deep to find it and other days it’s obvious, but you can always be grateful for what you have." -The Milenkovich Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"Its definitely taken a financial toll on us. On top of that the stress of not seeing our family and friends, becoming stay at home parents, and the inability to do fun things as a family. A lesson we've learned from all of this is to appreciate essential workers and value time with loved ones." -The Hubbell Family

How has COVID-19 personally impacted you and your family?

"I am physician assistant in oncology. Still go to work every day and try to be as positive as I can for our patients. Every day I leave my house I feel somewhat sad that I am leaving my family behind. I look forward to come home and hug each one of my kids and kiss my husband for taking care of our family when I can't be there."

-The Goldman Family

The Hirko Family

The Litherland Family

The Miller Family

The Eman Family

The Valasek Family

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© 2020 by Molly + Joshua Giangreco| Ninety Six Oak | Omaha and Destination Wedding Photographer and Videographer | Omaha, Nebraska | 402.321.6610