ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – For James Durbin, the Oilfield Photographer, the Permian Porch Campaign is more than just a fun family photo. It’s represents a community that will always be there rain or shine, boom or bust.
“This project has just solidified what I already knew about this area that people come together in good times or bad, ups and downs, boom and bust, this is a community that helps each other and that rallies around each other,” said Durbin.
“We have the perfect storm of COVID-19 and the oil bust that’s going on. It’s fun to see neighbors reaching out to each other and seeing how they can help. As we social distance it has almost become more socially involved for us,” said Benjamin Waites, who got his family pictures taken Friday afternoon.
Durbin says he may have the skills behind the lens but it took a village to make the Permian Porch Campaign possible.
“Things had really just crashed and we had some companies that stepped up immediately and gave money right away to get this thing going and funded and it was amazing to see who really stepped up when times were tough.”43
The project is simple: Contact the Oilfield Photographer, schedule a front porch photo-shoot practicing social distancing, and donate to the non-profit Oilfield Helping Hands. The organization is raising money for oilfield families during this time and Katie Grimes, the President of the Permian Chapter, said this campaign has brought in $3,000 in just a few short weeks.
“We’ve been able to help people that have been laid off because COVID-19 is a crisis and it’s unexpected and the the oil prices fall right in there with that so it’s been a blessing to be able to help these people that normally we wouldn’t be able to help,” said Grimes.
The Oilfield Photographer has also lost work during this time and being able to still do what he loves while helping his community means a lot.
“Getting to meet these families, hearing their stories, meeting their kids it’s just been a really neat thing to sort of bring home that we’re all in this together. No matter what jobs we have or what we do here in the Permian Basin this is all a struggle that we share,” said Durbin.