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A Lee County photographer is using her talents to do something she loves, capturing special family moments while supporting the medical community.

Audrey Cross began taking family front-yard photos in her neighborhood Monday to bring a little comedic relief to families.

“I think just seeing people have fun and kind of, it’s a moment that’s a relief of stress,” said Cross, who is the daughter of Opelika-Auburn News Editor Troy Turner. “We’re able to just distract ourselves for just a few minutes and just have some fun.”

She usually takes photos of weddings, births and families, but recently she decided to use her talents to help support those closest to her.

“My husband is actually an ER nurse at one hospital, and he’s a trauma nurse at another hospital,” Cross said. “So, between just seeing his hands and then seeing my best friend, who’s an EMT, she sent me a picture of her hands, and they’re just like completely raw. They’ve just had to wash their hands so much.”

She decided to then use her front-yard sessions as a way to raise money to donate hand creams to local hospitals.

“I’m basically taking all of the profit I make off of the sessions and not keeping it, but, in turn, I’m purchasing hand creams and giving them to the hospitals,” Cross said. “I’ve partnered with two hospitals so far and the nurses on both floors are like ecstatic that these lotions are coming.”

Cross understands that each family’s finances look a little bit different right now, so she’s just asking families to pay what they can.

Cross first posted some of her front-yard photos on her Facebook page Thursday.

That post had more than 155 likes, 45 comments and 40 shares on Facebook by Friday.

“It’s taken off,” Cross said. “I’m actually booked to do five other neighborhoods.”

She has taken about 20 family photos so far with more than 30 photo sessions scheduled for over the weekend.

“People are having so much fun,” said Cross.

The photosCross takes all of her front-yard family photos with a zoom lens from her car to help main social-distancing standards.

She gives families a date and time of when to be out in their yard. Cross pulls up in her car and begins capturing the moments.

“People are having so much fun,” she said. “I think people are just like loving that they’re able to give back but at the same time have something just kind of unique and quirky to remember this crazy season we’re in.”

Cross says most of the families come up with their poses, but she will offer advice from her car.

“I’m able to kind of yell from my car if they ask for suggestions or I’m like, ‘OK, move out of the shadow a little bit,’” she said.

For families who want to take front-yard photos with Cross, the best way to schedule a session is by reaching out to her on Facebook, Audrey Cross Photography.

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