Life In Lockdown

the world in lockdown

FaceTime PhotoShoot - Felix Bürkle Essen Germany

Using FaceTime to create remote portraits of individuals and families in lockdown around the world as a document of this historic time.

The lockdown imposed on all of us due to the corona virus is indeed very challenging but it is also a huge wave that forces us to think out of the box and find new ways to stay relevant and positive.

I make a living as a photographer and when the world started closing down I saw all my assignments get cancelled. 

It is not only the fact that my business came to a complete stop but as an artist, I had to find a way to stay creative during this time and produce meaningful images that could keep me inspired. 

The lockdown made everyone stay home and gave us a lot of time to touch base with old friends across the globe. After all, everyone is home, we have the time and technology enables us to see each other on our smartphones. My children take this for granted but it was considered science-fiction when I was growing up. I wanted to find a way to document the experience of lockdown around the world through a series of portraits of families or individuals, while I myself am also unable to travel. 

I started looking at options to remotely operate a phone camera and found that shooting FaceTime screenshots was the easiest way to do it. 

It is an exciting process in the middle of isolation and the people I photograph are fully involved in creating the story and the composition. 

We usually start with a video call and they show me around the place and we explore the options together. We aim to shoot when the light is good, and if good light is not available we make adjustments and play around with whatever people have at home.

Even the low-fi quality of the images has a nostalgic feel. It is like the old Polaroid use to be. With a little treatment we can make a nice print of these and whether you are locked alone or with family, this is a great memory of this unprecedented time in history.

"Good to be part of something positive and creative in these crazy weird times." Nicola Bannon, London, UK

"Sephi made us feel part of this global community that is gradually taking conscience of its own existence"

- Fernando Alvarez Busca, (Spain)

"I really love your idea of making such a global work, reaching humans on such a diverse range of continents yet all in a common situation, that of a global lockdown." Jolie De-Gaia, New Zealand

In normal times this kind of project would take a lifetime to produce, and I’m not even talking about the cost of travel. This project has zero-emission and took three weeks of work. From my home in Goa, I travel all over the globe and have the opportunity to meet people in countries that my Israeli passport does not allow me to go to. 

This virus does not discriminate between passports, religions or race. It does not care how much money you have in the bank, or how influential you are. We are all one. If there is one lesson that we could learn from this time, let it be it.