Life In Lockdown

Documenting the world in lockdown

Using FaceTime to create remote portraits of people in lockdown around the world

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. 

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

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.

“We met working together on the Melbourne trams in the 90's. I returned home to New Zealand and we lost contact. 20 yrs later Ian tracked me down and our relationship blossomed. We made the move together to beautiful Nelson (NZ) just over a year ago. Not long after Ian was diagnosed with cancer. On the 02/02/20 we were married. We first heard about Covid-19 whilst in Christchuch where Ian was having a stem cell transplant. His low immunity made it very scary.  We arrived home a week before lockdown - 26th March - For us this was a relief and a blessing. 6 weeks on we feel safe isolated in our wee bubble.” 

Jolie De-Gaia and her husband Ian Gunter at home in Nelson, New Zealand. April 2020
“We met working together on the Melbourne trams in the 90's. I returned home to New Zealand and we lost contact. 20 yrs later Ian tracked me down and our relationship blossomed. We made the move together to beautiful Nelson (NZ) just over a year ago. Not long after Ian was diagnosed with cancer. On the 02/02/20 we were married. We first heard about Covid-19 whilst in Christchuch where Ian was having a stem cell transplant. His low immunity made it very scary. We arrived home a week before lockdown - 26th March - For us this was a relief and a blessing. 6 weeks on we feel safe isolated in our wee bubble.” Jolie De-Gaia and her husband Ian Gunter at home in Nelson, New Zealand. April 2020

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

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. 

“As we enter our 8th week of lockdown we wait like everyone else, eating too much and exercising too little. This photo was taken on a Monday morning and we are both wearing our lockdown business attire. Though money is a little tight we feel very lucky to have pets and a backyard in New York - they help to keep us sane.”

Jackie Dee and Dominic George, Brooklyn NY, May 4th, 2020
“As we enter our 8th week of lockdown we wait like everyone else, eating too much and exercising too little. This photo was taken on a Monday morning and we are both wearing our lockdown business attire. Though money is a little tight we feel very lucky to have pets and a backyard in New York - they help to keep us sane.” Jackie Dee and Dominic George, Brooklyn NY, May 4th, 2020

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

- Fernando Alvarez Busca, (Spain)

Jared and Emmaline Chan at the hotel room in Melbourne. This is their last day in Australia and they will be going into a 14 day quarantine separately upon their arrival in Kuala Lumpur. April 26th, 2020
Jared and Emmaline Chan at the hotel room in Melbourne. This is their last day in Australia and they will be going into a 14 day quarantine separately upon their arrival in Kuala Lumpur. April 26th, 2020
FaceTime PhotoShoot - Felix Bürkle Essen Germany
Felix Bürkle, Essen, Germany. He spent 14 days in quarantine but is now free to go out. April 19, 2020.

"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

"To come up here is an instant mood-adjuster for me. For the photographer in me - the light here is always great, even when it’s not! The highest point of the building, and has the widest uninterrupted views of the city (here looking south). I’ve been in quarantine since March 17 and this is my closest ‘out’ from home since then. In lockdown there isn’t a better place to escape to." Vivek Raj Singh, Mumbai, May 6th, 2020
"To come up here is an instant mood-adjuster for me. For the photographer in me - the light here is always great, even when it’s not! The highest point of the building, and has the widest uninterrupted views of the city (here looking south). I’ve been in quarantine since March 17 and this is my closest ‘out’ from home since then. In lockdown there isn’t a better place to escape to." Vivek Raj Singh, Mumbai, May 6th, 2020
“Being in a busy occupation that keeps Benny traveling all the time, it’s a rarity that we often spend this much time together. Quarantine life has allowed us to explore new areas of our marriage and helped us to communicate better. We are grateful for this time together and fill the home with light-hearted activities  to keep our spirits  up. Music, good food and conversation bring us so much joy during this stressful time.“ 
Benny Dayal and Catherine Philipe Dayal in Mumbai, India. April 2020
“Being in a busy occupation that keeps Benny traveling all the time, it’s a rarity that we often spend this much time together. Quarantine life has allowed us to explore new areas of our marriage and helped us to communicate better. We are grateful for this time together and fill the home with light-hearted activities to keep our spirits up. Music, good food and conversation bring us so much joy during this stressful time.“ Benny Dayal and Catherine Philipe Dayal in Mumbai, India. April 2020
Monica Haim, Arron Kallenberg and Leo Zion Kallenberg. Homer, Alaska, April 29th, 2020
"Arron's hometown is Homer, Alaska. I was born in Bogota, raised in Miami, and have lived in NYC for almost 30 years. Arron and I met in NY, which is were Leo was born  at the end of last year after 12 rounds of IVF! After throwing so much of ourselves into having him, when Corona happened, we decided we didn't want to take any chances. So, the third week of March — and after Arron managed to convince me — we packed up our apartment in Brooklyn, put our stuff in storage and flew to Homer, where we've been ever since." - Monica Haim, Arron Kallenberg and Leo Zion Kallenberg. Homer, Alaska, April 29th, 2020
Michal Monka and Yossi Ghinsberg, Caesarea, Israel.
Michal Monka and Yossi Ghinsberg, Caesarea, Israel.
“I’ve been in lockdown alone since March 11. As a sound engineer I have been confined many times either in studio or art-residency to prepare shows ...so in a way it’s more a regeneration than a pain.”
Samuel Petit, 2020, Paris. May 7th
“I’ve been in lockdown alone since March 11. As a sound engineer I have been confined many times either in studio or art-residency to prepare shows ...so in a way it’s more a regeneration than a pain.” Samuel Petit, 2020, Paris. May 7th
Angie Ramani-Rohart and 
Ludovic Rohart on Diani beach, Kenya.
Angie Ramani-Rohart and Ludovic Rohart on Diani beach, Kenya.

Where on the planet are you on lockdown?
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