The following is a re-publication of an article about a photo shoot that I did for my wife during the COVID lockdown. These portraits have been re-shared hundreds of times since I first published them, and I am blessed to have received numerous messages of support and praise for their “disruptive creativity.” while some have called this set of images a “beacon of hope.” Many of my colleagues have even asked me for the original images to print and remind themselves of what can be achieved with limited resources. I am humbled by the response, and I thank you all!
The original article can be found below.
How well this phrase translates to creativity during social isolation.
Time unhinged from its normal framework, and space-constrained to one’s home, this is a period of creative ambivalence: the concept that negative space, as expressed by lack of human connection, and deprivation of creative resources – can, and will, lead to something positive.
For me, just like with so many others, my “lockdown world” has shrunk to a unitary universe – that of my other half, my wife. In moments, during this lockdown, I have loved my little universe with an intensity that is new to me.
This photoshoot of her as my muse is my most meaningful photography session to date because it took place at a time when creating art felt like the most powerful balm amid corona claustrophobia. The result was a delicate photo shoot that reflected two decidedly intimate states of mind: the melancholic calmness caused by isolation, and simultaneously, the deep devotion and connection towards the one I share isolation with.
Imagination is unleashed by constraints, and innovation is a creative person’s response to limitation. Under normal circumstances, as an editorial photographer, I have the privilege of working with accomplished stylists and designers. Forcing myself to be fully involved purposefully and personally, was a lesson in authenticity, connection, and courage. In absence of a gown, I foraged Queen Anne’s Lace wildflowers and created a top for my muse by gluing it on her back with the only thing available as skin glue: glucose syrup. I also created an ethereal skirt using some spare tule. What had attracted me to Queen Anne’s flowers was their delicate, lace-like feature, and at the same time, the vociferous beauty of their blooms.
Indeed, just like in the case of these blooms, the corona crisis is filled with duality: as Anne Boyer wrote, there can be positives in the negatives; there can be an abundance of possibilities in limitations. Deep connection can be found in seclusion. There is eloquence in silence! And the mighty force that makes all this possible is none other than… love!