…Now say that all 5 times fast. 😂
As a photographer, creative, extrovert, American, etc etc whatever… I’m trying to do my best to do the #stayathome shit as well as continue to express my thoughts and emotions in things like photographs and relationships.
One of my absolute idol photographers is currently in lockdown over in Italy, and as been sharing some webcam photoshoot sessions he’s been working on since he legally and physically cannot photograph these models in person (@alessioalbi on IG). His images were captivating and still felt nothing short of his own creativity and talent as a photographer. It displays ‘the resilience of art as a whole’ to endure these kinds of times, and pull a truth or message or whatever from them that we as artists are able to translate.
I did the webcam thing myself yesterday, with the wildly talented/ charming/ creative Amanda Morales. It felt *~SO~ circa 2000, and we were both soooo about it. About 17 beautiful images were taken, with 3 totally different scenes/ moods… all in the vicinity of 15-30 feet of one another, and all shot in only 30 minutes.
Creating: How We Did It
Set it up.
Simple. We obviously set up FaceTime on our laptops, and made sure our wifi was connection as strong and clear as possible. Beforehand we rattled off a few ideas, along with inspo photos and moods. She had some neat props and outfits in mind, as well as a nice setup with the backdrop and some outdoor scenes in mind.
We knew we were both trying this for the first time.
That gave us a lot of creative freedom, IMO. We were both like, lol, no idea how this is going to work. Let’s try this. Let’s try that. It was just fun and weird. I was like, yeah dude, do your thing here. Stand here, move like this, grab that. etc.
Know what you’re working with.
Since webcam quality typically isn’t that great, factors like direct lighting (whether sunlight or heavier artificial light, but we used all natural here) make a difference. I made sure to direct her in ways that played with the harsh sunlight and harsh shadows (something I personally like to do in my work with my cameras anyways) to give a certain look. Though I’m absolutely and unashamedly an iPhone photographer, this is still not a medium I’m used to. I believe that also really pushed both of us to try different things as creatives, because we had to learn how to set things up and move certain ways.
We also knew this webcam was going to have a certain early 2000s visual and nostalgia to it (nostalgia for us who have lived much life on oovoo and Skype during youth). We took advantage of things like the wide angle for the sky and tulip shots, and the “stuck at home” feel around the house with the settings and emotions.
Afterwards I made sure to post process the photos with edits that brought out the true webcam aesthetic of our beloved 2000s, giving much homage to our valuable past of “growing up during the age of having 2,000 facebook friends”. Because nostalgia is my style.
It was our first time meeting somewhat IRL, we had DM’d back and forth some ideas to shoot soon, but with everything going on it put a pause on our previous ideas. Personally I had always admired her aesthetic, how she expresses herself through various different means [such as writing and modeling] showing a lot about what sets her apart as an individual. I noticed she liked the photos Alessio Albi did, and I was like… yo. Let’s try it. I have some ideas. So we did! She had great visual ideas for settings, and fun props + outfits to match. I directed and captured visual shots/ scenes while she did her thing, and got some cool stuff out of it. We worked together and she munched on pasta during and we laughed about life and just had a cool time.
I personally enjoy collaborating a lot because I’m a people person. LIKE… I STINKIN’ JUST LOVE PEOPLE. I’m constantly inspired by those essential details & unique facets that make up an individual’s existence. Every moment in life is also like a movie moment to me, a movie we’re all in… hence why I’m often kinda dramatic in person and in writing. But also in my photographs.
These images make me feel like I was able to still this moment in history, and say something about it. Say that art is resilient. Say that we as people, as creatives, are resilient. Say that we won’t just be stressed and anxious and worn down, but that we will endure and fucking make it COOL and use it to heal. To say whatever the fuck we feel like saying right now.
May you continue to say what you want to say, and do what you want to do, with your own means. Collaborating is practically essential right now, in so many different ways. We need each other, and we need to express. So… IDK, Try a webcam photo session, record music via phone calls, try a different art medium, try a different hair color… whatever. But don’t let this all stop you!
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts and images from this ‘mini drama’ experimental take on the current pandemic turned creative, COVID-19.