In a time that is dominated by negative news, I wanted to share some positivity!
I believe that as photographers we have been given the gift of telling stories. We create images that are beautiful on the surface, but also give a glimpse into what lies beneath.
How I got inspired to do this project
There is no doubt that the Covid-19 epidemic has and will continue to make its mark in human history for centuries to come. I wanted to document just a little glimpse of it for mine and the other the families in my neighbourhood.
I am a family photographer but in this instance I didn’t do much directing (besides telling the families where to stand) as I wanted to capture just exactly how they are in this moment in time. Some look connected, others more distant, some kids are excited, others are bored. There are different family constellations: caretakers, couples, single parents with older kids, families with younger kids. Some families have their helpers living with them, others their grandparents. Some left the island and others stayed in complete isolation. It is everyone’s own choice on how they create a “new normal” in this unique and difficult time and that’s what I wanted to capture.
I also wanted these pictures to remind my neighbours and friends, not only about the difficult times, but also about the times when we were never closer to our family at home. (Believe me i know), it’s very tough and challenging at times but it still is a unique situation and opportunity for true family connection.
We always say “I don’t have time. I am too busy” and sadly that often also means that we prioritise work over family. Time is what we all desire. It is the most precious commodity we have. Now we have been gifted time. We are forced to slow down, spend time with our family. Despite the challenges it brings, use it wisely, because this too shall pass.
What were people’s reactions to the idea?
I first floated the idea with a couple of my friends in the neighbourhood, who thought it was great. Because I didn’t have everyone’s contact details and we didn’t see each other on the streets anymore, I left a little note on everyone’s doorstep to tell them what I was doing, why I was doing it and that all I needed from them was to step onto their porch for about 2 minutes. I had given a specific timeframe for a specific day, in which I went from one house to the other, I left it up to everyone to either come outside or stay inside, in which case I would move on. Everyone of those currently residing in the street, except 1 house, participated and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone felt it was such a wonderful idea to document these unique times and circumstances. They were also excited to have a memory of their family from these times.
When I shared the link for the photos with everyone, again the feedback was so positive. People especially loved the collage, which painted such a nice picture of our little community. Our community is usually very active and everyone walks in the streets, kids playing, people chatting and walking dogs. Since the lockdown we don’t see each other anymore. Seeing the final collage made me really happy - it felt like seeing everyone together again (even if it is just virtually).