As a portrait photographer, my business has pretty much stalled. As has my social life.
Being locked down due to COVID-19 is taking a toll on all of us in pretty much every way imaginable. I miss work. I miss my friends. I miss being alone because I choose to be alone. I miss being stuck in my house with my family because I choose to be stuck in my house with my family. I think I even miss traffic.
This whole crazy situation has really made me appreciate how important routine casual interactions are. On the flip side, I’ve also realized how foreign isolation feels — especially from those you’re used to seeing often.
I love random encounters with random people. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a simple smile from a passerby or sympathizing with the dude behind me at the grocery store who’s pissed off because someone’s slow at self checkout. Being around people keeps me going. It fuels me. And now, it seems even making eye contact is off limits.
So, back to my friends. What were they all doing? How were they all handling this order to shelter in place? We had some group Zoom “happy hours,” which was honestly something I really looked forward to, but I wanted to see them in person.
I decided I would visit them while engaging in proper social distancing. I started driving by their houses and texted them to come to their windows or doors when I showed up. Some got fair warning, others not so much.
When they appeared, I popped out of my car door (or sunroof) and snapped a few shots.
There wasn’t much conversation but just seeing familiar faces in person and shooting their portraits seems enough to keep me sane for just a little bit longer.