In March 2020, I used the sudden Shelter in Place mandate as a catalyst to organize and clean up both my home and work spaces. I thought this was a temporary cosmic halt that would allow all of us — and especially the earth — to simply reset.
Since this mandate was universal, I didn’t feel especially isolated or alone; I am generally a positive person (helped by a low dose of prozac) that thinks of setbacks as learning experiences, so I quickly embraced binge watching, tie dying all my beloved imperfect whites, and getting rid of the clutter that seems to accumulates when your life is so busy. I assumed by the end of April, life would resume, and damn it, I was going to use this time to get stuff done!
But as the end of April loomed, my bank account dwindled, photo shoot cancellations intensified, and no new work prospects were on the horizon, and it dawned on me (and others) that this temporary interruption to our daily lives was the new normal. It was time to adapt. TV off, closets cleaned, clutter gone. Now what? Reinvent my business plan! I needed to embrace this juncture in history and promote my photography. Searching my archives for an image that was relatable, none were adaptable to this new normal that was now our everyday. The only protected space was inside your own dwelling with your immediate family, and no one was inviting me into their safe havens for something as superficial as a photoshoot!
My only solace from complete isolation was walking my dog around the neighborhood, trying to avoid contact with others that were also using their furry friends to break up the monotony of their days.
It was the start of spring, my favorite season. My visual voice is about capturing that ordinary moment in the everyday and showing that it is itself, extraordinary. The sun was shining, there were new buds on all the trees and the daffodils and tulips were illuminating the lawns. Yet there was an eerie stillness, as I strolled and contemplated how to visually capture this new reality with a positive vibe.
My camera hung dormant until I saw eyes peeking out from windows and faces peering from curtains. Neighbors began acknowledging my presence with a wave from behind their glass barriers. I recognized it in their faces and looks. They had the same longing, aspirations, bewilderment, and disenfranchisement that, in many ways has always been there but now was amplified in the midst of our mandated stillness. That’s when The Window Portrait Project came to life through my lens.
For the next year I documented holidays, milestones, as well as our country’s struggles with equality and democracy, through the windows in my neighborhood.