Remember this time last year? Or have you tried to block it from your memory like me? You know, barely leaving the house, life on pause. Well, it was about that time, when my work had come to a screeching halt and I was experiencing what I can only describe as an identity crisis, that I realized just how integral photography was to my being and how much I missed it, how much I needed that creative outlet. I also felt that I would regret it if I didn’t do something to capture a slice of that wild, bizarre and unprecedented time. From that came my Pictures of You Project in which I aimed to photograph families of all sorts throughout Southern California in a creative but honest way from six feet apart.
After the project ran its course and glimpses of normalcy started to appear, I didn’t feel quite ready to share the photos (I think because they felt so personal) so I sat with them. But, now seems right. That time and space provided an unexpected perspective, dare I say, retrospective twist to the images that make them that much more meaningful.
Exactly one year ago tomorrow, I photographed the Mitri Family and my first family for the project. Their images feel like a natural place to start sharing. As with many of the families I photographed for the project, life has changed dramatically for them since we took the photos and I thought it would be interesting to include a bit of where they are now in their own words:
“Life has completely shifted since the COVID lockdown. I began working from home overnight for the first time in my professional career. My daughter went from a packed, active school schedule to a 3-hour, part-time zoom followed by very few outdoor activities, especially as we moved into the Fall and Winter, due to the weather. A lot of things became incredibly clear for us as a family though as a result of COVID, we re-prioritized from the top down. We bought a second home in Texas with some land so we could give our daughter the best of nature and the wild outdoors. With so many friends moving there as well, we were able to resume a new way of life. We picked up a stray pup on our travels back and forth from California, who has become our pup Taco’s new best friend. There is a silver lining in all things. Overall, I would say COVID changed everything but also simplified and brought us back to an easier and less distracting way of life and as we keep rolling into 2021, it is only looking better and I wish the same for everyone else.”