quarantine portraits
Astrophotography is still alive, but what about those photographers who shoot interiors and portraits? How to work in quarantine conditions?

The answer was found relatively quickly — shooting photos when on a video call. What was recently perceived as an experimental photo technique turned out to be one of the few ways to continue working in a brand new reality where a photographer's profession is "paused".

Of course, not a single photograph of this kind can be compared to a portrait shot with a professional camera: one should forget about the notion of "sharpness", "color rendition" and "high resolution". Now there is not a single chance of repositioning your camera — lens is usually located several thousand kilometers from the 'shutter' button. The connection is getting better or worse depending on local Wi-Fi performance — totally unpredictable for the most part. In addition, at the most crucial moment, a seemingly well-fixed phone loses its balance and falls down: instead of smiling people you see a lightning-fast kaleidoscope of pictures followed by a static view of the endless white ceiling.

Nevertheless, the project did take place: I took pictures of friends and acquaintances from different countries in the environment where they have to stay until the end of the quarantine. Then I asked two questions:
1. What did you find most surprising/shocking in the lockdown?
2. What do you plan to do after the quarantine ends?

In my case, this project is the answer to the first question: I do not remember the situation when we all — regardless of where we live — would find ourselves in such a similar situation. In other words — "in the same boat".
Warsaw | Poland
Jeffery, Masha, Maxie and Nastya

The most surprising thing for me about the lockdown is how much better I'm able to concentrate than I was before. Maybe it's the whiff of mortality, the sense of impending economic doom or the fact of a single defining global phenomenon, but I find it's easier to have perspective and focus on the task at hand than it was before this all started. I'm reading books again, more productive at work, listening better. Wouldn't necessarily have expected that.

Once the lockdown is finally over I'm looking forward to doing something fabulously mundane: heading back downtown to do a bunch of little errands — like get some rolls of film developed, get a haircut, browse the English book section of my favourite bookshop, and have a big long dinner with family and friends in a crowded restaurant.
Barcelona | Spain
Alla and Geert

It's amazing how much I can do replacing the ones who normally assist us with the daily routine: sometimes I do it even better! It's also clear that we don't need so many things and objects around us.

After quarantine cancellation we'll go to the beach: I'm going to sail away from the shore on a SUP surf and yell at the top of my lungs just to check whether everything that happened to us was a dream or not.
Charleroi | Belgium
Maggie, Olya and Vivi

I still don't get why people bought all the toilet paper! And why do some complain that they are still endlessly busy, although we all have more time now? And, of course, it was surprising how we all switched to remote work: it seemed to be impossible before. Now it becomes clear that this isn't so: just make sure there's a speedy Wi-Fi connection and the migration to the remote workplace is well managed by the IT department.

After the quarantine is canceled, I'll go to the cinema, to restaurants, to parks, will hug all my relatives I haven't seen for ages! And maybe I'll even buy a cat!
Moscow Region | Russia
Sofia and Oleg

Despite the fact that now we are all far from each other, we have become much closer with family and friends — I do feel their support. Thanks to digital technologies! And also this crisis is the first serious shock for my generation — the one to go down in history for sure.

After the quarantine is cancelled, I'll go for a walk, breathing freely and easily. I'll go to my favourite cafe for a cup of coffee and will grip my husband's hand stronger.

Everyone suddenly realised that they had to deal with the digital world and rushed online, although many of them had no plans of digital transformation before!

After the quarantine, I'll go for a run in Gorky Park!
Cambridgeshire | UK

I think the most surprising was that nature reappeared really quickly: I have seen a lot of animals around me that I haven't seen for ages (such as deer and badgers). I guess the virus is also nature, so it makes sense that there is always some force looking for opportunity, even unconsciously, and making a new balance.

And the first thing I'll do is paint my walls: I never had time before, and during lockdown, I had time but couldn't buy any paint!
Vienna | Austria

I can see clearly now how small our world is! We are all connected with each other and, perhaps for the first time, we found ourselves on one side of the fence.

After the quarantine, I'll fly to Moscow and hug my grandmother! And then it's party time!
Los Angeles | USA

Most surprising: how it's finally made many people around the world who are traditionally privileged (white, male, straight, healthy, financially stable, etc) finally realize that "normal" wasn't working

1st thing after lockdown: get authentic California Mexican tacos. I usually get some when I return from abroad, but didn't get any after returning from Korea. I miss them!
Most na Soči | Slovenia
Olya and Jerry
in the bottom row: Socha and Shanti

Feels like we are all similar to one another: 'corona' has erased differences between races, nations, social status and education. Watching the quarantine enforced all over the world, it was even funny how we react in roughly the same way to everything and how much we have in common.

I'll visit my mum after the lockdown: will hug and support her. She's all alone in this quarantine now.
São Paulo | Brazil
Roksolana and Dandy

I was mostly surprised by the speed and scale of events: it all started in one country, then rapidly covered the whole continent. Now we all change generally accepted rules and way of life globally!

After quarantine cancellation I'm planning a trip to Moscow to see my parents. And, of course, I'll go to the coast to dive into the ocean!
Sarthe | France
Flore and Mark

We were lucky since we had a chance to move out of town before the lockdown. The whole situation shows a real gap between people living in cities and rural areas. For urban residents, Freedom is always 'outside', so that the introduction of quarantine, changes everything completely whoever you are — rich or poor. For farmers though, life has not changed much.

After quarantine, I will meet friends non-stop! And for sure I'll go for a hike in the mountains!
Moscow | Russia

The 'give away' of private data amazes me: sometimes, of course, we are offered free content from various services, but it usually happens in return for personal info as well. I'm not even talking about the state policy: obtaining a QR-code presupposes your consent to tracking — scary!

I miss my mother and grandmother so much — I will meet them right after the lockdown (observing all safety measures, of course).
Zurich | Switzerland
Alina and Adam

Our life hasn't changed drastically, we are allowed to go outside with reasonable precautions, so we aren't caged up within these four walls. I look after the situation rather anxiously and, frankly speaking, I'm not very optimistic about the rapidly changing reality and the necessity to cope with the frantic information flow. It's too early to draw conclusions though, we'll see how it goes.

At the end of the pandemic, I'll go for a walk around the city alone, will sit on the summer terrace and sip a glass of something pleasant!
Moscow Region | Russia
George and Lisa

The loss of time is terrible! I even started doing gymnastics, the thing I genuinely hate.

After the quarantine, I'll go to the swimming pool. Two-hour swim, no less!

Until then I was surrounded by my office routine, trips, parties and plenty of other things to do. As a result, you don't talk to yourself, you don't hear yourself, but nowadays there's a reverse trend. One has to listen carefully, not "muting" one's inner voice but trying to understand what it actually says.

After the lockdown I will visit my parents and hug them. Cuddling a cat is on the list too — he recently turned 20 years old! And I'll eat something delicious from mum for sure!
Moselle | France
Timothy, Dima, Chloe and Oscar

It has become obvious that gender equality and the modern "western" lifestyle are largely possible due to the developed child care system.

We'll visit our family so that everyone could meet Oscar in person: he was born a week before the lockdown and none of our loved ones have yet seen him. And then it's time for singing in the bar!
Rishikesh | India

Nation leaders responded so differently to the same menace — it was surprising. I ended up in the strictest quarantine in the world — in India — and almost rediscovered daily life: now I don't really care much about many things I used to attach significance to. This is liberation! But living in another country in a hotel room without access to your own kitchen, food delivery services and other amenities is a real test for me. At the same time, I was caught in the midst of deep insights, so I see this as a kind of "purification" before a new stage of life. Simply put — zeroing. And the lockdown is the toughest thing for me — a person who is constantly on the move and traveling.

So right after the lockdown I'll visit my friends and family, and then I want to surf in the ocean!