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Photo Quaranteens

May. 29, 2020
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On top of the frustration and stress of growing up as a teen nowadays, the pandemic has added a layer of anxiety and uncertainty surrounding public health. Along with the much more serious, tragic loss of human life, plenty of people are missing out on important milestones like weddings and graduations. As a photographer and influencer, I wanted to do something to bring a little joy to the world, so I turned to my TikTok following to schedule virtual photoshoots. I know it sounds crazy, but this is how we did it. I made a TikTok asking my followers to DM me on Instagram to schedule a Facetime shoot. To my surprise, I had thousands of messages from people in my hometown all the way to Zambia. I told the models I chose to wear an outfit they wish they were wearing in someplace they’d rather be. I wound up seeing prom dresses worn in attics, Friday-night party attire on the porch, and streetwear in bedrooms. On Facetime, I talked to each of them about how their hometown was doing amidst coronavirus; I heard heartbreaking stories about being unable to fly home from college to be with family in Asia and missing out on the highlights of senior year in Germany. I then directed them on how to pose and where to place their phones, and turned screenshots into photographs that show the juxtaposition between their attire and confinement in their home.