This work isn't much like my normal work. But these are not normal times.

I’m a portrait and editorial photographer. I like to go places, meet new people, tell their stories.

And then the COVID-19 crisis happened, and I didn’t know what to do. There are so many stories out there to be told, but I can’t really tell any of them.

I felt stuck. Stuck at home. Stuck creatively. Stuck looking at my phone even more than I already do. The whole world began to feel chaotic and stifled. I understand what’s happening and why we are doing it, but I don’t like it.

For a week or two, I had no idea what work I could produce even though I felt compelled—perhaps more than ever—to make something. The frustration and friction kept building. I wanted to respond and push back, but wasn’t sure how. Every idea felt obvious or trite or boring.

At some point I started thinking about pinhole photography again. It was raw and rough around the edges, blurry and imperfect. Which made it seem perfect for these times.  I cut some aluminum foil, taped it to an old DSLR, used the unclipped end of the high E string on my guitar to make the hole, and started to play.

As I waited for the shutter to open and close on these pictures (seconds, rather than fractions thereof) I started to feel liberated. The blurriness and unpredictability felt appropriate for a time when we are mostly trapped inside, fighting a virus we can’t see. These are weird times and I realized I could try making weird photographs again.

Thanks to Life at Six Feet for helping inspire me to get out of the computer chair and make something.

Using Format