To the naked eye, these photos may just come across as celebrity portraits with interesting compositions. But would you believe these were all photographed over video conference?
That’s right, all these photos were captured without the photographer physically present.
Professional photographer Jenny Anderson has been shooting members of the Broadway community for more than a decade. She was scheduled to photograph the opening night of the musical “Six” on March 12, the very day Broadway shut down.
- LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in New York City
- LIVES LOST: Remembering Victims of the Coronavirus
- What to Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19
- CDC Coronavirus Page
- WHO Coronavirus Page
At first she was very sad when she heard the news. "I was happy that they made that decision because it was smart. But a little selfishly was like, 'Well, I just lost my job and probably have lost several jobs.' So the first 16, 17 days of this quarantine, I was not feeling creative," Anderson said. "But then I have this friend, his name is Rommel. he's taking photos of people from the street and I just was so inspired by him."
Anderson set out to document how members of the theater community were coping during quarantine. But social distancing posed a unique challenge. So she re-outfitted her home studio to block out the light and set up remote photography sessions over video chat.
"There's not a whole lot that I can control on my end. I sit in a chair, I point my actual camera to the computer, and I shoot whatever they're able to give me. So they tour me around and I'm like, 'Oh, I like that spot and that spot's good and those light shadows are great.' It's a little bit of a masterclass in teaching photography, oddly. Which becomes really cool because it gets really collaborative," Anderson said, enthused.
But Anderson doesn’t just have this dynamic collection to show for her time stuck at home. She’s also been offered new gigs.
"I also just got connected with Netflix and I'm starting to do these for them. And I had a friend of mine, who is a doctor, reach out to me a couple of days ago, and he wants to start doing these with doctors and nurses," Anderson said about her upcoming work.
Despite Broadway being closed, Anderson said this time has led to some of her most rewarding work:
"These have oddly been more intimate than any shoots I've done. Even though we're doing it through a computer, they're bringing me into their space that they've chosen to quarantine in, which I think is very intimate."
FURTHER CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE