Through my Lockdown Lens
At the start of 2020, the world slowly began to sink into a Global Pandemic. Not only did this affect jobs, lives, relationships and everything in between, but it affected creativity. This was a time when all creatives may have felt a lack of energy, particularly due to the limitations which come with being confined to your home.
There's a claim that William Shakespeare wrote King Lear during quarantine for an outbreak of the bubonic plague. But what did modern-day creatives and photographers do when the pandemic forced them to stay at home?
Photographers in particular could not source subjects and models to shoot. The hustle and bustle which fuelled street photography was no more. And perhaps the overall motivation to shoot began to fade. Instead, photographers were forced to appreciate the simple and the mundane; sourcing inspiration from within. Around the world, photographers turned their lenses inwards to share intimate new visions of life in lockdown.
When you're limited in this way, you are forced to devise a coping mechanism. For many, this was transforming the way that they acted creatively. So with this, photographers began to idealise the simple, the mundane. The everyday tasks, activities and people that you connect with on a daily basis began to replace the foreign subjects, models, landscapes and bustling streets. A new form of creativity was born.
MFA have loved talking to film photographers about how they stayed inspired during this time, and what fuelled their imagination from the four walls that they were confined within. Despite the fact that a lot of our freedoms were restricted, so many creatives felt a sense of liberation, more than ever before.
One of these photographers was Victoire Valmary, who kindly shared the photos that she took during lockdown, showing how she still managed to capture beauty in a crisis.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you experienced lockdown?
"During lockdown there was nothing else to do but listen to music and take pictures, it was so weird."
I bet. It was such a strange time for us all. How did you stay creative during this time, can you tell us a little about these wonderful photos?
"Here I was using my Nikon fm with Portra 400 film. In fact, it was the first time that I used this camera and I couldn’t wait to see the reveal! Here I was shooting my sister and her boyfriend in our family home in the Pyrenees. Our house is super cute, I can only describe it as being untouched since the 70s haha."
"As we were in the mountains the light was amazing. I really began to notice every detail and I became so inspired."
"These photos are mainly memories, they weren’t planned or posed, which is why I love them. They show natural emotion. Whilst I found it hard to be completely isolated, taking these photos made it easier."