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Moments of wonder

Photograph: Mark Wickens

In this period of social distancing, video calls have become the forum for a vast range of weird and wonderful experiences. So, when my professional photographer friend suggested we attempt a photoshoot via facetime, I was intrigued. 

I was in East London, phone in hand, while Mark photographed me on his iPad from his Brooklyn apartment. We tested out different backgrounds, which included me clambering behind a plant while Mark photographed me as he stood behind some artfully arranged fronds. There was a surreal still life set up – a pile of books, a small cactus, some onions and my face amongst other random objects!  And finally my favourite – the last photo of the call – showing my face partially obscured by a large, empty glass jar, an apt metaphor for the contracted lives many of us are currently living. 

The experience made me appreciate just how many details there are to consider when shooting someone’s portrait – the quality and direction of light, camera angles, distance, the intensity of one’s gaze. It is precisely such small details that now form the bulk of my daily existence. In a world where I’m confined to a single space and seeing the same two people every day, I have come to notice and appreciate the beauty of simple things; that refreshing burst of cool air when I open my bedroom window in the morning, the way the shadows shift across the living room throughout the day. For these fleeting moments of wonder, I am very grateful.

Click here to see more of Mark’s work.

Eloise Maxwell