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Creativity During The First Inning Of COVID

I remember this time last year like it was an hour ago.

Everything stopped with a sudden hush. The photographers, stylists and retouchers on my roster contacted me to discuss what this might mean for their business. We greeted each other on zoom with nervous laughter and traded the various COVID memes trending at that moment. There were some funny ones. We discussed the possibility of business stalling for a month or two. We had no way of knowing that the mysterious pandemic would impact our business and our lives for 12+ months.

And so, we waited, and waited.

Soon we came to realize that our industry was shut down—the lights were off, and we were in the dark. To keep anxiety and depression at bay, I encouraged my photographers and stylists to do test shoots at home, lest they sit on the couch and mope. Some people got inspired and did some remarkable things that stretched their artistic muscles. Here are a few!

Prop and Food Stylist Rachel Grunig Goes Crazy with Dying Fabric

Not one to sit idle Rachel Grunig took the opportunity during the “slow times” to experiment dying fabric with natural ingredients such as marigold, avocado and eucalyptus. She was fascinated with range of color she could get infusing fabric with plants, especially plants that she grew or gathered herself. “There is an element of randomness in the results that I cannot control,” she says, “that’s where the magic happens.” Rachel created some beautiful fabrics, one of which I wear around my neck as a gorgeous scarf. I would say now, after 12 months Rachel’s an expert!

Photographer Sarah Flotard and Her Mannequin Obsession

The viral threat took Sarah Flotard to some experimental places. Enter her muse—The Mannequin. Booking models for a test shoot was next to impossible, so Sarah made lemons out of lemonade and ordered mannequin hands and arms and began photographing them in action. They were surprisingly cooperative and whole lot more amenable than a typical model. Creating visual stories with her new mannequin talent became her COVID obsession.

Photographer George Barberis Found Comfort and Creativity in his Garden

When COVID set in, Photographer George Barberis headed to his garden where he cultivated some gorgeous plants and vegetables. An amateur chef he used his bounty to whip up some gourmet meals and some stellar photographs. The results were these rich and yummy images that we added to his food portfolio.

Liquid Photographer Mark Mawson Took the Inspiration Literally

One of my favorite photographs of the early COVID days was from Liquid Photographer Mark Mawson. He took his dream of a Covid-19 vaccine to a new level and created the image below using paint in water. I love it. And I cannot wait until everyone gets a shot (or 2) in the arm!

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