denise crew | SCHOOL PICTURES IN QUARANTINE
Denise Crew - School Pictures in Quarantine
'The first thing that made me cry during quarantine was the realization that there wouldn’t be school pictures for my oldest son. It came at an intersection of my obvious love of photos, my sentimentality, my obsession with documenting life, and being a mom. We’d been trying to keep things so fun for the kids and this was the wakeup call that life wouldn’t be anything close to normal any time soon. So I decided to take the school portraits of our friends by myself. At first I wanted them to look like normal school photos … but then I thought that they needed to feel disrupting in the chronology of life. Because it was! We hadn’t seen anyone in 50 days and I wasn’t prepared for how emotional and exhilarating it was to see friends we typically see every day. This was back in the day when masks were new and we all thought IT was airborne. It felt risky as most families were terrified of our kids getting sick. I traveled to everyone’s homes, used a long lens and photographed the kids on their front porches from the street. I told them they could do whatever they wanted to do — they could wear whatever they wanted, could pose however they wanted, and they were all collaborators in how we documented this time in their life. One family with two kids wanted to take a class photo with their home school teacher — their mom. Another wore pajamas and sunglasses. One three year old girl wore ALL of her skirts. All of them. At once. A few took photos of me while I took photos of them. My son tagged along as my assistant and it was so fun for him to also be part of the process. Ironically the thing that made me most sad turned out to be the thing that brought me the most joy. This was never supposed to be something I shared publicly. But with the permission from some of the families, here’s a glimpse of (mostly preschool) kids in quarantine."