Staying Creative While Social Distancing: COVID Walk #1
First of all, here’s to everyone staying as sane and grounded as possible, despite the shakeup of our daily lives. My hope is that for each of you, this shakeup has been as minimal as possible. We’re all doing our best and however you’re adjusting and maintaining, way to go! Creating anything—really, whether it’s a neon-painted rock or an epic visual essay—has always been extremely important and fulfilling for me. As we’ve been quarantined, I’ve been finding great peace in completing projects around the house, listening to music when possible and going on hikes with Meg when the weather permits. In Michigan, we have a stay-at-home order but we’re able to go outside for exercise, as long as we practice social distancing.
My outlet for creativity has remained photography—and writing the occasional blog post—which I’ve found a way to do by carrying my camera with me while walking. Before coronavirus, I’d travel to any location and walk the streets meeting people and taking photos. Now though, I’ve embraced walking from our front door in different directions and photographing what I see. The benefits of this have been many!
Of course, the exercise is wonderful. Also though, it’s been a perfect way to connect with the surrounding area and with photography. Walking everywhere seems to lend, to me, a deeper connection to the photograph. Hard work doesn’t necessarily equate a brilliant photo, but at least for me it helps increase my bond with the creative process and resulting photo(s).
Photographing in my Neighborhood
When it’s time to walk with my camera, it’s always a different direction to keep things different. On the series of photos on this post, all of this pictures are taken in my neighborhood. So many houses, cars and scenes I’d passed before while driving are being discovered as if I’m finding out about my neighborhood for the first time. The pictures that result from my photo walks have varied greatly from my normal work because my process of meeting people and making portraits of them is currently not allowed, nor should it be, for keeping a safe distance from others. The difference in subject matter has forced me to think a little differently and accept subject matter that I’d usually pass by. This is been a fun creative change of pace, for sure.
Some of you may live in a big city and some of you may live on a country road, miles from civilization; if photographic creativity moves and drives you, I encourage you to take even one photo of something you normally wouldn’t, it may be the catalyst for something else and at the very least it could force you to think in a new and interesting way.