As many artists around the world have had to do amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, photographer Stephen Lovekin decided to make the most of these more isolated times to document families and their messages to the world as shared through the windows of Lovekin’s Brooklyn neighborhood of Ditmas Park.
Lovekin, who’s a Shutterstock editorial photographer, came up with the idea for the project after looking for ways to help people feel more connected despite being separated from one another.
‘As a photographer I have always loved and been drawn to shooting portraits – a process that allows a connection to be made between photographer, subject, and viewer,’ Lovekin says about the project. ‘So, when this Coronavirus began to rapidly spread and people were ordered into ‘self-isolation’ and ‘social distancing’, I began to feel compelled to document this unprecedented time in our history by starting locally by reaching out to people in my Brooklyn neighborhood of Ditmas Park to see how they were feeling and to see what message, if any, they would like to share with the world, whether they be personal, political, or spiritual.’
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The latest installment of my ‘Words At The Window: Self Isolation And The Coronavirus’ project shot in the neighborhood of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn NYC. #shutterstocknow #wordsatthewindow #selfisolation #quarantine #coronavirus #covid19 #washyourhands #wegotthis #alonetogether #socialdistancing #ditmaspark #brooklyn #nyc #blackandwhite #portrait #nikon
As for how the portraits became a series of shots framed within windows, Lovekin says that wasn’t the original plan. ‘When beginning the project I hadn’t completely settled on the idea of photographing everyone behind a window. Some people would come on their porches or stoops, but that just didn’t feel right to me for some reason,’ says Lovekin. ‘As the project began to evolve the idea of the window started to make more sense. The window being something that we look out on the world from. Something that literally frames how people can look in on us and how we look out at the world. Something that we normally do not enter or exit from.’
The project has only been going on for a week, but it’s already gained a following across social media. Lovekin says the ‘plan is to have it be an ongoing project for as long as I can safely make it possible.’
Shutterstock also caught wind of the project and teamed up with Lovekin to offer the ongoing series as a collection available to purchase, with 10% of all sales going to GiveDirectly, Inc., an organization that ‘allows donors to send money directly to the poor with no strings attached,’ according to its website. Charity Navigator, a third-party charity auditor of sorts, rates GiveDirectly, Inc. four out of four stars, the highest rating it gives to organizations that offer accountability and transparency in their operations.
Below are a few images from the series Lovekin shared with us:
Lovekin offers this parting message to viewers of the project:
‘I hope that in this time of chaos and uncertainty this project will help people feel more connected to the outside world even though we are all literally separated from one another for an unknown amount of time. If we continue to communicate and connect with those around us in a direct, honest, and positive way can get through this together. It will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever really is. Stay safe and stay at home! And as my own children’s sign said, “Soon we will be together”.’
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