In this series we asked artists, photographers, fashion stylists, makeup artists, and other creatives to share photo diaries of life in quarantine.
This conversation has been edited for clarity.
“The first week of the ECQ was unreal. I burst into tears one night from all the sad news I was seeing on my feed, but the anxiety quickly went away after that episode, because the wheels in my head were back, turning at full speed. My partner is also a machine like I am, and it’s in our nature and personalities to move and act more than to dwell on things. I’d like to think that the energy just bounces around the house in the best ways possible. There are so many things we now have time to do, and the vibe at home is great. We are fully aware of how things are elsewhere, so we are truly grateful that we can be in and keep each other in high spirits.
I would still dream about images and ways to make them
“I’m not sure how to phrase this without sounding weird, but from this experience, I confirmed that I actually really am as calm and cheerful as people often say. I just enjoy my work so much and practically become possessed when I’m on set, so I’ve never had to contemplate my demeanor before — perhaps, it’s because I was rarely home or because whenever I was home, I would still dream about images and ways to make them.
“I’ve had three “virtual shoots” this week! I felt that we had fun even though it was new and strange for everyone. Aside from stating the obvious differences from pre-ECQ shoots, it really comes down to the directing and to the communication with the models, which is one of the things I have come to love the most about creating stories.
Everything I do always comes back to photography
“I’ve never tried not thinking about things to create. I’ve tried to just sit and watch Netflix, but my mind can’t turn off. Everything I do always comes back to photography, and I know it’s always going to be that way until something forces me to stop. Since 2012, whenever I wasn’t shooting for work, I would regularly produce shoots for fun. There was a point that I was doing three play-shoots every weekend, so you can imagine how strange it was at the beginning of ECQ for me to sit still. Although, I adjusted to this phase very easily. My hoarding of props and clothes has proven useful because I have so many things at home to play with, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to just zone out. I feel like I’m thriving in my little corner, yet there’s a part of me that feels guilty about saying that.
“Aside from working, I miss thrifting, which does so much for my imagination. When it’s also safer to travel, which won’t be anytime soon, I just want to see my younger siblings in the States. They are growing up so fast! We can squeeze ourselves into a room with their four cats and two dogs. Other than that, post-quarantine, I think I will most likely continue to make time for whatever we’ve been doing at home and from our home, under ECQ. These are things that have somehow made us feel the best versions of ourselves and appreciate more things, given everything that’s going on, and I think it will be nice to share and maintain them, moving forward.
“I think (I hope) we will be looking after each other, and thinking about each other’s welfare more. It’s a comforting thought.” — Shaira Luna as told to Carmencita S. Sioson