Like many of us, photographer Liz Devine and her roommates (and longtime friends) Annie and Marybeth have been inside for four weeks now, give or take a lifetime. Unlike many of us, they are using their time to release some small bits of joy into the world, creating fairly elaborate photoshoots in their Ditmas Park apartment.
"We've lived in this apartment for two years together but this is a new kind of living together that we're adapting to," Devine told me, saying she thought of the idea for what she's calling "Covid19 Studio" on day one of isolation, to help combat cabin fever as we all stay inside to help slow the spread of the virus.
"I went online and ordered a tripod (I know, i'm a professional photographer and no tripod, embarrassing) and a few different backdrops. I told the roommates I was going to set up a studio during this time and just play around, we did our first shoot two days later." It then became increasingly clear they'd be in there for a while.
"When I posted our first photo [on Instagram] it became very obvious that people needed some content that made them smile. We try and have a new theme everyday which has been a very fun creative exercise, the ideas for the next shoots is consuming all my brain power."
When I reached out to Devine last week they had already created 16 tableaus, and there have been plenty more since. Here's the latest:
"We plan to keep going as long as people need it, and I think people really need it. Everyday the news gets worse and everyday it gets harder to take these photos because of the heaviness of the situation around us," Devine says. "But laughing and acting like idiots for the shoots has become my therapy and the overwhelming support from people on social media has been the inspiration for us to to push through, even when it's hard for us. We're laughing so we don't cry, and hopefully making others laugh too. It's okay to still laugh."
Devine says they will never run out props, either — "I can make a costume out of anything. We have some essential dress-up items but you just have to be creative with what you already have. Like making a shoot of just your jeans, the possibilities are endless."
I herby challenge Devine to recreate the already iconic Architectural Digest spread featuring Drake's home in Toronto.