CLOSER : A PHOTO ESSAY BY ANASTASIA GARCIA
When quarantine started in the early Spring of 2020, I like many, thought I’d be home for two weeks. I couldn’t fathom a reality where I’d spend months at home alone, unable to leave my 500 sq ft, Brooklyn apartment. After two weeks, restrictions tightened, and photoshoots quickly became too risky and stopped, thus halting my work entirely. And I, like so many others faced financial hardship, separation, depression, and anxiety. My experience isn’t unique. Quarantine was and remains still incredibly challenging and lonely for all of us.
Pre-pandemic I took my life for granted. I couldn’t fully appreciate the bonds that being a fashion photographer has allowed me to form with my subjects. For the last year, a photographer being in close quarters with anyone, let alone a model was a luxury. A luxury, that forced me to the realization that no amount of designer objects can equate to the value of human connection. Fashion was no longer the commodity, closeness was. This work explores that realization through polaroids and film images of intimate moments captured, in New York, during the COVID 19 pandemic. Shot over the span of six months, to safely allow for quarantines and COVID tests, the project explores what happens when fashion is not the commodity, closeness is. These shoots on rooftops, in bedrooms, and in dark hotels were my lifeline to human interaction and creative expression. These moments behind the lens were more than just documenting my quaranpod during a pandemic. These women, these shoots were the breath that sustained me. On my darkest days, it was these women who in trusting me and allowing me in, lifted me out of the dark.