People

Photographers in Isolation: A visual diary of moments frozen in time

Photographer friends of RUSSH share what moments they’ve been capturing and what they’ve been looking back on during times of isolation.

Adrian Meško

Miami, Florida

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
I got into photography through stepfather, who was an amateur photographer in Czechoslovakia, sometimes we’d set up a dark room in the bathroom and print at home. I never really saw it as a career until I moved to London in the late 90’s.

Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction?
Isolation in theory is quite beneficial for a creative mind, but in the context of covid it’s likely that most creatives are consumed by the challenge of paying rent tbh. I think the most important thing right now is to maintain a positive outlook, healthy body and mind. The world may never be the same after all this, but there will be many opportunities if you’re open to see them.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
I’ve been lucky to get stuck in Miami with my old friend Katherine Hucket from London and her family. It’s a beautiful place with direct access to nature which has made me realize how much I missed that in New York. She is a painter and she let me work in her studio. Two weeks into this situation I had a friend post my cameras down to me and started shooting some personal work as well as the new Pamela Love jewellery collection. We were due to shoot it on a model but as corona took hold it became a still life project. Beyond the reportage personal work I was making I then started shooting some old cosmetics packages as the subject matter is limited at a time like this.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I try keep a few projects on the burn at all times. Besides photo projects I’m currently developing a few new silk pieces for my Temps Des Reves project with a friend designer that worked for The Row & also a capsule collection for the downtown yoga studio Sky Ting. 

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
I also became runner while here, my friends husband takes it quite seriously and the whole science of it captivated me. I also learned how to make bread. I found a 140 year old starter online, developed my own mother using that and have been making some really tasty sourdough.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives?
Keep making things, keep a positive mindset thats my mantra these days. Don’t worry about the news cycle.

“Keep making things, keep a positive mindset thats my mantra these days.”

Daniel Goode

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
I grew up skateboarding with friends who where always taking pictures and working with video, and it was being round that enough times I just built a curiosity. I understood it was the sub culture I connected to, being a skateboarder provides such a prolific platform to be creative with. You can sometimes find yourself in an interesting location and the aesthetics of skateboarding fashion and personalities was something I always responded to and that partnered well with photography. From that the cursory just built and it was something I carried on through high school with and I have always had an interest in the medium, naturally that just became part of my life.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
It’s actually incredible how in depth this question could go, but to name a few: Rineke dijkstra, Mark Steinmetz, Nigel Shafran, Yoshinori Mizutani, Harmony Korine, Philip Lorca Dicorcia, William Eggleston, Dave Chami, Justine Kurland, Paul Graham, David Ligare. If I kept going the page would be full.

What do you think makes a great image?
I think any image that provides a sense of tension, something you need to return to and ask questions but leaves you thinking about although you can’t see it. I’m still trying to work that one out myself, but there have been good text’s written on the subject by people more qualified than I, like Susan Sontag’s “On photography” or in Luigi Ghirri’s “The complete essays”.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I think the current restrictions has definitely channelled the scope as to what is available within my available resources and has challenged my creative process but also made me realise the parts I lean on to make work, for example working wth a stylist, the benefits of being in studio, the descriptive qualities from an AD etc. A lot of the work I put into photography is mostly independent and I’m familiar with spending time by myself working on things. Photography can at times be a lonely process which consequently makes days on set much more enjoyable. Do I think creativity thrives within restriction? I think creativity is always thriving but I think the limited options available has defiantly shown heights of resourcefulness form artist’s work and that has been inspiring to see.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind?
Often I just respond to things I see, it could be the texture of a road, the way someone is dressed, the colour of someones car. I’ve really tried to learn how to understand that language and I guess it’s within this process it promotes some kind of conceptual thinking. I also understand that this process comes in waves, and I don’t try to push myself to hard through those moments.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
Any type of interior space that has an atmosphere where the lighting feels unique. For example a train carriage, waiting rooms, restaurants, tiled bathrooms, peoples living rooms. Theres so much the can be said about a space, it can define a decade, a personality, a mood etc.. I find that so interesting. 

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
Heaps of cycling… But I’m also using this time to edit my recent work for when everything returns to normal. Curating and editing work is one of my favourite things to do, and often allows me to see what’s missing, what’s working, what I could focus more on etc..

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
Probably not going to be taken seriously, but Nescafe Blend 43…

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
Definitely the “Adorn you” project for the 90th Russh Issue with Ellen Presbury, it was so enjoyable to take the team through the suburb where I live and make photographs. The on site security was pretty spectacular to… All the guys got along so well together and had such a great sense of humour.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives?
The book “Light, science & Magic”, I think it’s up to it’s 5th edition originally made in 1990. For anyone interested in the principles of light and how it works, it could be a useful piece of learning material for someone out there.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
Loosing the working momentum has been the hardest part to untether from, I like to be on set and photography has a physical tangibility to it I have missed working with, and just catching up and having a laugh with my regular crew of people I work with.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
I’m not sure just yet, but instinctively I’d love to be on location with a big crew to collaborate with. It’s such a great time of year to be working outside making photographs.

“Often I just respond to things I see, it could be the texture of a road, the way someone is dressed, the colour of someones car.”

Daniel Goode

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
I grew up skateboarding with friends who where always taking pictures and working with video, and it was being round that enough times I just built a curiosity. I understood it was the sub culture I connected to, being a skateboarder provides such a prolific platform to be creative with. You can sometimes find yourself in an interesting location and the aesthetics of skateboarding fashion and personalities was something I always responded to and that partnered well with photography. From that the cursory just built and it was something I carried on through high school with and I have always had an interest in the medium, naturally that just became part of my life.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
It’s actually incredible how in depth this question could go, but to name a few: Rineke dijkstra, Mark Steinmetz, Nigel Shafran, Yoshinori Mizutani, Harmony Korine, Philip Lorca Dicorcia, William Eggleston, Dave Chami, Justine Kurland, Paul Graham, David Ligare. If I kept going the page would be full.

What do you think makes a great image?
I think any image that provides a sense of tension, something you need to return to and ask questions but leaves you thinking about although you can’t see it. I’m still trying to work that one out myself, but there have been good text’s written on the subject by people more qualified than I, like Susan Sontag’s “On photography” or in Luigi Ghirri’s “The complete essays”.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I think the current restrictions has definitely channelled the scope as to what is available within my available resources and has challenged my creative process but also made me realise the parts I lean on to make work, for example working wth a stylist, the benefits of being in studio, the descriptive qualities from an AD etc. A lot of the work I put into photography is mostly independent and I’m familiar with spending time by myself working on things. Photography can at times be a lonely process which consequently makes days on set much more enjoyable. Do I think creativity thrives within restriction? I think creativity is always thriving but I think the limited options available has defiantly shown heights of resourcefulness form artist’s work and that has been inspiring to see.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind?
Often I just respond to things I see, it could be the texture of a road, the way someone is dressed, the colour of someones car. I’ve really tried to learn how to understand that language and I guess it’s within this process it promotes some kind of conceptual thinking. I also understand that this process comes in waves, and I don’t try to push myself to hard through those moments.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
Any type of interior space that has an atmosphere where the lighting feels unique. For example a train carriage, waiting rooms, restaurants, tiled bathrooms, peoples living rooms. Theres so much the can be said about a space, it can define a decade, a personality, a mood etc.. I find that so interesting. 

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
Heaps of cycling… But I’m also using this time to edit my recent work for when everything returns to normal. Curating and editing work is one of my favourite things to do, and often allows me to see what’s missing, what’s working, what I could focus more on etc..

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
Probably not going to be taken seriously, but Nescafe Blend 43…

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
Definitely the “Adorn you” project for the 90th Russh Issue with Ellen Presbury, it was so enjoyable to take the team through the suburb where I live and make photographs. The on site security was pretty spectacular to… All the guys got along so well together and had such a great sense of humour.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives?
The book “Light, science & Magic”, I think it’s up to it’s 5th edition originally made in 1990. For anyone interested in the principles of light and how it works, it could be a useful piece of learning material for someone out there.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
Loosing the working momentum has been the hardest part to untether from, I like to be on set and photography has a physical tangibility to it I have missed working with, and just catching up and having a laugh with my regular crew of people I work with.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
I’m not sure just yet, but instinctively I’d love to be on location with a big crew to collaborate with. It’s such a great time of year to be working outside making photographs.

Masha Demianova

Moscow, Russia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
I was capturing things around me from the very begging, as far as i remember, first with my parents’ point-and-shoot simple camera. At the age of 16, I got myself Canon AE-1 and found out that images can also be a form of art.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
Vivian Sassen, Lena C. Emery, my friends Tanya Leshkina & Eric Hart, Torbjorn Rodland and many more

What do you think makes a great image?
I don’t thing there is a formula for it. Every image might be great for somebody.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I don’t think restrictions  are exactly useful, but it’s definitely not a reason to do nothing.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
Seeing something I find beautiful. 

What moments or places do you most love to capture? 
I’m an old lady, love to take pictures of my cat and my plants.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
Creating a blueprint of the future book that i was working on all last year. The name of the project is ‘Hometown’ and it’s kind of travel almanac of my model-girlfriends hometowns and villages all over Russia and Ukraine.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time? 
I fucking miss walking in the park! In Moscow we have a ban for hanging out on the streets, you can go to the groceries or around the neighbourhood but not further.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly? 
Fashion campaign for ‘Cyrille Gassiline’, wonderful clothing brand that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. We did it with my teammate stylist Stacey Batashova, it was beautiful spring flood and all trees on the shore were growing from the water

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives? What technical (or practical) aspects can they be reading up on or practising during this time?
Watch movies, go trough your archives, draw future ideas, try to put together old series etc, make selfies if you want to shoot somebody and you alone.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
Not being able to be in nature.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over? 
I wanna finish the book come back to NYC (I miss like crazy) for a while and collaborate with creatives.

“I don’t think restrictions  are exactly useful, but it’s definitely not a reason to do nothing.”

Kitty Callaghan

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
Documenting and crystalizing a  moment is what draws me to photography.  For me it came about from a sense of longing to capture special moments or chapters of my life.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
At the moment, I am feeling inspired by Gerhard Richter, Min Hyun Woo, Yumna Al-arashi and Harley Weir.

What do you think makes a great image?
If portraiture, vulnerability and connection. If objects or landscape, good light.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I am having a bit of trouble getting inspired at the moment.. so I am trying to focus on research and better understanding my craft through online learning. Usually I would agree with that sentiment but it’s a little different for me this time around.. I know I will be thriving in time though.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
Always music, and reading books/ looking at images that I love. And starting the day with a walk and meditation too.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
I like to take photos of friends and those close to me. I also love taking my camera with me on a walk in a foreign city (I miss that..)

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I am working on new collages too.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
As I am isolating out of the city, I am spending far more time in nature than I have over the last 10 years which has been really nice.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
I loved shooting the horoscope series for Russh a few years back on the beach in Sydney with good friends and collaborators. I also loved making my works for a recent exhibition I was a part of at China Heights Gallery.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives? What technical (or practical) aspects can they be reading up on or practising during this time?
I think, just take as many photos as you can and when you’re not, think up ideas and concepts that you want to execute after all of this. If you’re isolating with loved ones – it’s a great time to shoot their portrait. It’s also an opportunity to look back on old work and archive it so it’s organised better than ever.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
I don’t feel that I have figured that out yet.. perhaps feeling like it’s harder to adapt to other changes in my life.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over? 
I’d love to collage a cover for Russh Magazine. I would also love to get back overseas to shoot for personal projects.

“Documenting and crystallising a  moment is what draws me to photography.  For me it came about from a sense of longing to capture special moments or chapters of my life.”

Kitty Callaghan

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
Documenting and crystalizing a  moment is what draws me to photography.  For me it came about from a sense of longing to capture special moments or chapters of my life.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
At the moment, I am feeling inspired by Gerhard Richter, Min Hyun Woo, Yumna Al-arashi and Harley Weir.

What do you think makes a great image?
If portraiture, vulnerability and connection. If objects or landscape, good light.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I am having a bit of trouble getting inspired at the moment.. so I am trying to focus on research and better understanding my craft through online learning. Usually I would agree with that sentiment but it’s a little different for me this time around.. I know I will be thriving in time though.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
Always music, and reading books/ looking at images that I love. And starting the day with a walk and meditation too.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
I like to take photos of friends and those close to me. I also love taking my camera with me on a walk in a foreign city (I miss that..)

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I am working on new collages too.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
As I am isolating out of the city, I am spending far more time in nature than I have over the last 10 years which has been really nice.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
I loved shooting the horoscope series for Russh a few years back on the beach in Sydney with good friends and collaborators. I also loved making my works for a recent exhibition I was a part of at China Heights Gallery.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives? What technical (or practical) aspects can they be reading up on or practising during this time?
I think, just take as many photos as you can and when you’re not, think up ideas and concepts that you want to execute after all of this. If you’re isolating with loved ones – it’s a great time to shoot their portrait. It’s also an opportunity to look back on old work and archive it so it’s organised better than ever.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
I don’t feel that I have figured that out yet.. perhaps feeling like it’s harder to adapt to other changes in my life.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over? 
I’d love to collage a cover for Russh Magazine. I would also love to get back overseas to shoot for personal projects.

Ryan Achilles

Melbourne, Australia

What first drew you to photography?
Probably through skateboarding videos and looking at magazines in my early teens.

How did this career  come about for you?
Once I had failed everything in school in decided to try it out. Photography was the only subject that managed to get my attention and on to a different way of learning

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
Mostly movies and documentaries. I enjoy learning about new places, their history, their languages. Aside from that, Jamiroquai music videos.

What do you think makes a great image?
Images that are emotive. I was taking an online course of Magnum Photographer Alec Soth recently, he described this idea of a photograph being a either a window or a mirror… people looking out at the world and people looking into themselves. I like work that has this thoughtfulness to it.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I’ve actually been more productive that ever during this time. It has forced me to go through thousands of images to get better with understanding of what it is that I’m trying to do with my work and how I can be better.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind?
I’m lucky enough to live with my close friend from England and his girlfriend who I love and are both very creative. There is always great music on and both interested in learning all kinds of new things during this period. Their freshly made banana bread has been a particular highlight.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
I predominantly only make work when I travel. Wandering around new places towards the end of the day when the light is at its most beautiful. I shoot a whole bunch of stuff within that. Objects, landscapes. portraiture. It’s incredible how photography can allow you to have this exchange with a total stranger. Often you don’t speak the same language but you manage to figure it out. They have allowed you their trust and opened up to someone that they don’t know. They are figuring me out, I’m figuring them out. It’s exciting.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I’m learning how to use various tools for woodworking. The guy downstairs from me is helping me to build some drawers for my van, so its been amazing to learn something new and completely different.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
Being outdoors. Australia has so much natural beauty everywhere around so its hard to not be enjoying that as much. I feel like when Im able to do this again it’ll be like that scene in ConAir (great movie) when Nicolas Cages’ hair is blowing in the wind and has this incredible smug look on his face.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
I often leave work after a trip so that I can seperate myself from it and look at the images fresh. I’ve got a whole bunch of images from this trip and likewise a Bali trip from last year. It’s exciting to be looking at all of these.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. There will be so much bad stuff that you photograph but shooting more and more just makes you better. You’ll always be shooting newer pictures, better pictures, different pictures and that should be embraced. There is no such thing as a finished portfolio

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
Physical exercise. I need to physically leave the house as a means of doing it. It’s very hard when the couch is right there.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over? 
I’d like to find a way of creating the same cinematic moments I try to capture when I travel, and bring that into my everyday life.

“It’s incredible how photography can allow you to have this exchange with a total stranger. Often you don’t speak the same language but you manage to figure it out. They have allowed you their trust and opened up to someone that they don’t know. They are figuring me out, I’m figuring them out. It’s exciting.”

Anna Pogossova

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
Photography actually came about during my art school years, and almost by accident. I have always loved making images, in one way or another, since I was little, but I had taken the traditional path of drawing and painting, with the intent of becoming an illustrator or graphic designer. I had to do a photography class in my first year of university, but once I had tried it, this whole world opened up to me, which encompassed technology, phantasmagorias, magic, performance and hoax, as well as links to traditional painting, story telling, and even psychoanalysis; it was all of the things I loved, combined, and I’ve never looked back.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
So many! Too many to mention them all, but different influences occupy my mind at different times. I find endless inspiration in Louise Bourgeois, Ken Price, Ron Nagle, Dutch Golden Age painters, Dario Argento, Stanley Kubrick, Lars von Trier, to name a few.

What do you think makes a great image?
Context.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I think innovation thrives in isolation, but for me personally, creativity is somewhat halted. My brain needs new stimuli and input from my surroundings to formulate new ideas. It’s usually on a subconscious level, but I am always responding and reacting to the world of images, symbols and ideas around me. The same circumstances, yield the same thought processes, in me. I feel like I have to dig a lot deeper in isolation; I have to actively search inspiration out when I’m locked away from the world, as it can’t find me.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
I get all my ideas first thing in the morning, and usually whilst in the shower. I have a notepad by my bed always.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
Moments that don’t exist yet. Places I have constructed.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I have been working on some sculptures and also some scents.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
Time to mentally reset, to reevaluate. Just to have time to yourself. It was very difficult in the circumstances, but when something is completely out of your hands, there is no other choice but to let go and try and gain something positive from it.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives? What technical (or practical) aspects can they be reading up on or practising during this time?
Embrace your constraints and limitations, which might feel like huge obstacles at the time. Don’t be discouraged by not having all the gear and lighting, or getting access to certain resources. Don’t have a camera? try pinhole photography, try scanning, try using your phone, try 3D. Use the things around you cleverly. Learn to manipulate daylight, if you don’t have lights, document your friends, if you don’t have a studio or a model, but be real about what it is. I think the biggest mistake is trying to replicate a glossy editorial shoot without professional resources and collaborators, but there are so many other beautiful things you can achieve.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you?
Uncertainty. Anxiety. Distinguishing between my pyjamas and my daytime ‘work’ attire.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
A film.

“Don’t be discouraged by not having all the gear and lighting, or getting access to certain resources. Don’t have a camera? try pinhole photography, try scanning, try using your phone, try 3D. Use the things around you cleverly.”

Anna Pogossova

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
Photography actually came about during my art school years, and almost by accident. I have always loved making images, in one way or another, since I was little, but I had taken the traditional path of drawing and painting, with the intent of becoming an illustrator or graphic designer. I had to do a photography class in my first year of university, but once I had tried it, this whole world opened up to me, which encompassed technology, phantasmagorias, magic, performance and hoax, as well as links to traditional painting, story telling, and even psychoanalysis; it was all of the things I loved, combined, and I’ve never looked back.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
So many! Too many to mention them all, but different influences occupy my mind at different times. I find endless inspiration in Louise Bourgeois, Ken Price, Ron Nagle, Dutch Golden Age painters, Dario Argento, Stanley Kubrick, Lars von Trier, to name a few.

What do you think makes a great image?
Context.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I think innovation thrives in isolation, but for me personally, creativity is somewhat halted. My brain needs new stimuli and input from my surroundings to formulate new ideas. It’s usually on a subconscious level, but I am always responding and reacting to the world of images, symbols and ideas around me. The same circumstances, yield the same thought processes, in me. I feel like I have to dig a lot deeper in isolation; I have to actively search inspiration out when I’m locked away from the world, as it can’t find me.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
I get all my ideas first thing in the morning, and usually whilst in the shower. I have a notepad by my bed always.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
Moments that don’t exist yet. Places I have constructed.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I have been working on some sculptures and also some scents.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
Time to mentally reset, to reevaluate. Just to have time to yourself. It was very difficult in the circumstances, but when something is completely out of your hands, there is no other choice but to let go and try and gain something positive from it.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives? What technical (or practical) aspects can they be reading up on or practising during this time?
Embrace your constraints and limitations, which might feel like huge obstacles at the time. Don’t be discouraged by not having all the gear and lighting, or getting access to certain resources. Don’t have a camera? try pinhole photography, try scanning, try using your phone, try 3D. Use the things around you cleverly. Learn to manipulate daylight, if you don’t have lights, document your friends, if you don’t have a studio or a model, but be real about what it is. I think the biggest mistake is trying to replicate a glossy editorial shoot without professional resources and collaborators, but there are so many other beautiful things you can achieve.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you?
Uncertainty. Anxiety. Distinguishing between my pyjamas and my daytime ‘work’ attire.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
A film.

Claudia Smith

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
Photography has always been the creative outlet I connect most deeply with. I am fortunate that I realised that from a young age, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
Marie laure de decker, Bill Henson, Yves Klein, Lina Scheynius. I just ordered Golden Persimmons II by Brian Kanagaki and can’t wait to look through it 

What do you think makes a great image?
One that you can hear.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
There is certainly more time for processing creative thoughts & concepts… I enjoy photographing people most, so for me this is a time of restriction in not physically being able to photograph what I love. I’m unsure if my creativity is thriving, but I’m most definitely being pushed to think & work in new ways.  

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
Conversation is definitely something I find inspiring, talking to those I admire and love creating with. Contrasting, or balancing this, I really love being alone with my thoughts, visualising stories as images in my mind, long drives are good for this.  

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
My cooking skills.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time? That were perhaps missed before. 
I am extremely grateful for the privilege I do have. I think it’s easy to be overcome by negative thoughts in such a time, but it’s important to ride those waves of emotions and focus on all the beautiful things you do have in life. I have an extra appreciation of the healing powers of nature in a time like this.  


What is a time or project that you look back on fondly? 
A trip spent zigging and zagging across the South Island of NZ. A place I believe will enchant anyone who travels there.
 

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives? What technical (or practical) aspects can they be reading up on or practising during this time?
If you have an eye for capturing interesting images, anything technical can come later. Keep on making photographs of what you like and don’t get caught up in the technical mumbo. Spend more time with whatever tools you have instead of dreaming about things you don’t have.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
Being away from some of those I love most. 

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
More newspaper prints on things that mean most to me.

“I think it’s easy to be overcome by negative thoughts in such a time, but it’s important to ride those waves of emotions and focus on all the beautiful things you do have in life.”

Sam Hendel

London, UK

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
Its something that definitely came a little later for me, I wasn’t a good student at school and I hated art class. I first started taking photos skateboarding in the city. There is one image that stands out for me, where I felt like I’d finally taken a good photograph – A friend was sitting on the back seat of the bus staring out of the window and his reflection is super crisp, almost staring back at him. It was an incredibly calm and introspective moment after a long day. I think it was the first time I realised the power photography can have to illicit an emotional response in the viewer. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
I think it’s really hard in a world that is over saturated with imagery to put a finger on that sometimes. I find it overwhelming how much stuff I like, how obsessed I can be with images, and also how often it changes. 
I could list big photography names but that’s a little obvious – I’m more inspired by things closer to my heart – by my friends who continually create and who are multi-talented in the things they do. Magnus Reid, who is a painter, musician, chef and a father on top of it all. He is someone who continually blows me away. Everything he touches turns to gold. Jedda Daisy Culley and her beautiful abstract painting and tapestries, her work inspires me to go out and find colour in the world. My sister Tegan Hendel is a constant inspiration and sounding board for my own work. She is a ceramic artist and art director doing big things! Daniel Stricker is another consummate artist who I look up to a lot. His ability to bring people together on projects is something that I admire. His latest solo album is on high rotation at the moment. Imogene Barron, yet another incredibly gifted friend who I look up to a lot. Her photography is incredible and makes me wish I was living her life.
What do you think makes a great image?
That’s such a tough question to answer. Apart from the obvious things like composition and light, I think it’s something unseen that makes you linger. Something that draws you in emotionally perhaps. It can be happy or sad, but I love when an image manages to take you some place else, either in your past, or in an imagined future.
How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction? 
I’ve found it really testing to be honest. Somedays I’ve been super creative and others I want to throw it all away. It has forced me to find inspiration in ways that I haven’t thought of before. I think creativity can thrive in restrictive conditions, of course. I think most good ideas are borne out of creating a boundary within which to exist. The framework helps to define the outcome. Whether thats physical limitations ie: isolation, or thematic boundaries.
What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
For me it’s really been through conversation with certain people. Not having that person to bounce off has really forced me to re-evaluate my creative process, which has been challenging..
It can be anything that gets me going though, usually films or my bookshelf, certain music. Sub-cutures also. I’m kind of obsessed with Hong Kong cinema again at the moment. Wong Kar-Wai is incredible.
What moments or places do you most love to capture? 
That’s so hard to answer. Good moments in great places? I like human connection? Great for isolation hey…
Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I like cooking, takes my mind off everything else in the world. 
Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time? 
Being closer than 2 meters to other people would be nice.
What is a time or project that you look back on fondly? 
Oh man so many, but the last great one that stands out in my mind was shooting for you guys in Tel-Aviv. That was an incredible journey.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives? 
Work, work, work. Take pictures, paint things, and don’t get hung up on whether they’re a masterpiece or not. Be inspired by the people you love but don’t copy their work, thats just boring. Don’t worry if things end up differently than you expected. Part of the magic is letting ideas go where they want to go.
What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? 
Feeling like I’m no longer a part of the world.
Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
Shooting an entire issue of Russh.

Be inspired by the people you love but don’t copy their work, thats just boring. Don’t worry if things end up differently than you expected. Part of the magic is letting ideas go where they want to go.

Leif Prenzlau

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
I was drawn to photography through surfing and hanging down at the beach as a teenager and being around friends which led to having more interest in shooting portraits.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
I am inspired by so many photographers. I don’t know where to start. Dario Catellani has been one of my favourites for quite a while and lately have been really inspired by painters.

What do you think makes a great image?
Anything that draws you in and makes you keep looking. I get drawn to more soft beautiful work rather than “cool” personally.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction?
Isolation has definitely impacted creativity, having lots of plans to shoot things and putting them all on hold was really hard at first but I kind of figure each time I take a break I enjoy it more. So it has been kind of nice not shooting.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind?
Art books always spark some sort of creativity as well as chatting to friends mainly in different disciplines of creating.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
I have only shot people based photos, either portraits or fashion based but in the last year I’ve found a love of shooting landscapes while hiking or camping. Such a different pace of shooting.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I have been working on a little home veggie and herb garden which I have been wanting to do for a while but hadn’t had the time for this year yet. As well as being taught things like pottery has been fun!

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
So many things but I think with the beach being closed during these times and living so close to it reminded me how much of an impact a swim or a surf makes in day to day life. Also the simplicity of having a drink or a dinner at home instead of going out all the time is great.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
I don’t have a particular one time I look back on but I do miss work and seeing friends etc.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives?
Don’t over think things. Just do them. I need to make myself do this too.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you?
The amount of time spent indoors I think. I force myself to get out and exercise just for mental health haha, I go pretty nuts inside.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
I would like to travel a bit and shoot personal things more. India has been something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

Leif Prenzlau

Sydney, Australia

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
I was drawn to photography through surfing and hanging down at the beach as a teenager and being around friends which led to having more interest in shooting portraits.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
I am inspired by so many photographers. I don’t know where to start. Dario Catellani has been one of my favourites for quite a while and lately have been really inspired by painters.

What do you think makes a great image?
Anything that draws you in and makes you keep looking. I get drawn to more soft beautiful work rather than “cool” personally.

How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction?
Isolation has definitely impacted creativity, having lots of plans to shoot things and putting them all on hold was really hard at first but I kind of figure each time I take a break I enjoy it more. So it has been kind of nice not shooting.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind?
Art books always spark some sort of creativity as well as chatting to friends mainly in different disciplines of creating.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
I have only shot people based photos, either portraits or fashion based but in the last year I’ve found a love of shooting landscapes while hiking or camping. Such a different pace of shooting.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I have been working on a little home veggie and herb garden which I have been wanting to do for a while but hadn’t had the time for this year yet. As well as being taught things like pottery has been fun!

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time?
So many things but I think with the beach being closed during these times and living so close to it reminded me how much of an impact a swim or a surf makes in day to day life. Also the simplicity of having a drink or a dinner at home instead of going out all the time is great.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
I don’t have a particular one time I look back on but I do miss work and seeing friends etc.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives?
Don’t over think things. Just do them. I need to make myself do this too.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you?
The amount of time spent indoors I think. I force myself to get out and exercise just for mental health haha, I go pretty nuts inside.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
I would like to travel a bit and shoot personal things more. India has been something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

Caroline Wood

What first drew you to photography?  How did this come about for you?
When I began my senior year of high school, I had one subject left to choose to fit the rest of my timetable. I was read a list of options and was like’ no. no.’ but when Photography was mentioned I thought ‘yeah?!’Our classroom walls were covered in large black and white prints by Herb Ritts and Richard Avedon and I was struck by their beauty the tones & technical skill and the power of theirstorytelling. And then there was that romance of the darkroom with its dim red lights, quiet calm and the magic of seeing my images appear – a world away from the moment I captured them.

What other artists/photographers/ creatives inspire you?
My first inspiration was art – I have always been struck by paintings, especially modern art and sculpture too. I like the great fashion photographers of the ’90s. The glamour, the movement, the richness of the tones, that moment in time. I’d say that’s where my fascination with fashion began.

What do you think makes a great image?
Something that makes you linger a little longer – a great image is strong. I like ones that make me feel.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you? How has isolation impacted your creativity? Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction?
I had felt isolated for a long time just before this pandemic as I was very sick during my pregnancy which had me hospitalised and housebound for 9 months. I found it extremely hard to stop work at a time when the world was still spinning so fast. My work and creativity was completely on pause. I missed my friends also. Now, because everyone is ‘alone together’ I don’t feel as isolated. I think the dead times have forced me to take a step back and reconsider – reevaluate my direction and passion and what truly matters to me at that time in life and artistically. I think creativity can experience a winter and be reborn in the spring.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind? 
Talking about ideas inspires me. Music fuels my mood when I’m in a creative zone. I like to read art books   you can visit the galleries of the world right wherever you are.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
I love to capture family. My husband and my babies in particular – especially when we are most relaxed out on his family farm or in nature. I took the most photos when we spent some months in Paris when our first baby was 1. I love the buildings, the gardens, the art, the way of life there.

Are you working on anything outside of photography during isolation?
I’ve been making ceramics! I studied it as part of my Fine Arts degree and love the meditation and instant push/pull of the clay. It’s nice to get back to such a raw and direct form of creative expression.

Is there anything you’ve grown to cherish or appreciate during this time? 
I cherish this time to focus on the simple things – my little family, watching the babies grow, cooking and home made meals, time together in our house and garden. I appreciate my health and my husband. I miss my extended family, my friends, dinner parties and working.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly? 
My shoots with RUSSH are my most fond working memories. The freedom to collaborate on ideas and to answer briefs from the likes of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bvlgari. Working with family. Seeing our vision actualise was so fulfilling. I loved photographing the artist Alana Wilson on film for Cartier x RUSSH. We had so much to talk about as we studied at the same place and it was so centring for me to be around an artist again. I remember when shooting was just me, my camera and a model (who was usually my beautiful sister). I would come up with all these shoot ideas and we’d have crazy adventures creating them. Those memories and images are so simple and magical to me.

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and creatives?
Believe in the potential of the people who are around you. Be humble but seek greatness from yourself.Think ‘what is in my hand’ and start there.

Put it out there. What is a dream project or concept you would like to work on once this is all over?
Anything art. Art and commerce. Gosh I miss it all.

“I remember when shooting was just me, my camera and a model (who was usually my beautiful sister). I would come up with all these shoot ideas and we’d have crazy adventures creating them. Those memories and images are so simple and magical to me.”

Ryan Brabazon

Berlin, Germany

What first drew you to photography?
Wanting to document life from my point of view.

What do you think makes a great photo?
The ability of the photograph to communicate.

How has isolation impacted your creativity?
With all of the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen, I’ve become far more focussed and aware of what I am doing on a daily basis. Creatively I have found myself fascinated with the small changes taking place all around me and how people are adapting.

Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction?
I think it differs from person to person, being restricted from can certainly heighten your creative mindset and thoughts, but it’s not for everyone.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind?
Whenever I visit book and magazine stores I always spring out of them with so much enthusiasm and full of ideas, a visual feast that you can physically touch.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
New experiences and sights have always inspired me so it’s been really interesting to see how I have adapted over the last couple of months. I still find myself looking for those new sights, just much closer to home.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
A week before everything really began to change I had just finished a long stint travelling, retreats in Sri Lanka, family and friends in Australia, beautiful South African landscapes. So many nice memories,  one after another.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you?
When things began to escalate in Italy and the intense lockdowns began we thought they would follow into Germany and I was beginning to prepare for some difficult days, but Berlin has remained relatively normal. Being able to exercise and move about outside with only a few luxuries taken away has meant it hasn’t been too hard to cope.

Whenever I visit book and magazine stores I always spring out of them with so much enthusiasm and full of ideas, a visual feast that you can physically touch.

Ryan Brabazon

Berlin, Germany

What first drew you to photography?
Wanting to document life from my point of view.

What do you think makes a great photo?
The ability of the photograph to communicate.

How has isolation impacted your creativity?
With all of the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen, I’ve become far more focussed and aware of what I am doing on a daily basis. Creatively I have found myself fascinated with the small changes taking place all around me and how people are adapting.

Do you agree with the statement that creativity thrives within restriction?
I think it differs from person to person, being restricted from can certainly heighten your creative mindset and thoughts, but it’s not for everyone.

What helps to get you in a creative state of mind?
Whenever I visit book and magazine stores I always spring out of them with so much enthusiasm and full of ideas, a visual feast that you can physically touch.

What moments or places do you most love to capture?
New experiences and sights have always inspired me so it’s been really interesting to see how I have adapted over the last couple of months. I still find myself looking for those new sights, just much closer to home.

What is a time or project that you look back on fondly?
A week before everything really began to change I had just finished a long stint travelling, retreats in Sri Lanka, family and friends in Australia, beautiful South African landscapes. So many nice memories,  one after another.

What has been the hardest part about isolation for you?
When things began to escalate in Italy and the intense lockdowns began we thought they would follow into Germany and I was beginning to prepare for some difficult days, but Berlin has remained relatively normal. Being able to exercise and move about outside with only a few luxuries taken away has meant it hasn’t been too hard to cope.