We are missing our friends alot. Yes, we can video chat, but we're finding that it's not the same as physical proximity, as real intimacy. Turns out here is no replacing being close to the minutiae of each other's lives, the tiny details of someone else's world that are so rich. Their cooking, the way they dress, laugh, their wacky facial expressions. I honestly even miss the stuff I thought bugged me.
Wishing to somehow approximate that closeness, looking to scratch that itch, we sent clothes to a few photographer friends and asked for snapshots of their time at home, in isolation. They're coming back now, and it actually works! An impression of very real people, at home, where things are so normal, yet so not. During this odd time we will be bringing you a series of these stories. Nothing epic, but rather some glimpses of the comforting familiar.
Anna Groth-Shive is a friend we met in Ghana, way back in 2014. We spent alot of time in swimming pools together. She shot Maame Adjei for us wearing AW14, a shoot involving a nighttime romp through a small urban forest and the fountain of Accra's National Theater. This interview was conducted in early May, prior to the George Floyd Uprisings.
All images Anna Groth-Shive
A young hawk who has taken up residence near the property. He visits us most days.
What did you do before the pandemic, and what do you do now?
Before the pandemic hit, I was working as an agent and producer at a small creative agency in NYC representing Photographers and Stylists and I've been very lucky to (thus far) be able to keep working remotely. People are quickly finding innovative new ways of working safely and we've been able to keep things moving, albeit in a far more limited capacity. I have a small, second life as a Photographer but this usually gets put on the back burner. Unexpectedly, the current situation has made it possible for me to think a bit more about my own work and to take on some personal projects and to play. I feel extremely grateful on all fronts.
After 49 days without, I have entirely forgotten how to apply makeup.
I take daily walks in the woods behind our house. Winter has been slow to leave us this year.
If you feel comfortable discussing, what has been the biggest challenge about the pandemic for you?
We (my partner Wayne, our dog and I) have been sheltering at our house in Northeastern Pennsylvania and while I am very thankful to be here and to be safe, I do miss being close to people, to my family and friends as well as all the small and shared daily interactions that I've taken for granted. I also have a tendency to be a little bit of a control freak about things in my life and in my environment and this whole situation has really put that trait to the test. I find myself overcompensating by cleaning and re-cleaning the space, organizing hard drives and drawers - these small attempts to try and feel like I have hold on something solid. Futile, of course, in a time when we are all at the mercy of the unknown.
I notice that the days when the sun comes out can profoundly affect and improve my outlook. I try to spend time with that.
Any recommends of the moment - movies, songs, recipes, drug cocktails, stretches, breathing techniques?
These days its been challenging for me to stay focused on tasks or things for any stretch of time (I find trying to read any of the books I've had lying around an impossible feat to tackle) but lately I have been enjoying watching old movie classics - I recently re-visited Funny Face and Sunset Boulevard. There is something very comforting about briefly immersing yourself in another time, long before this one. I take daily warm baths purely for the pleasure of them and I have an alarm set on my phone for a few times a day - it makes a soft little chime sound and reminds me to take a deep, full breath.
Getting increasingly used to wearing a mask and trying to recognize myself in them.