ISOLATION: Kat and Zya

What is going on over there?

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. Over the coming weeks we will be bringing you a series of these stories. Nothing epic, but rather some glimpses of the comforting familiar.

Kat Alves is a photographer and a mom in Nevada City, California. Her sister Zya Levy lives down the street, and they are isolating together with their family. Kat's thoughts on isolation below.

All photos: Kat Alves

Cozy living room with a stone fireplace, greenery, and a person lounging on a couch.
Two figures in a forest clearing, one on a log with a cup, the other with an axe.

What did you do before the pandemic, and what do you do now?

I'm an architectural photographer.  I shoot interior spaces and design. All work is currently on pause due to lockdown. Now I'm a homeschool teacher for my kindergartener and 5th grader, while I try to cook enough food to keep everyone happy. 

Dog and individuals by a small building, one with a grey tee, amidst red flora.
Close-up of an axe held by a person in black pants with ‘OSEI-DURO’ text.

If you feel comfortable discussing, what has been the biggest challenge about the pandemic for you?

My biggest challenge during the pandemic is never getting any alone time. I love my family, but never having a break is tough for me.  

Two people on a sofa facing a wood stove, cat on lap, in a well-lit room with plants.
Kitchen scene with two people and a dog, one lying on floor, other leaning on a cupboard door.

Any recommends of the moment - movies, songs, recipes, drug cocktails, stretches, breathing techniques?

We've been having a backyard campfire at night.  Its grounding and makes me feel like we are somewhere other than home :)

SXSW Film Festival is streaming great indie movies online for free.

I also loved Unorthodox on Netflix. 

Sunlit close-up of a hand-dyed dress in motion, creating a warm, ethereal vibe.
Person on ottoman by window, adjusting curtains, in a bright room with chic decor.



Colorful Para Dress with mixed prints, posed against red backdrop, showcasing outfit’s vibrant contrast and style.

Para Dress in Carnival


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Black floral shirt dress with large purple and yellow flowers, button-up front, and neat collar.

Para Dress in Love Perfect


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Katharos Dress in All Ideas
Stylish Katharos Dress in Nap Time print, a versatile triangle wrap top with black and tan print with rectangle wrap skirt.