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.

Sarah Soquel is a photographer living and working in Los Angeles. She's shot for us many times, but this is her first time in front of the camera for us. Photos of her time at home include her partner David and her dog Mavis. Her thoughts (pre-uprising) on isolation and this pandemic below.

All photos: Sarah Soquel

Woman in a playful pose wearing a green dress on a white backdrop.

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

I’m an artist with a day job writing for a tech company. Pre-pandemic I would be up early in the morning to take the train to work. Now I work from home, appreciating how privileged I am to have a paying job during this crazy time, and getting more time with my partner and our dog (albeit time feels extra slippery right now). 

Side by side of a woman in two different dresses, one a red with white squares, the other green with white spots.
Woman in a red and white checkered dress bending backwards in an arch on a white background.

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

The other day I was (safely) walking with a friend and we were talking about how despite obviously wanting this crisis and the suffering it's causing to end swiftly, not wanting things to go back to ‘normal’ either. Because the dysfunction and injustices we’re seeing acutely during this time of Covid were all in operation before. So I’d say the challenge is in how to make peace with the chaos and find ways to be present and helpful right now, while conceptualizing the future without falling into existential dread. (All easier said then done.)

Diptych of an woman in a green dress, seated on a sofa in one image and shaking their head in the other.

Two individuals embracing, one in a green and white print dress, the other in a white shirt with red and blue marks.

 Any recommends of the moment - movies, songs, recipes, drug cocktails, stretches, breathing techniques?
I loved the trippiness and surprises of ‘The Midnight Gospel’ on Netflix. Listening to music, with a few key songs on heavy rotation — Dave Van Ronk’s live cover of 'Mac the Knife'Kate Bush and Prince’s 'Why should I love you?', and David Bowie’s 'I can’t give everything away'. Reading Krishnamurti ‘Think on these things’ helping me. Periwinkle essence by Sun Song, made by my pal Saewon. And Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki's 2 Lizards <3

Two individuals in an indoor setting, one posing in front of white backdrop, the other in the background with a small dog.