Covid-19: Behind Windows and Doors in Bristol

Where I can (behind windows and doors obvs) I’ve been capturing “the feels” of lockdown. The emotions you’ve experienced through isolation and distancing – boredom, fear, dejection, frustration, hope, resilience and love. Or maybe you’re in the camp of families who are using this time to slow down and reconnect with each other – you’re blissfully feeling contentment and dare I say it – having a damn good time. If you are anything like me though, you can feel all of these ups and downs during one single day?

And how are we handling family celebrations? We still have birthdays and newborn babies haven’t been given an extension inside the womb. Anniversaries still take place and those of us with a faith remain committed to festivities such as Easter and Ramadan and continue to meet weekly via online methods! Everything, it seems, now looks and feels slightly different to what we’re used to. So how are we handling all of this? How are you feeling? In my bubble I represent things visually. Capturing how people feel using my profession in photography was a natural response for me. This is not for profit. It’s a diary. It’s a visual documentary.

I’ve written a short background to this project at the end of the blog if you want to read beyond the imagery. There’s also a link to a video and information on how you might like to get involved – safely of course!

I just hope whoever looks at this series will get a sense that none of us are facing this period alone. It’s something we’re all in together – a team spirit has emerged and I hope it continues. Our windows and doors might remain physically closed but we still simply want to connect…..

So why is this worth doing? Well until the lockdown measures ease more substantially I can’t do my job as a photographer inside family homes but there’s a historical value in these events that people still want to capture. From a poetical point of view, our windows and doors are portals, offering us a glimpse into the lives of others and we’re all interested in how people are coping behind closed doors.

There are so many technical imperfections in these shots. Shooting through windows is messy in so many ways, the shots are taken quickly and the glare is really tricky to manage. But this is all part of the project for me because it’s a messy, unmanageable time so it’s a great reflection of how life feels right now. 

[Watch this via You tube video: Duration 2m:26s]

So how did this occur? Well I usually photograph families from inside their homes – capturing their everyday life and connection. But with this line of business completely drying up I decided to kick off a project to capture my own family antics – something I don’t always get time to do. As well as the stuff we get up to inside, I started grabbing photos of my girls chatting to their grandparents from outside, with glass between them.  I took pictures of them painting a 2.5m rainbow on our front window, and nipped outside to capture them leaning out as they joined in with the weekly NHS clap. A theme emerged!

As a photographer windows and doors are hugely important for me. They often dictate the mood of the images I take depending on the light they throw in. As it turns out windows in particular, are now having a moment in everyone else’s life too. Think of the rainbows you’ve seen, the messages of thanks, hope and solidarity, the teddies lined up – not forgetting the images from across Europe where people are throwing open their windows to sing and play instruments in unison. Why not have a think about what you could be saying from behind your window and consider capturing it in a photograph?


So what does lockdown mean for you?

If you’d like to participate in this series there are some very simple rules of engagement in line with the government guidelines. 

Photographs are taken from the outside with a window or door between us (either at the front or side of your house but not at the back)

Irrespective of a window or door being between us, I will still try to remain more than 2 metres away. This isn’t a meeting – I won’t stop to chat. It’s got to be quick!

I can take a maximum of 3 images as I must be transitional in my time outdoors and not “lurk” on the streets, garden or driveway

Your images will be shared in this series.

You get a digital copy of 1-3 photos. It’s free. I only ask that you consider making a voluntary donation to Above and Beyond which supports Bristol City Centre hospitals. 

You can be as creative or metaphorical as you like. You can look at the camera or at each other. If you have message for people you can hold up a sign or you can simply stay silent. You can include your pet; You can laugh or cry, look bored and trapped or show joy – just show me what lockdown means for you or how you’ve been feeling during this period of time – and most importantly show me this through glass in your door or window?

Get in touch here


4 Responses to “Covid-19: Behind Windows and Doors in Bristol”

  1. Cat Ransome

    I would love to be a part of this amazing piece of history in the making 🙂


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