photos: Lilika Strezoska.
History has proven to us time and time again that necessity truly is the mother of invention. In 2020 this saying strikes again, as these spectacularly unusual times have driven people to find solutions for the limitations that the wake of the pandemic has brought upon our daily lives. As the routines of our private and work life have been rethought, we want to shed light on ways especially creative people have found, to still exercise their craft. The no contact rule has sparked ideas, that allow our creative Berliners to pursue their passions even in times of crisis.
One fantastic example is Lilika Strezoska. The talented photographer has moved to Berlin one and a half years ago to study Communication Design at the University of Applied Sciences – way before the pandemic changed our lives. Given that we are all to stay home and facetime, rather than meet in person, she came up with a simple solution to still take pictures of what she loves most in photography: people.
“My best work flows out of individuals that awake an interest in me. For me to create a good photograph, being captivated by something in the person I am shooting is essential. Like a spark between two elements, that are suddenly in conflict.”
Lilika photographs her models in the comforts of their own home, without going against the no contact rule – simply over a video call. We fell in love with her current series “Portrait Photography in Time of Isolation” and got super curious about her way of working over the phone.
“When my self-isolation started at the end of March, I began taking remote portraits of people via video chat such as Facetime or Whatsapp from my home in Berlin. I tried to capture what this situation feels like. Some people are alone, some with partners or families, some with pets. Some have made peace with the situation and some are with fear of self-abandonment. For me, this was an experiment in photography and also in human connection.”
To experience a video call shoot with her ourselves, the entire iHeartBerlin team arranged a date, each at their own place and time. Lilika knew exactly what she was doing. And her quick, creative mind saw the already finished photograph by just looking at a random corner in my flat.
“I think in photographs. Whenever I encounter an immediate change or emotional state in my life, I just act upon it and frame it. Forever.”
She managed to drape me in ways across my furniture, that I would have never proposed so myself. And suddenly the old, overlooked sideboard from my grandma looked like poetry. When we facetimed, I quickly panned the camera around my room and within a few seconds, she came up with tons of ideas where and what to shoot. Her creative process was just as captivating as the end results. During the process, she would ask the people she shoots to either involve a friend or a tripod to hold the phone in place, while she is taking screenshots of her screen.
She feels that the images show the clear distance between her and the model, but the photographs are still the ultimate result of a mutual connection, which continues to be a crucial aspect of life. Her idea of facetime photography feels like an ode to the fluidity of creativity. It always finds cracks and holes to escape through, in the cages it is barred in, to form and prosper anew. A big shout-out to women like Lilika who own their craft, even in times of crisis.
In the following we will share our favorite shots of the shoot, we hope you like them too 😉