Rose Callahan on Photography During Lockdown

A photographer and director based in New York, Rose Callahan also has two coffee table books to her name. She has a greater focus on portraits of celebrities that are driven by character. She clicks portraits that have a transformative power of style and celebrate individuality.

Her two coffee table books are titled I am Dandy and We are Dandy. These books consist of a diverse collection of photographs. They’re of men from different parts of the world for whom dressing is an art.

How she was affected by the lockdown

In an interview, she talked about the projects she was working on before the lockdown was imposed. She also narrated her experiences during the lockdown. Before everything was shut down, she had just began working on her third book. It was with Nathaniel Adams, her co-author for I am Dandy. Her third book is titled Rare Bird and is all about women who have an extraordinary style.

These are the women who create their identity through their own unique style. She had just started photographing intensely and was completely engrossed in her work. One day, it became more apparent on her way home that the lockdown was going to get heavier. Rose felt that it was time to stop shooting and isolate herself completely. She had to postpone her third book temporarily as a result.

What kept her inspired during lockdown

Rose recalls that she began watching photographers who were doing some remote shooting. Damien Frost was the one whom she admired the most. He is a photographer based in the UK and had released a book of portraiture in 2016. The name of the book is Night Flowers. It contains more than 300 portraits of individuals who are a part of London’s alternative nightlife.

They include drag kings and queens, Goths, cabaret performers, transgenders, and queer people among many others. When most of the people where quarantining, Frost had begun doing remote portraits. He spent his time photographing people through FaceTime.

About her projects during lockdown

After getting some inspiration from the techniques of Damien Frost, she began exploring alternative possibilities. She had a projector with her and she started having zoom sessions with people. In the space that she set up, she would project the figures. As a part of this experiment, she played really well with the technique and process.

Rose felt as though her creativity was unlocking once again. She wanted something legitimate to focus on. So, she named her project Far Away Nearby. The best thing about this project was that she could capture her subject anywhere. It didn’t matter where they were in the world.

The lessons she learned during lockdown

Rose admits that she has always been a very social individual. She believes that it’s important as humans to stay connected with people. However, she also learned during the lockdown how much she was able to stay alone. The best thing that she learned is remote shooting.

It allowed her to connect with people as well as to stay productive. She didn’t need much lifestyle changes as she was already a freelancer. She feels that freelancing and doing some creative work prepared her for those tough times.

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