There are two types of people in life — those that take advantage in times like this, and those that help, according to Hector Puig, a photographer and artist based in Los Angeles.
Puig is the visionary behind the world’s largest virtual photography experience, where photographers from across the country can join together to create art. He said that creating this experience is how he could help both the photographers and the rest of the world through expression and art in these dark times.
Puig, along with photographer Dovvie Viramontes, reached out to photo-communities in Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Seattle and DC through Instagram, and expect over 400 photographers to attend the zoom meeting on April 4, 2020.
This experience comes a week into the mandatory stay home order from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Viramontes said he knows a lot of people are excited about this virtual photography experience because they’re at home and bored with nothing to do.
”Since a lot of people can’t leave their homes and photograph, they are losing their creativity,” Viramontes said. “We want to continue that creative momentum, and we don’t want to lose that creative spirit within people.”
Puig, an active member in the Los Angeles photography community, has a background in both film photography and broadcast, so is equipped with the skills to tell a story through an image regardless of the photo’s resolution or quality.
“When you shoot with film it's not all about the resolution or the pixels of a photo, it's about learning how to tell a story and communicate using imagery,” Puig said.
Being from Spain and seeing how COVID-19 was affecting his country really had an effect on Puig. He said there was one image in particular that really moved his heart.
“The image was of elderly people dying in their beds and nurses bringing them a phone with a facetime call for them to say goodbye to their families,” Puig said. “I wish I could be there because that moment was life. I was jealous of not being there, and I was like ‘I would like to portray that situation so I could be there with my camera to give testimony to that.’”
Puig said that his background along with realizing the power of facetime and video calling through this one image led him to the idea of having a mass virtual photoshoot.
Sisters Megan and Celine Kamaouha will be participating in the virtual meet up from Albuquerque.
Celine will be modeling while Megan will be holding her phone which will be connected to Zoom, an online video chatting platform. Over 400 photographers from over 4 cities will see Celine modeling and will be able to screenshot or photograph images of her from their homes
“It’ll be cool to have a photographer (Megan) on the other end of my phone helping to get good angles and frames, so I’m really thankful to have another photographer in the house with me to assist in that process,” Celine said.
Celine said being a part of this experience is super exciting because it's a huge opportunity, especially because a lot of photographers and content creators are craving the opportunity to be able to create.
“I’m excited to be a part of a game-changing platform and a game-changing move for the photography community,” Celine said.
Amanda Britt is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @AmandaBritt__