In the beginning of 2020, my weekends were lively, only for that to last until mid-March. My busy weekends of photography soon came to a halt, for not just a few weeks, but a few months. As much as I wanted to pick up the camera, there was not much to take pictures of. Until I saw something called FaceTime photoshoots.
I came across a new type of photography in a Facebook group I was in. I couldn’t understand how some people in America were taking pictures during a pandemic! Then, I realized the photographer wasn’t anywhere near the subject. These pictures were right out of an Apple application I use, called FaceTime.
I haven’t taken pictures for days and wanted to do something with others. Soon, I was inspired to do my own spin with FaceTime photoshoots.
After posting pictures of my first FaceTime photoshoot, I was flooded with compliments of my work. Some even asked if I could do these pictures for them, and I said of course! Ever since I rebranded my business though, I made sure to limit doing free work with photography and realize my worth. But for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to charge for taking pictures through FaceTime. I took a step back and remembered, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. That’s when I realized, there are people out there who do need funds. The place that came to my mind first was Chinatown of NYC.
I came across an organization called Send Chinatown Love. Their target goal was to bring back businesses affected by COVID-19. The rampant racism occurring in America caused the businesses to lose customers and soon their own business. As soon as I heard about this, I decided to form these FaceTime photoshoots into a personal project. I would charge $8 for each session and all proceeds would go to Send Chinatown Love. In short, after doing this project for a month, I raised $574.
Almost every person I met behind the screen had their own story, but someone who stood out to me the most was a woman named Sophie. She & I met through Facebook, thanks to a mutual group I advertised in. As soon as she reached out, she wanted to schedule a call first. During this call, we talked about ourselves and what we do, and you know what? I haven’t done that in a long time. I haven’t really talked about my work to people in a while due to quarantine.
That was only the beginning of our conversation, and soon, our own friendship! She expressed unique ideas for this session. It made me really happy to see someone take this in a creative route. When it was finally time to have our photoshoot, the ideas didn’t stop. Soon we crafted something I was absolutely fond of!
Sophie was the last person I decided to do these photoshoots with, and I couldn’t have asked to end it any better. She was just one of the many beautiful people I met during the quarantine. I’m more than thankful for doing this project of FaceTime photoshoots during this time.
Hi, I’m Millie Elangbam! As a NYC portrait photographer and wedding photographer, I hope to convey your story through elegant, raw, and genuine photography. Your individuality, beauty, and story. I hope to document it all and give you incredible photos that will bring you back to the very moment captured in New York City.
If you’re thinking about an impromptu photoshoot or documenting your special day in New York City, let’s talk! I would love to chat and guide you through the hectic world of photography.