Over the past several weeks, Seattle photographer Steven Miller has documented his friends and community members in their homes as part of his Pandemic Portraits series. Standing outside their windows and doors, Miller uses a camera, tripod, his phone's speaker, and sometimes a ladder to capture these pictures, directing the shoot from a safe distance. The results are candid looks inside the homes—and by extension, the brain space—of his subjects during this time of social distance and quarantine.
In an interview with Wired UK, Miller said the project began when he put out a call for participants on his Facebook page and got a flood of responses. He doesn't require his subjects to wear anything specific and that "everyone is showing up how they want to be seen" in their portrait. This project represents a departure from his previous work that made use of sets and costumes to evoke an emotion. "Now there’s no need to try and create tension because it exists in the air around us, invisibly, threatening us all," he said.
While there is certainly a sense of tension and isolation to the photos, there's also a profound sense of intimacy—even a tenderness—to them as well. Many of the buildings and subjects are unfamiliar to me, but that unfamiliarity makes the photos more universal, as if it could be taken in my neighborhood, on my street. You can check out more portraits on his Instagram. Here are a few of my favorites from the series: