My name is Morgan, I’m a 35 year old dive instructor/ photographer/ scuba travel agent originally from France. I arrived in Bristol in September last year, after about 8 years travelling the world and working as a diver. So, for me, coming to England was already a big shock, as I’m an outdoor kind of person; sun, sand and sea are my kind of landscapes.
When I realised I had to move to England and Bristol for work, places I had never been, I really took a hit. But the job offer was too good for me to turn down. In my first months here it was already hard in the sense of having to wear several layers of clothes, searching for a place for days and weeks, living inside and not knowing anybody. But then, eventually, everything fell into place.
I had the chance to go to Thailand for a month in January and February, which was very much needed, as I had been inside for too long already.
From there everything went a bit out of control. I was in Thailand when the pandemic started, and it was getting bigger and bigger in Asia.
So my family insisted I went back home, which I refused to do since I had wanted to get to Thailand for so long, and had lots to do still. I managed to get home to Bristol at the end of February. In the next month, I heard that Italy went into lock down, then Spain, France, and finally the UK.
I had the chance to work from home for a while, which I did. So basically, I have been isolating since the 12th of March, around 2.5 months. The first week or two you start taking it the fun way, because we’re all in the same situation so it’s okay. You Skype your friends, have a drink with them and spend long hours having those kinds of virtual meetings.
All of a sudden there was no more work. Because there were no more flights, so that meant the only work I had for some days was to cancel customer’s trips. Then even this went and I discovered the meaning of a new word for me; furlough.
At this point it stopped being funny. I had already been isolating for a full month. I had been shopping twice and not been out for anything else. I was spending more time home in a day than anywhere else I have been to. That really affected my mood and mental health.
I decided that I should mark this unprecedented event, but how? How to remember this period? The feelings and emotions? Well, self-portraiture was not my first idea. But eventually, after having taken hundreds of photos of the plants at home and different objects, I wanted a bit of a change. So, one day I took a picture of myself; from then I haven’t stopped.
Every day was a different emotion and situation in my mind, so I tried to translate them into a still image. Some are shocking, some are funny, some are ridiculous. But all of them reflect the situation and emotion I was in when I took them.
By taking all those pictures, and most of the time laughing at myself, I realised it has had a great effect on me. Making me super creative, focused and motivated. I have redone my website exactly the way I always wanted; I have had a web radio interview for the same work. An online exhibition is on its way featuring one of my favourite photos. I have sold photos in the US and Australia and already pre sold a book in Colombia and Australia.
In the end, I have taken a good lesson from this situation; you can just be a victim of it or you can use this time wisely for things that matter to you. You can stay in bed the whole day scrolling through social media, or you can be productive and start something new. That’s what I did and I’m proud of what I have done. I will leave a mark about these crazy times in my very own way, which is exactly what I wanted. So, for me, in the end, this quarantine has been, in a way, a positive thing.
Morgan’s story continues at www.mochaphotography.net
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