Erica Reade was walking along the beach one in 2017 and came upon a mirror tucked between fence slats and she has been transfixed with shooting with mirrors ever since.
Along with the rest of us, she’s had to accept a new normal and in doing so, she’s moved from outdoor photographer to indoors, channeling her time and energy into being more creative.
“I took a few photos and was immediately enamored by the effect I had created. I was creating two photos in one, and it gave me a real sense of doing a “double take.”
Erica found that the first set of images she made during the lockdown felt so good that she found she was pushing herself to be even more inventive.
A Calming Force
Photography has become an outlet for her anxiety during the quarantine.
“It was a constant, consistent practice that grounded me. Photography was the way I coped and channeled my nerves and anxiety.”
The series of mirror images is meant to encourage viewers to pause and do a ‘double take.’ “We’ve grown so accustomed to consuming images with the swipe of a finger, I began reflecting on what it meant to slow down as a photographer and take my time creating an image."
“Once we were in lockdown, the idea of ‘reflection’ suddenly felt much more significant. We became united in our collective isolation, reflecting on how we had gotten to this point. 'What did my time at home mean and what was I supposed to be doing as a photographer.'”
A nod to making lemonade out of lemons during the quarantine. “Finding bright yellow inspiration amidst the darkness of the time.Erica Reade
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"I had to really look at myself in the mirror in a way I hadn’t in a long time, to reflect on who I was in the world. Staying creatively busy gave me a sense of purpose during this difficult time.”
"I have a number of practices outside of photography that help with my creativity. I meditate daily, spend a lot of time writing and go on long walks. I listen to podcasts about photography and play my favorite music."
When she doesn’t feel inspired, Erica says giving herself a time limit to shoot helps. Once in the middle of shooting she loses herself in the act.
“I saw the confines of my apartment as a photographic challenge, pushing myself to think as creatively as possible. Admittedly, it’s been gratifying to be able to make work that I am so proud of during such a challenging time.”
“Once the restraints are lifted, my focus is my Beach Lovers series of couples on the beach in love. I’d like to get to the beach as safely and as often possible this summer to continue documenting couples at the beach.” Erica’s eventual goal is a photo book for the series.
Originally from Montreal Canada, Erica Reade is a self-taught Brooklyn-based freelance photographer who makes a living photographing weddings. She is the Founding Director of Camera of the Month Club, a NYC photography collective. When she isn’t shooting, she spends as much time by the ocean as possible, and takes care of her many plants and two cats. Photographers she follows: Rachel Hulme, Eddie Soloway, Brad Obganna, Andre Wagner, Ziqian Liu, Eric White, Vivian Maier and Garry Winogrand, Girl Gaze, and Women Street Photographers.
See more of Erica’s work on Instagram: www.instagram.com/ericareadeimages