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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Creative Self portraiture during Quarantine with Jyo Bhamidipati

  • 3 min read

Creative Self portraiture during Quarantine

Photographer and educator Jyotsna Bhamidipati (Jyo) shares her journey and thought process of creative expression through self-portraiture with Lensbaby during quarantine.


2020 has been a very unusual year for everyone. I had big plans. Perhaps like everyone else too. However; the world has come to a halt in a way a lot of us have never witnessed in our lifetime. Isolation, quarantine, stay at home, let’s all be well have all become a common word here with which our children are growing up lately. A world which we never imagined. Despite all these changes, I have been trying to see the bright side through it all. It’s not been an easy road. But seeing the positives through it while also using photography as my creative outlet to express myself on the days I’ve felt isolation has been helping me somewhat find comfort through these difficult times. Each of these images have a common theme of being in quarantine, feeling isolated with the outside world, but also some fashion of hope.

Double exposure with my Lensbaby edge 35

Self portraiture to me is simply a way to express my emotions especially when words fail me. When I feel a particular emotion, it helps me to portray that emotion naturally in my portraits. Using a Lensbaby lens for my self portraits helps me to use that blur in a way to give that emotion a new meaning. It helps me to gradually hide parts of the image that doesn’t matter much while leading the focus to points in the photo where there is a story to tell. In the photo above, I wanted to give an impression of ‘Coming out of isolation’. But also that I am not quite there yet. Somewhere in between. I feel hidden, but also ‘seen’ in some way.

"Using a Lensbaby lens for my self portraits helps me to use that blur in a way to give emotion a new meaning."

Settings - Shutter speed - 1/200 and ISO 400 

I created this image to reflect hope. To showcase calmness and peace but yet the feeling of being trapped in ‘something’ that is hard to put into words. I created this image to show that I wanted to be dressed up, with makeup but nowhere to go. The glass, the texture, the water droplets were all to reflect the binding; and the colors were to reflect hope. 3

Shutter speed - 1/160; ISO 200

This image was created with a vision in mind as if there is interaction with the outside world. The hand by the window depicts physical proximity which is a rarity right now.

Settings - Shutter speed - 1/200; ISO 1600

The feeling of wanting to reach out from darkness to get close to the spring blooms that are everywhere during this time.

Shutter speed - 1/80; ISO 320

I wanted to depict the emotion of being trapped in my own mind. The conflicting messages on social media on staying home, versus going outside is just one example. I wanted to use movement and color here to depict that emotion.

 Shutter speed - 1/250; ISO 640

This image is a double exposure. It depicts the two versions of me. Being an introvert; I am at peace being inside my house; but a part (just a part) of me is still longing to get out and breathe while also hoping for human interaction.

 Shutter speed - 1/160 and ISO 1000

Lastly; this image was taken to symbolize hope, color and that ‘this too shall pass’.

Gear used

Canon Mark IV and Lensbaby Edge 35.

Bio -Jyotsna Bhamidipati (Jyo) is a mom, an electrical engineer and an award-winning published fine art lifestyle photographer based in Sacramento, California. She is a lover of light and shadows and seeks to capture the everyday perfectly imperfect beauty around her. She strives to be experimental in her vision and constantly works on pushing the boundaries in her photography. Jyo recently taught at Click Away 2019 and has been featured in numerous magazines including Click magazine (various issues).

She has been featured in the 2017 and 2019 Voice collections, is the author of the breakout Capturing Mood, a workshop instructor for the workshop - The Imperfectionist with Click Photoschool and is the co-creator of the Elements Collection presets available at Click and Co store. She recently taught a photography workshop on Light and composition at a private retreat in Palm Springs in Feb 2020. She was also supposed to teach at The Reset Conference in Lexington in March as well as the Insta Inspire retreat in April (now postponed to September and Feb 2021 respectively due to Coronavirus situation).

Social - Website -www.momentsandphotographs.com

Instagram -www.instagram.com/mbmphotographs

Facebook -www.facebook.com/mbmphotographs

Email -makingbeautifulmemories@gmail.com 

Click Photo school workshop -https://www.clickphotoschool.com/the-imperfectionist/