For the last month, NYC-based photographer Dennis Tejero has been capturing the changing face of the US capital during COVID-19, as it moves from its once bustling, ‘city that never sleeps’ identity, to a new reality, where social distancing, subway closures and face masks are commonplace.
Though the freelance fashion community is taking a hard hit when it comes to financial stability, Tejero is adamant not to let it curb his creativity, and inspired by Juergen Teller’s infamous portraits from the ’90s, the photographer decided to reimagine the go-see for the new New York. The result is SIX FEET OR MORE, a socially-distanced shoot, the premise of which is evident from the title. As we caught up with models from their windows and doorways, we asked them what they’ve learnt in quarantine, and what they’re most looking forward to when lockdown lifts.
SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF That I’m capable of so much once I focus my energy on it. I’ve learnt that my support system believes so much in me and my ideas, and that I should keep trusting my gut because that has taken me to beautiful places.
SOMETHING YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED I always wanted to start organising events around music and art, and weirdly enough now I’m doing virtual gatherings to dance Perreo all night long.
FIRST THING YOU’LL DO POST-QUARANTINE I’m going to go get sushi at a fancy place with my friends, then a party in real life, or buying a ticket to the Dominican Republic and visiting my family once the borders open.
SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF That I have a lot of creative energy inside of me that I’ve needed to express but have been holding back on. I also realised I have a deep passion to nurture others in their healing process, which I always had a feeling for… but now because of this pandemic that instinct has been really kicking in.
SOMETHING YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED I’m really proud that I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone and share my art.
FIRST THING YOU’LL DO POST-QUARANTINE Go on a trip upstate with my best friends. I really miss exploring the world and being with my pals.
SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF This quarantine taught me to slow down and breathe—to be grateful to the universe for everything. It made me discover that I can have a better spiritual connection with myself.
SOMETHING YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED I am proud that in this period, even distant, it made me get closer to my family and people I love.
FIRST THING YOU’LL DO POST-QUARANTINE I intend to travel and enjoy every detail, hug everyone, and watch the sunset from Brazil, I miss it!
SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF The biggest thing I have found out during quarantine is the importance to not take for granted the freedom to live our lives normally.
SOMETHING YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED Learning how to bake a cake. I’ve also started to learn how to use TikTok.
FIRST THING YOU’LL DO POST-QUARANTINE Go to Six Flags and ride rollercoasters all day.
SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF I must make my mental health top priority. I’ve always believed that mental health is just as important as your physical health, however being in isolation for long periods of time can become a bit debilitating. So I’ve been exploring new ways of making myself happy and relaxed that doesn’t involve me going outside or being around huge groups of people.
SOMETHING YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED Getting stuff done that I’ve been putting off for a while now. It might not seem like a huge thing, but I’ve been putting off doing a couple of things for months now and having all the time in the world (literally), I have no choice but to take initiative and take advantage of all this free time
FIRST THING YOU’LL DO POST-QUARANTINE Take a train back to The Bronx and hug all my friends and family super tight. Plus, just the thought of being on a train again excites me. I used to take all these little things for granted before and now, I yearn to be able to do it all again.
Photography DENNIS TEJERO @ ADB Agency
Production & Casting SHERI CHIU
Video Editing RICARDO MARTINEZ ROA
Retouching FRANCISCO VARGAS
Talent ALECIA RODRIGUEZ @ New York Model Management, SHIAU YAO and KYRSTEN SINCLAIR @ Wilelmina NY, FLORA LIS @ Identity, AMELIA RAMI @ Hero Model Management