This Brooklyn Photographer Is Capturing the Inspiring Signs His Self-Isolating Neighbors Are Showing From Their Windows—See Them Here

Photographer Stephen Lovekin's series features hand-written signs with hopeful messages.

Robert E. Clark Jr. poses for
Robert E. Clark Jr. poses for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus" by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

With stay-at-home orders in place across much of the country, many people are feeling more isolated than ever. That’s why photographer Stephen Lovekin is capturing Brooklyn residents through their apartment windows, a series that stands as a reminder that none of us are facing this difficult ordeal alone.

Titled “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and the Coronavirus,” Lovekin’s powerful portraits show people at home, holding up handwritten signs featuring messages of hope and resilience through the window pane.

A staff photographer for Shutterstock, Lovekin had been shooting New York’s increasingly empty streets, documenting our new normal of face masks and social distancing. But he was also interested in how people were coping with the situation behind closed doors.

“I began to feel compelled to document this unprecedented time in our history,” Lovekin recently told the Washington Post. A resident of the Ditmas Park neighborhood in Brooklyn, he started checking in with neighbors “to see how they were feeling and to see what message, if any, they would like to share with the world, whether they be personal, political, or spiritual.”

Agnetha Septimus, Matthew Septimus, and children Ezra and Nora, pose for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Agnetha Septimus, Matthew Septimus, and children Ezra and Nora, pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Shooting through the window was a natural choice for the artist. Windows frame our view of the world and, from the street, they offer a glimpse into the interior lives of others.

The first image in the series features a 91-year-old artist who lives alone and is still making new work in her top-floor studio apartment. “I was inspired by her dedication to her work,” Lovekin said in a statement.

The photographer began sharing the images on social media and was soon inundated with requests to take part in the project. “I feel like I’m busier than when things were normal!” he said.

Artist Shirley Fuerst poses for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Artist Shirley Fuerst poses for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

“I hope that in this time of chaos and uncertainty,” Lovekin told the Post, “this project will help people feel more connected to the outside world even though we are all literally separated from one another for an unknown amount of time.”

See more photos from the series below.

Callie Lovekin and Lucas Lovekin pose for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Callie Lovekin and Lucas Lovekin pose for”Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Lisa Draho and Josh Zuckerman, with children Ruby and Ava, pose for 'Words At The Window: Self Isolation And The Coronavirus', a portrait series by Shutterstock Staff Photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

Lisa Draho and Josh Zuckerman, with children Ruby and Ava, pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Husband and wife filmmakers, Claire Ince and Ancil McKain pose for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Husband and wife filmmakers, Claire Ince and Ancil McKain pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Mike Pergola and Denise Pergola with children Henry, Jack, and Will, pose for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Mike Pergola and Denise Pergola with children Henry, Jack, and Will, pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jean Davis and Danny Rosenthal, with children Simone, Naomi, and Leah, pose for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jean Davis and Danny Rosenthal, with children Simone, Naomi, and Leah, pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Professor and activist Dr. Kristin Lawler poses for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Professor and activist Kristin Lawler poses for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Khadijah Silver and son Eliot pose for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Khadijah Silver and son Eliot pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tom Smith and Laura Ross, with daughters Caroline, Elizabeth, and Abigail, pose for 'Words At The Window: Self Isolation And The Coronavirus', a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tom Smith and Laura Ross, with daughters Caroline, Elizabeth, and Abigail, pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Anna Beth Rousakis and daughter Mary Rousakis pose for "Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus," a portrait series by Shutterstock staff photographer, Stephen Lovekin, shot around the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Anna Beth Rousakis and daughter Mary Rousakis pose for “Words at the Window: Self Isolation and The Coronavirus” by Stephen Lovekin. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.


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