Photography Emily Soto at MICHELETTO Styling Rachel Gilman at Altered Agency Model Lulu Bonfils at Muse Models NYC
Photographer Emily Soto shoots Lulu Bonfils over FaceTime and ALSO Journal catches up with the model and artist to see how she is doing.
How are you doing? There’s a lot going on in the US right now, with anti-racism protests sweeping the country as well as opposing responses to the pandemic. What’s the mood like in NYC? Have you been to any protests?
The mood has calmed down a bit as of right now in terms of violence. Currently, protests are still happening everyday but for the most part they’ve been peaceful protests and vigils. Because of my immune issues and medical conditions I’ve been staying away from large crowds and protests, but I’m planning to go and stay socially distant. All these repeat cases of violent cops murdering innocent black people have been swept under the rug by the government and police for so long, and the media is complicit. However, we have the power of social media and I believe a huge part of creating change in this movement is making these deaths known and viral, as well as using each other to record real footage of whats going on in our cities because we are able to share what is actually happening out there. Bringing awareness to racial injustice and sharing resources on what people can do to create change in the government/system/society as well as learning how to be a good ally is what I’ve personally been working on.
Are you still in lockdown? What has your lockdown experience been like?
Yes for the most part I am. NYC is in Phase 1 and people are starting to go back to some work scenarios and it feels like things are relaxing a bit more in terms of the virus. Protests are still happening and police helicopters are constantly above, monitoring. Lockdown has been interesting, the concept is an unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyle so I’m trying to make the best out of a bad situation and trying to stay mentally/emotionally and physically healthy. I’ve been keeping myself busy and I’m trying to keep my body moving wherever I am.
As well as modelling you are an artist, can you tell us more about your work?
I’ve always been drawing and it’s the main consistent thing in my life so I think of it as a tool to relax my mind. Lately I’ve been drawing lots of textures and microscopic patterns as well as imagined spaces. I also love to work with my hands in sculpture and I’ve been making some wax pieces when I visit my parents. My mom does encaustic work and has a studio full of waxes and hot plates. At home, I have an apartment full of my drawings so I’ve made it a goal to organise them and try to sell some of them, I have some attachment to all of them though.
How did it feel to do this shoot alone through a computer screen rather than on set with a full team?
It was interesting and definitely a new experience. It felt like I was doing every set job at once as well as modelling, so it’s fun to act in all the jobs I’m always observing. Emily was very helpful on how to frame and position the screen so it was a team effort between us. The idea of a FaceTime shoot is most peoples solution to a problem we’ve never dealt with before, and I think all of these shoots will serve as a memory of innovation during the lockdown.
What do you have coming up, is the industry up and running again in New York?
The industry isn’t up and running yet, I’m hoping in July we’ll be able to have essential people on set and carry on in a somewhat similar fashion. As of right now, I have some things coming up in the future. I’m definitely itching to get back on set and create some images.