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This unique project shows isolated people "through their windows" (PHOTOS)

"I've noticed that people want to document this period in photos."
Photo: Good Side

For over a decade, Ryan Walter Wagner has worked as a photographer in Vancouver. From headshots to portraits to events to content, he's shot a variety of photographs in different locations. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to think about his craft in a new way.

While Wagner often shoots clients in his photography studio, Good Side, social distancing doesn't allow for in-person close-ups. Instead, he's travelling to people's homes, and shooting them through their windows, on their porches, or on their balconies. Sometimes their windows are open, other times they leave them closed. In some photos people smile, while in others they look somewhat somber. 

Titled "Through the Window," Wagner's portrait project aims to show, "how we’re all adapting from the perspective of physical distance, and looking out to a weird world trying to find our “new normal."

 And while it might seem unusual, Wagner says that people seem quite comfortable with the experience. In fact, he notes that they are actually opening up.

"I've noticed that people want to document this period in photos," remarks Wagner. "People are opening up a lot more - they have a lot to express."

Wagner notes that pets are welcome in the experience, as well as the rest of the family. Of course, many subjects are photographed alone. 

"One woman that I shot had been practically alone for 14 days. She said she'd only seen one other person - I was the second," he recalls. 

When asked what customers can expect in a typical session, Wagner says that he will generally text someone before visiting their abode. After that, he'll ususally talk to them through their window - a safe distance away. 

Clients are also encouraged to dress comfortably, as, "this is not a formal, typical photography experience."

"I just want them to be themselves," says Wager. "I don't know if there is a normal right now. I feel like things are somber but people looking on the bright side. I have great conversations with them, and sometimes I might be the only person they see."

At the end of this week, Wagner says he'll have seen about 50 "through the window" customers. 

"It is nice to still have contact with people, and get a glimpse into their world," he remarks.

"I really enjoy doing this."

Have a look at some of these unique images.

couple-porchPhoto: Good Side


new-windowPhoto: Good Side



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Good Side will make portraits available through an online gallery at a sliding scale or “pay-what”you-can” rate.

Find out more information about the project here.

You can follow Wagner online at @ryanwalterwagner and his studio at @goodsidephoto.

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