5 Frames… Of life in Mexico during quarantine (Kodak UltraMax 400 / 35mm Format / EI 400) – by Gerardo Montoya

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All these frames were shot with my Minolta X-700 and a Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.7, the combination that made me discover my passion for photography almost a year ago.

Even though I’m still in the phase of finding out which film stock I like the most, Ultramax 400 is the one that I always come back to. So right before the lockdown was implemented in my hometown Monterrey in Mexico, I decided to buy just one roll, hoping that lockdown wouldn’t last for more than a month.

My Minolta X-700 and a Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7, Gerry Montoya
My Minolta X-700 and a Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7, Gerry Montoya

Spoiler alert: that was 4 months ago.

Although this pandemic has taken a lot from us, I believe it has also given us. As a college student, I don’t get to see my family as much as I would like to. Between homework, exams and work, most of the time I just see my family during dinner. This quarantine gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my family, and my pets too!

You can see on one frame Lupino (the sleepy guy on top) and Benito (laying on the chair) and on the other frame is Lupino, Bimbo (the white dog) and Cleo, a dog we rescued a few weeks before quarantine which was adopted just a few days after these photographs were taken.

These days have given me the chance to photograph moments which I don’t normally get to see; what my father does on a normal workday, how hard studying medicine is for my sister and celebrating birthdays without the whole family.

To try and change the monotonous way of life during quarantine, it is now family tradition to have lunch outside on the balcony every Sunday, which is something we normally don’t have the time to do. We take out the grill and the beers (of course), we put music on and we enjoy the day. We promised ourselves that we would try our best to continue this tradition after quarantine ends.

These months have helped with putting my creativity to work, by shooting the same subjects over and over again without becoming repetitive or boring, and discovering that I really enjoy not just shooting landscapes, but also documenting the life of people and getting genuine reactions and behaviors.

I can’t wait to finally be able to go back outside, not just to shoot landscapes again, but also to document the real normal life of people in Mexico.

~ Gerardo

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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

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