As COVID-19 has interrupted daily life, people from every profession have had to figure out ways to be productive — and photographers are no exception. Each week, we’ll share stories from our members about how they’re staying mentally and technically sharp during the pandemic.
What happens when an in-demand photographer like Greenville-South Carolina-based Ian Curcio has nothing but free time for the foreseeable future? In Ian’s case, it gives him the opportunity to spend valuable time with Enzo, his five-year-old son, and document as many moments as possible.
Every shoot I had booked through May has been canceled. That leaves me with an unexpected abundance of free time. My wife’s job, on the other hand, hasn’t paused. We’ve created a makeshift office for her in our living room, and I’ve taken on most of the responsibilities of Enzo’s daytime activities.
There’s nothing like spending every waking moment of the day with your 5-year-old to make you realize two things rather quickly: (1) there’s a reason I don’t do this every day and (2) there are a ton of moments I miss because I’m not paying attention and thinking about work. It felt natural to document more of his life than I already do because it’s such a surreal time in history and I needed a creative outlet.
The Curcio household features Ian, his wife, and their two sons (the oldest is in high school). Like millions of families around the world, Ian’s is dealing with an unprecedented situation.
We’re learning how to navigate it just like everyone else. Our family keeps reminding each other that there’s not really a right way to do this. We’re all just trying to be supportive of each other and doing the best we can. My oldest son is online learning at home, away from the high school residential arts program he’s been attending. We’re all learning to work, learn, play, cook, and exercise in one space and riding the emotional rollercoaster of this pandemic together. It’s not easy but we’re damn lucky to have each other.
And though the situation might get frustrating as the quarantine envelops more and more of the calendar, it’s given Ian a chance to learn from Enzo with regards to keeping a positive spirit. Not the kind of homeschooling we thought we’d be discussing, but a vital version of it, nonetheless.
He’s handling it better than the rest of us. He is an unbelievably joyful child who is always singing. He always has a song in his head and is either using his pencil as drumsticks or running to get his guitar to perform an impromptu concert. And that hasn’t ebbed during this time.
He does like a routine, so we spent the first week figuring out what that would be so that he could handle this new normal better. We set it up and he has a schedule that he recites when he wakes up and it makes him feel more in control and capable. I’m telling you I’m learning some good life lessons from this kid.
Ian’s work has received quite a bit of love, including from an organization called Story Pirates. The media company harnesses the power of children’s imagination by having comedic performers act out scenes written by kids. Story Pirates also hosts a podcast, does live tours, and writes books. During the lockdown, the company has been doing a live radio day every day to keep kids entertained. It’s one of the organizations Ian and his family give to every year, and when they got wind of the photographer’s work with his son, they put an image of Enzo on their site.
Every year our family picks a few organizations that we believe are making the world a better place and we do our best to support them. The Story Pirates is one of the organizations. Since schools have been closed, The Story Pirates have been doing a live radio show every day, including weekends, to help entertain kids all over the world.
So when they reach out to use this image of Enzo, I was more than happy to make the contribution.
Ian and Story Pirates both understand that you can learn as much from kids as they learn from you. The only way to realize this is to spend tons of time with them and come up with fresh new ways to stay entertained and productive. Ian’s bonding sessions with Enzo, while occurring under undesirable circumstances, have made for an incredibly rewarding experience for both parties.
Having this extra time to bond with Enzo is special and not at all lost on me. Being unable to leave the house forces us to not only spend more time together but also to find new and creative ways to do it. We’re having a ton of fun together, and I’m enjoying every minute. His joy is contagious.
Check out more of Ian’s work at iancurcio.com.
Check out our other great photographers on our Find Photographers page!
Check out how WM is helping photographers during the pandemic on our COVID-19 Resources page.