The lockdown portraits are also quite unique in terms of production. Casting, PPM, shoot and post production all happened from home. Together with Initials LA, TBWA went in search of six real Brussels stories. Each one authentic and reflective of society in quarantine. “The portraits are done via videocall,” Jef Boes continues. “I always went together with my interviewer to find a nice light and a good place in the house. Often I would take a picture when the sun was rising or setting. As a photographer, I am also trained to look at lines, and place people in them. It’s about passing on good guidelines to my models. The shoot happened very spontaneously. I let them be themselves as much as possible. The first portrait I took was of Fred Jannin. A very special man. I immediately felt a click.”
In addition to comedian Fred Jannin, the owners, Nathalie and Jean-Louis Hennart, of the iconic bar L’Archiduc were also portrayed. They are given an encouraging place on an immense poster right across from their business in Dansaert. The other portraits – Brussels residents from different communities and neighborhoods, each with their own story – such as Dounia Farid, Hicham Farid, Nadir Farid, Valerie De Ketelaere, the Bevernage family and Benoît De Bruyn (NewTree) will be used in print and online.