"On the other side of the Mediterranean, Spain shut down: Sophie is out of school, so the things we had to keep life “normal” for her, like going to school or just seeing friends, were out of the picture. We are a multi-cultural family. I was born in Argentina, lived in Los Angeles – where Sophie was born – for around 20 years, and now we are based in Barcelona; so we don’t really have the family support here that we would have had in LA, Buenos Aires, Naples or Milan. I needed to be strong for Sophie, for Mariella, for myself! I needed to support myself, and what better thing to keep me sane and on track than my camera? So that’s what I've done!
I've treated this like the most challenging assignment of my life; not for a client, but for us, the family – a personal project collecting together all these strange yet amazing moments. To my surprise, Sophie and I have built the strongest bond I've could ever have imagined. I’ve got to known her so well: her amazing way of being, her strength and maturity – everything!"
"Constantly shooting both photos and video, has helped so much: we have fun, we immortalize moments, and then we look at them at the end of each day. It has helped pass the time. Sophie even grabs her Polaroid and snaps some shots for her own album. Family-wise, the situation is getting a bit closer to normality: Mariella’s mom got better, so Mariella was able to hop on a ship from Genoa to Barcelona, arriving her Sunday March 29, after 22 days away. However, we are not together yet. Because Mariella was exposed to COVID-19, she’s doing the responsible thing by going into two-week quarantine in a flat lent to her by some good friends. So we have 14 more days to go. Actually, 11 now! Or, as Sophie would do, checked √."
"Meanwhile we continue documenting, keeping the faith, building and even stronger bond, and giving Sophie what I like to call a Life is Beautiful world; kind of like Guido (Roberto Benigni) did for his son Giosuè in the wonderful Italian film La Vita e Bella. Sophie just doesn’t need all the uncertainties this whole situation has brought us. She just needs to be a kid, to know that she’s our beloved daughter, and, even with the distance, that she’s got the most amazing mamma ever, plus a whole family who love her unconditionally.”
Text and all images on this page © Rafa Lanus
Equipment: Leica M (Type 240) with Summilux-M 35 f/1.4 Asph and Tri-Elmar-M 28-35-50 f/4 Asph, Leica V-Lux-5
Rafa Lanus is a 43 year-old photographer, who was born and raised in Buenos Aires. After living in Los Angeles for 18 years, he is currently based in Barcelona. He has been working as a photographer for over 20 years, doing all of kinds editorial assignments. The ones he enjoys most are those for NGOs and Aid organizations.