“A musician of words and an artist behind the lenses bring you real stories of life and reflections.”
Who are we ?
We are siblings, united in our passion for story telling; one through visuals, and the other through words. Hari Jr Harichandran is a portrait and lifestyle photographer, based in Malaysia. He started out documenting interesting characters on the street and is popularly known as the street shutter. Over time, Hari realised his passion for people photography and advanced his interests in capturing portraits.
I, Nisha Harichandran, am a business story teller and content writer based in Cardiff. Blogging was my safe space as I explored myself as a writer and I pursued writing full time after moving to Cardiff in 2020. Bohem Notes was built on the vision to empower the sharing of stories; and an extension of the heart centered and personal growth message of Bohemian Crossing Blog.
How was the Growing in Lockdown series conceived?
2021 began as an emotional roller coaster with health setbacks in the family, and the final straw came with a Covid-19 positive diagnosis for myself on the eve of my return to the UK. Frankly, this news came as a big shock as I was ultra cautious and mindful of all protocols and guidelines. Between the battle of self-empowerment and self-critic, we supported each other as a family, keeping the big picture in sight; and placing faith and trust in the process that things will work out well.
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” ~ Peter Marshall
“Why don’t you connect with people and write about what they are going through”, Hari said. I listened to his words echo in my ears as I awaited medical staff to complete formalities that would declare my independence. “Yes”, I nodded. Hari was right.
There were so many learnings over the past eighteen months. Lockdown was real. Now, we were moving into a new version of life; an alteration of our earlier normal. Whilst I looked forward to more activity beyond the comfort of home, I cringed at the sight of casualness by many to make up for ‘lost time’. The stories had to be told, the growth, built upon and enhanced. It was against this background, the Growing in Lockdown Project : Real Stories by Real Women was conceived.
“There are all kinds of things we can do to make this world a better place but we must start with ourselves.” Richard Bandler
Why 12 stories?
I decided on 12; one for each calendar month and for every hour on the clock face. This meant, at any point of time, there will be a message, a guide and an inspiration to lean on.
About the photo shoot
We did a remote style shoot via FaceTime and Google Duo. The option depended on the type of device the participant had. The remote photoshoot was essential to the story telling because it accentuated the borders, restrictions and the new style virtual meetings which became common place during lockdown.
I turned to Hari, not as my brother, but because I admired his work as a portrait and lifestyle photographer. There was a textural element in his photography, which was raw and natural. He had a keen eye to really pick the moment that highlighted the essence of the person. The remote photo shoot was a first-time experience for all our participants. With co-operation from both sides, each session was wrapped up under 30 minutes.
About the writing
Words are one of the best gifts we can gift to ourselves and others. Words have power. Beyond that, words have the potential to awaken, inspire, comfort and empower. I opted to have a consistent style for the articles to train the eye and the mind to read with ease. For the final question, I had a set of three questions which the participants could select from. This was the final impression or take away message from each participant.
Growing in Lockdown
This article series is an inspirational account of women around the globe who grew in strength, skill, self-belief and spirit; both sensationally and soulfully during the Covid 19 Pandemic lockdown. The messages of these women serve as stimulus for our soul as we step into the new normal and beyond. The series was launched on June 17th and will wrap up on July 26th.
A heartfelt thank you and gratitude to all our participants who supported us in this journey and shared their messages of love, hope and growth with us.
Photographs captured by : Hari Jr Harichandran