Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Lorna Cabble

This instalment in the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series is from photographer Lorna Cabble, who is currently studying for a masters.

I’ve gone from working and studying 60 hours minimum a week to having nothing to do. I’m someone who needs to be busy, otherwise I just get depressed.

The break started out as a little holiday but very quickly got boring. I need a schedule, so I think the hardest thing has been forcing myself to be busy, which was difficult at the beginning. But I’ve gotten into the swing of it now.

I’m living in a house with two other women at the moment in Cardiff. I work full time as a manager in a cinema, but I was eventually put on furlough. I am also studying for my masters degree in documentary photography on top of that, but I’ve interrupted my studies until next March, as I couldn’t shoot what I needed to. Having gone from putting a minimum of 60 hours a week into work and studies to then having nothing to be working on has been mental. I’m someone who needs to be busy otherwise I just get depressed.

I’ve spent a lot of time journaling (written) which has really forced me to think about where I want to take my degrees/career and also how I can take care of myself better, both physically and mentally.
Forcing myself to stay active instead of sitting is difficult, but always better after you do it. I’ve gotten in touch with a few performer friends and we’ve done and planning some photoshoots via webcam just as a way of staying creative.
I’ve found the social aspect more difficult, but not in the way where I miss talking to people and feel more lonely, people are reaching out to communicate more online and I’m actually more socially active than I’ve ever been but I’m such an introvert that it’s a little overwhelming and have to recognise when I just need to take a day with the phone switched off – I think reading yourself is really important and being able to follow through on what you need. We’re all going through crazy times so it’s not like anyone can, or should judge you on the way you’re choosing to deal with it. Just do you (within reason and law!).
Despite being a major grumpy introvert, I mostly miss being around the people I love to photograph. I was working closely with a children’s local dance school before this and teaching photography and making them a documentary and I actually do miss that a lot – but I’m still working with them – it’s just all online. It’s been a real learning experience, forcing myself to adapt and work in different ways.

These photographs are from two of my lockdown photoshoots – experimenting with shooting through webcams hooked up to my TV. It’s a real challenge, but it’s a good challenge. They’re experiments and they’re not perfect, but it’s a way to keep working. The girl in the shots is Evie Connor from the Glamorgan Dance Academy, and the burlesque dancer doing Mr Bean is Dainty Dorine.

Having to shoot like this – it’s definitely taught me a lot about myself in a way I didn’t expect it. I was for sure expecting to need to adjust to embracing a ‘poorer quality image’ because I’ve always been quite a straight forward sharp and clean photographer. I’m actually loving how ‘poor’ they are because it’s just representative of how we’re seeing ourselves now.

In person, I’m more gesture based than words based, I don’t know why, and I always knew on some level but I didn’t realise how much so. For example, if I was in the studio or on location with a model/photo interest, I’d be showing them where I want them to be and leading by example, rather than telling them. Doing photoshoots like this – it’s all words and a lot of “no, the other left” – but also, a lot more giggling (from all involved) because it’s just a surreal situation and actually super fun!
It’s definitely polishing my attention to detail too because I’m having to get them to tour me around the location on webcam so we can choose somewhere to shoot.

3 thoughts on “Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Lorna Cabble”

  1. Love your openness of thought. If you try to perceive yourself as extremely extrovert, just for fun, I am sure that a lot of things will resolve themselves. Your lack of schedules,or being told what to do, will become your sepreme endeaver to create your schedule yourself! That would meet with your introvert endeavers that can’t bother with outside approval. I am sure you can do it and become what you want to be. Love and smiles Guenter X


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