It may seem that the Coronavirus is making Instagram and photography more intimate, since we are all missing out on absolutely everything. Smaranda Lulă is a 24 years old Romanian photographer, and she found a way to remain creative during the pandemic while staying within the confines of her safe space by photographing herself. She isn’t just capturing moments; she’s recording a milestone with memorable selfies in times of quarantine. The series may seem somber at times, because of the lock-down, but the images resonate with an undeniable sense of hope.

I use photography to capture a glimpse into the souls and personalities of the amazing women that surround me. When I realized that the current situation will prevent me from meeting with any of my muses for a long time, I decided to take this opportunity to get on the other side of the camera. Whenever I pick up my Canon, I set an intention to empower whoever is in front of the lens, to bring to light their best features and reflect back the beauty I see in them. I use my self-portraits with the same intention—as a therapeutic tool to remind me that, if I put aside all my flaws and insecurities and dive deeper, I can find plenty of reasons to love myself. That is why I strongly encourage everyone to give it a try and emerge on a self-discovery journey through self-portraits. When you put yourself in front of the camera, you not only have to figure out what is your best angle, but you also need to decide what kind of emotion you want to convey—when you make that decision, you might learn something new and surprising about yourself.

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Still can't tell exactly my origins because of my Chinese eyes. Hate fish roe. From the bottom of my heart.