Since her college experience was dramatically altered by COVID-19, two things have been brought into greater focus for Photography major Jasmine Garoosi: her mother and her photography. To help her mother by day, means having to hone her craft by night.
“My mom is working full time as a guidance counselor but she has so many added responsiblities now and so many meetings that she is working non-stop. We are really close so it is hard to see her stressed out” says Garoosi who just completed her AAS and will be working toward her BFA this fall.
“Parents always try to lessen stress for their children. It was important for me to do the same for her. I have been cooking her meals and cleaning. To stay out of her way I started shooting at night after she goes to sleep.
Garoosi’s night photography both for self-exploration and class work, often focues on self-portraits.
“I would define Jasmine as an artist who uses photography to create. She’s an old soul in that she responds to film. She’s been processing it, exploring it, making mistakes and embracing them, doing research. She’s 19-years-old and curious and always trying to do something different. She’s using books, videos and personal experiences.” – Photography Professor Curtis Willocks
“My goal is to shoot the human body and not have it be seen as sexual,” says Garoosi. “I grew up with Middle Eastern culture and saw how men perceive women as sexual no matter what they’re wearing. I wanted to document the body as a form, not in the context of sexuality.”
Garossi began learning to shoot film at Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, NY. It’s now very much her passion. But with the campus closed, she hasn’t able to process or print her work.
Night time series by Jasmine GaroosiShe’s resorted partially to digital. “To produce work I like I am experimenting with overexposing, high ISOs and shooting out of focus,” she says. Black and white also suited her work . “The images have a more dream like quality. There’s a tendency to associate color with reality.”
Says Prof. Willocks “Photography is not something you do. It’s something you are. That’s how I see Jasmine.”
Garoosi makes dinner for her mother most evenings. Being of Iranian, Chinese and Colombian background her repertoire of dishes is eclectic:
“I experiment with different types of food, so one day I might make Chinese rice porridge and the next penne pomodoro.”
When her mom retires to bed she plays meditation music before falling asleep. Garoosi then departs for the backyard and works until 1 am on her images.
The lighting from the house and street are not as ideal as the controlled studio lighting, but Garoosi has found a way to shape the light to her esthetic with her physical form.
“This is the first time, people of my generation are on their own in a changed world. It’s important that we explore and experiment,” she says.
All images used with permission.