Based in New York City, Josh Sobel is a versatile photographer who has shot everything from major brand campaigns with the likes of Dior to the stage dives at major music festivals. In between all that, you can also catch him snapping photos at an NBA game with Bleacher Report, a song release party for Alicia Keys & Miguel, and any other event you wish you were invited to. The result is an energetic instagram feed with a who’s-who of celeb cameos. For a guy who makes his living running around and hitting events, this installment of On The Line With… talks to Josh about how he’s adjusting to the new normal, how sticking to his routine helps him stay grounded, and what he’s most looking forward to once we come out of this. Read Up.
Describe what you do for a living and how you are adjusting to social distancing.
My name is Josh Sobel and I am a freelance photographer / videographer based in New York. Life lately has been unusual to say the least, and like most people I’ve been trying to find new ways to stay productive and active daily. Such a huge part of what I do involves being out and about, so the transition to quarantine life has definitely been a challenge. I’ve been learning to accept the way things are for the time being and make the most of the situation at hand.
How do you typically start your day? What daily rituals are you practicing?
I’ve always been more of a night owl, and this quarantined way of living has only made that worse (usually awake until 3-4am). Because I’ve been staying up so late, lately I find myself starting my days late as well. I try to get up around 11am (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) and start my day by cooking up a good breakfast. From there, I try to get a morning workout in before I start on whatever tasks I have lined up for that day.
How are you staying productive while at home? Any useful tips?
As cliché as it sounds, I really do think writing out your goals or “to-do list” is very important for staying on track and keeping some type of structured routine. For everyone right now, it’s pretty easy to lack motivation and feel unenthusiastic some days. I’d be lying to you if I said I’ve accomplished something every single day since this all started. It’s okay to have unproductive days, but overall I think it’s helpful to push yourself each day to do something productive, big or small.
What is keeping you grounded/balanced at the moment?
Lately, I find that staying on a routine is great for keeping a level head. I love to cook every day, workout every day, learn something new, talk with family/friends, and have some down time watching TV + playing video games.
During this time of social distancing, people are leaning on things such as streaming services, puzzles, at-home workouts, to name a few, what activities are you using to take your mind off of things?
When I feel that I’ve spent a decent amount of time on productive activities for the day, I like to reward myself with some time to either binge watch movies/TV shows or turn on my Xbox and game with some friends for a few hours. I can’t lie, this new Call Of Duty Warzone game has me addicted. Aside from that, I’ve been working out daily, sometimes twice per day. Even if they’re small workouts, staying active feels great both physically and mentally. With so much free time there really is no excuse for not getting regular workouts in.
How have you stayed connected to friends and family during this time?
Group chats, playing with friends via online gaming, and the occasional group facetime are the main ways I’ve been staying in touch with those I’m closest with. Although nothing can replace socializing in person, staying in touch with friends and family daily is still very comforting.
What advice would you give to someone who’s struggling in isolation right now?
Honestly, and I can’t stress this enough, do whatever makes you happy. I’ve been seeing so much talk online stressing the need to stay super productive 24/7 and talking down on people who have been feeling lazy during quarantine etc. I don’t think anyone should feel guilty if they’re struggling with isolation. I think it’s important to try to stay busy and productive, but at your own pace. Everyone is different, and there is no right or wrong way to get through this.
What accomplishment or new project are you most proud of while social distancing?
I’ve actually been way more consistent with my workouts lately than I have been in a long time, which has me feeling really good mentally. Also, I’ve been using this free time to learn a lot of interesting new photo/video skills online that I’ll be able to utilize once I start shooting again.
What are you most looking forward to once this is over?
GETTING A HAIRCUT! Lol I haven’t gone this long without a haircut in years. Jokes aside, I can’t wait to see New York come alive again and get back out in the world so that I can keep doing what I love. I feed off that big-city energy, and am constantly inspired by both the city and all of the people. If there’s one thing all of this has taught me, it’s that we should never take anything for granted. Not time, nor the people we’re blessed to be able to share it with.