Coronavirus, QAnon, Trump: Your Monday Briefing

Coronavirus, QAnon, Trump: Your Monday Briefing

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The idea: a portrait session with the actress that involves sheep, dogs and chickens. She was totally game. Thankfully, so were the creatures. In this Times Insider piece, excerpted below, the reporter Libby Peterson describes what went on behind the scenes of this profile.

Shooting Isabella Rossellini can be a photographer’s dream.

“She’s just so far out and wild and game and beautiful and so much herself,” said Jessie Wender, a photo editor for The Times’s Culture desk, who sought to commission photographs that would capture the actress’s untamed spirit: portraits that would include sheep, dogs and chickens, all co-stars in the production.

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Credit…Camila Falquez for The New York Times

Ms. Wender called on the photographer Camila Falquez, known for her distinctly formal yet whimsical portraits. “I was just excited to see what they would do together,” Ms. Wender said. “Camila is so good at creating these worlds with people.” Ms. Falquez would have only 45 minutes to create that world from the actress’s garden, while keeping a safe distance and wearing P.P.E.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Ms. Falquez said, “so I decided to light a little candle in my altar and ask for the best.”

Despite an ominous forecast for rain, drizzle gave way to an overcast sky that served as one huge, soft source of natural light, the best condition for an outdoor shoot. The animals, unperturbed by the photographer at work, ambled up to smell the camera and followed Ms. Rossellini around the house.

“I can’t believe this; I love my job,” Ms. Falquez recalled with a laugh.

For one shot, Ms. Falquez said, Ms. Rossellini was excited to put a doll on her head. For another, Ms. Rossellini fetched a chicken to hold.

Ms. Falquez had been ruminating on the effects of the pandemic for months. On that day, she recalled thinking about how unifying it seemed. “What’s beautiful is that Isabella Rossellini is changing how she does her thing. Even that woman,” she said. “We’re all in this together for real. And actually, I’m really happy with the photos. It’s art evolving through a lot of pain and challenges. It’s all of us.”


Thanks for starting your day with The Times. See you next time.

— Natasha


Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the campaign for Pennsylvania’s working-class voters.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Oolong and so on” (Four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The word “longwool” — a particularly shaggy breed of sheep — appeared in The Times for the first time over the weekend, according to the Twitter account @NYT_first_said.
• The new season of the “Modern Love” podcast kicks off on Wednesday, with new episodes every Wednesday. Listen to the trailer.

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