The day I arrived in NYC to take these pics the headline in the news was, ‘Its not “if” Coronavirus is going to devastate the US: Its “when.”‘ I wondered what it would look like.
Two weeks later school was closed and business as I knew it was shut down. These pics were taken exactly two months ago today. I’m so glad we got them in before we couldn’t. They feel so distant.
In the past two months there’s been a boom of photos of families isolating at home. There’s a desire to remember what it looked like as we sit through the most uncomfortable of times in the most comfortable of places. We’ve been pushed to see happenings within these familiar walls in a whole new way.
When I left for art school I bristled at the idea of what other people thought being a photographer had to be. “You could work for National Geographic!” “You can travel the world!” “Would you photograph a war?” The famous photos most of us conjure in our minds are of far away places and of situations we’ll never intimately know.
This year might normalize what I have been photographing for years: kids running around in super hero costumes, baking a cake, making a fort out of blankets. The subtle difference is that with one parent always behind a lens, someone is always missing in from the picture. This makes images with both parents subtly rare:
I don’t know when it will be safe enough to shoot like this again, in close proximity within indoor spaces unmasked. But I do hope a new appreciation emerges for their importance. Even when we can leave our homes once again, perhaps we’ll understand that its a sacred place. And perhaps we’ll see value in documenting our time there artfully.
Until then, don’t forget to set up a tripod and get everyone in. I think I’ll do that this week too. Congrats to Ali and Sean and sweet baby Theo, pictured here – so much love for you guys.