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A Creative Photo a Day Project of What I’m Eating During COVID-19

The pandemic has truly hurt the creative industry. Who knew that a year ago that specializing in portrait photography would hurt my career so badly?

I am living and working in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where the first wave of COVID-19 was pretty underwhelming in terms of impact to the population’s health. Maybe that’s why when the second wave hit so hard, the government assumed we’d make it through again with little harm. However, after reaching nearly 15% positivity rates, the provincial government has implemented an unbalanced code red lockdown. Anyone deemed non-essential (hard to argue photographers are essential) are not allowed to work, at all, indoors or outdoors with other people.

I do not have a lot of product photography work that I can shoot alone at home, so I’ve basically been a stay-at-home dad since November 10, 2020. While I’m certainly enjoying spending more time with my young children, I definitely miss the creative aspect of my work; finger painting just isn’t doing it for me anymore!

I really enjoy food photography, but living and working in a relatively small market, there are not a lot of big food photography projects that come across my desk. When they do, I find a lot of them follow fairly strict guidelines, with fairly standard lighting; basically I’m coloring within the art director’s lines. There are, of course, challenges, both technical and creative with these types of assignments, but it’s unfortunately not too often I get full creative control over a food shoot, to create the images that dance within my head. Enter my latest personal project, Dave Eats Winnipeg!

In a way, it’s a follow up to my last big personal photo project: “A Portrait A Day.” For this project, I shot a new portrait every single day for an entire year. I have worked on a few other long-term projects in between but didn’t make them a ‘follow along’ format, as I didn’t feel they had a consistent look or quality. By posting every single day publicly, I make sure that I share the project on my social streams, as well as with colleagues, friends, family, and clients. Sharing it really adds that extra pressure to constantly deliver quality work. This format also adds accountability, as people will be wondering if/why you stop the daily posts.

I learned a lot from the portrait project, and I’ve definitely applied a lot of those lessons to my food project. For the most part, I’m not forcing myself to shoot a new food photo every day, as not every meal is going to be photogenic; if we slightly overcook a meal, it will likely still be delicious, but may not be the best image. So some days I may shoot 2 or 3 great food shots, and some days I may shoot 1 or 2, but if they are not up to my standards they won’t make it online.

There are lots of positives and negatives to dedicating yourself to a project like this. The biggest positive is honing my craft even more and trying to take my food photography to the next level by mastering different lighting and compositions. If you want to be good at anything, you need to devote a lot of time and energy to practicing and improving. Shooting every day is a great way to accomplish that. I figure that you could very likely create a brand new 20 image portfolio by doing a project like this in 2-3 months.

The biggest challenge I’m facing, which may seem trivial, is trying to photograph meals, and still eat them warm with my wife and 2 young children, as we value eating meals together. I’m trying to pre-light whenever possible, and just throw the food in there to accomplish a

Having just surpassed day 50, I’m coming close to having photographed most of our family’s go-to staple meals, so I’m going to be forced to branch out to trying a lot of new recipes. That’s both a positive and negative, as I can whip up our regular meals pretty effortlessly, but trying new recipes is time-consuming, and don’t always work out. The other issue is, will my kids actually eat it?!?

While a lot of the project involves trying to make aesthetically-pleasing photographs of my daily meals, I’m also trying to sprinkle in some more conceptual photography involving food when I can find the extra time. These shoots are really challenging me to think differently and get the creative juices flowing. I’m still looking forward to trying new techniques on more of these conceptual shoots in the future.

As our COVID-19 numbers start to improve, I am hopeful I will be able to return to my work as a full-time independent photographer soon. Though I have several shoots lined up ready to go as soon as I am legally allowed to work (wow, it feels quite ridiculous writing that) I am hoping to continue this project for a while.

When restrictions loosen, I am planning on offering restaurants who have also greatly suffered during the pandemic a deal in which I can shoot their most photogenic meal in exchange for using that photo for my project. In return, they can also use that retouched image for their social media as well. For many restaurants, it would be an introduction to what professional photography can do for their business, and I am certain it will also earn some new clients in the process, maybe even a few that can appreciate my style, and may even give me that creative freedom I seem to be after.


About the author: David Lipnowski is a commercial photographer with a photojournalist background who regularly works for many of Canada’s top companies and magazines. You can connect with him through his website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Photographic Lessons I Learned During COVID-19

2020 was not an easy year. The COVID-19 infested, politically-charged year drove us all a little mad. I started isolating in the first week of March — I had a cold and really didn’t know what it was, so my family and I all stayed away from our respective jobs.

Working remotely was challenging, and though I was working harder to try to keep my job (I didn’t,) I had time on my hands. My take on all this social distancing stuff is don’t leave the house unless you have to — we rarely go out as we don’t want to risk interaction and we certainly don’t want to risk clogging hospitals from the remote possibility of an auto accident.

Luckily I found another job, working remotely, but I had to put in a lot of hours to prove myself. I really wanted to keep this job (I didn’t…)

Photography expeditions lead me to drive to remote locations, the central California coast being one of them, but again, COVID-19, gas money, etc., so with my free time I started walking. Sightseeing in my neighborhood if you will.

I am not a long lens guy. I have a cheap long zoom, and I played with it, but there wasn’t anything within reach of my hose that I found interesting to shoot. I guess I am not a wildlife photographer unless the wildlife comes within close proximity to me.

I tend toward normal to slightly wide. I like the woods, plants, and nature, and though I am close to agricultural areas, I wasn’t finding the things I like to shoot.

And then I found something: snails.

I am not a fan of snails by nature. I’m not repulsed by them, but I am not a fan either. I guess you could say I am neutrally “meh” about them.

During normal times I love to drive. Top down, sunscreened with the wind around me. The time and space dilation of driving is a very non-human experience. Genetically we aren’t built specifically for it, but it matches my ADHD nature of constantly changing stimulus.

But COVID-19 grounded me. I was forced to slow down. Made to walk. Made to take in my environment.

I started walking nearly every morning, camera in hand, looking for a shot. My camera as my muse and my guide, I would trudge off before sunrise looking for my shot and I wasn’t finding it. I could only shoot so many cars, crows, and cats. Neighborhood kids were setting up little farmland vignettes here and there by the sidewalk, lots of painted rocks, but it wasn’t working for me either.

One day on my morning walk, just after sunrise I heard a sickening crunch. I had just stepped on a snail. I looked down to inspect the wreckage and I noted that there were half a dozen of these intrepid explorers, scurrying, for lack of a better word, toward the bushes.

And I found my shot.

The death of its comrade re-taught me a lesson I already knew, but needed to learn again:

Slow down. Take it in. Look around you.

These snail shots led me down a springtime rabbit hole of snail photography that lasted for a few months until the heat set in and my snail buddies went off the grid.

I also managed to reaffirm something that I have battled with. GAS.

Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

It is real.

I am very cautious when I buy to make sure it isn’t GAS setting in. I examine what I am doing and try to solve my problems with the gear I have.

Going handheld in the wee morning hours lost me a lot of shots. Even fast glass was of no help as I was shooting close up and I needed the depth of field. I was pushing the ISO limits of the aesthetic I wanted.

I tried lighting and tripods. It wasn’t happening for me.

I thought long and hard, and I eventually bought a camera with IBIS, a Fujifilm X-H1. It really upped my game. I got a few stops of ISO back and it made all the difference in the world. I bought it used from a reputable dealer so I didn’t break the bank, and I bought it when I had a job, so it wasn’t scary.

This COVID-19 thing is scary, but it has taught me a lot. Just leaving the house on a necessary errand is a treat. I get to drive.

I am unemployed, but I am starting a business venture that presently allows me a better quality of life than I had chasing corporate cheese in the daily rat race.
And it has taught me to slow down and see the snails.


About the author: Michael Keesling is an Academy Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning technologist with a focus on rapid prototyping and deployment. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. His work has been seen in dozens of films, commercials, and television shows, including Saving Private Ryan, First Man, Star Trek Voyager, Star Trek Discovery, Minority Report, as well as The Bourne and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises. Keesling has also been awarded several patents for his inventions. You can find more of his work and connect with him on his website and LinkedIn.

My Last Mocha: An 8×10 Polaroid Passion Project

Brzz, bzzzrrr. The rollers on the vintage Polaroid developer start to suck in the 8×10 Polaroid. Dan Bosman, a Mars Cafe barista of 14 years, and I are chatting just like we always do.

“It’s been slow,” says Dan. “None of my regulars have been through.”

The developer is a contraption like no Polaroid camera you’ve seen. Because it’s not a camera. It’s just the developing part, separated from the camera because it’s huge (weighing in at 20 pounds) and has to be plugged into the wall.

Cleaning the rollers of the Polaroid 8×10 developer.

Brrrzzz. The photo jams. Brz, brz, bzzzz. The rollers finally suck in the positive and negative, burst a packet of developer, and squish it between the layers of film before shuttling the photo into the light-sealed holding box.

After a few minutes, Dan and I peek at the photo. It’s not all there. An error in film loading, or a fluke of the processor, has rendered only half the image. I’ll have to try again.

I open up the film holder and slide in a single negative film pack. I close it, pull out the light cover, and walk back to the accordion camera.

Dan Bosman making a mocha at Mars Cafe
Adjusting Arca Swiss tripod head on an 8×10 large format camera

As Dan starts an espresso pull at the bar, I check my angles and start focusing again.

He finishes his latte art pour, a classic tulip with his signature swirl on top, and says, “oh, that one’s perfect” as he sets down the mug and looks up at the camera.

I’ve been a professional photographer for nearly 15 years. I balance the weight of budgets, crew, timelines, client expectations, and deadlines without much thought, but today is different.

Today, I’m nervous.

With my hands shaking and heart racing more than the normal caffeinated amount, I quickly double-check everything.

Are the strobes still connected? Pop.

Is the shutter closed? Is the shutter cocked and ready? Check and check.

Is the film holder sitting correctly? Check.

I pull the dark slide.

I hope Dan’s still in focus, I think to myself as I raise the shutter release cable. I can no longer view the inverted and upside-down image on the ground glass from the back of the camera. The film holder is there in its place.

Sure, a misstep will cost me another $20 frame, but that’s not my worry.

Why am I so nervous?

I am one of the few people who know this is Dan’s last shift, one of the few people who know it’s his last shift because Mars Cafe is running out of time.

Located in the Drake Neighborhood next to Drake University, Mars Cafe has been a Des Moines, IA, staple and important part of the community for 14 years.

In my early 20s, the Russian cosmonaut-themed coffee shop served as my internet connection and study spot of choice when finishing my business degree. It then became my business incubator.

It has been the start to many days before heading off to photograph across the state and country, and it has been the end to less exciting days, a place to grab a beer following hours of editing photos.

It’s been a concert venue, art gallery, movie set, and a political rally site. Dan has photos with dozens of politicians and celebrities to prove it.

You don’t go to Mars just to get a quick caffeine hit. You go to Mars to see who you’ll run into.

I always looked forward to running into Dan. Our favorite topic of conversation: travel.

Dan would talk family road trips to national parks like Acadia and Denali. I would talk about the places my camera takes me, like Alaska’s Iditarod trail and Arizona’s Sky Islands.

Our paths even crossed once in Glacier National Park. I took a photo of Dan and his family in a glacial valley that is hanging on the wall in his home.

COVID-19 has beaten and bruised my coffee shop, and its lease runs out in a couple of days.

This place, and Dan, are important parts of my history. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m using my 8×10 large format camera and special handmade instant film.

I’ve always used instant film for moments that mean something—my wedding was shot in part on instant film. That’s why I keep a fridge full of discontinued instant film.

It has a nostalgic look and provides a nostalgic experience. It allows me to hold a memory in my hand while hundreds of thousands of digital photos get lost on my growing list of hard drives (over 100 and counting).

It might take me a couple of hours to track down a digital photo on a hard drive, but I can always find my box of Polaroids. In fact, this is the reason the Library of Congress requires historical documentation to be done on large format film.

Digital files, formats, and hardware are so easily lost or discontinued. It’s easier to store a physical piece of film.

While Library of Congress photographers aren’t using instant film, the main cultural research arm of congress expects its film negatives to last over 500 years. You can’t say the same about the digital photo you stored on a floppy disk 20 years ago.

It’s taken over two hours to get the first frame and screw up the second. I won’t have time for many more attempts, if any, to capture the second photo of this diptych project, a two-part art piece that I plan to share with Dan. I’ll give him a photo, and I’ll keep one.

I know I’m pushing Dan’s patience, mine too, whether he knows it or not, and we’re losing our ambient light with the sun beginning to dip behind the buildings on University Avenue.

While my first mocha was made by my, now, wife at a different coffee shop, my love for coffee didn’t sprout until Mars introduced me to third wave coffee, distinguishable by its light roast and single origin-sourced beans that are grown with care like fine-wine grapes.

Mars was a breakthrough in Iowa. A first of its kind. It didn’t serve the burnt stuff.

Now, Des Moines has third wave coffee shops popping up left and right. Four have opened in the last year. All serve great coffee that puts Starbucks to shame.

Despite the new blood in town, Mars Cafe is still my coffee shop. My wife and I bought a home a couple of blocks away, and I’d be lying if I told you Mars didn’t influence that decision.

Mars Cafe was started by Larry James to provide Drake University students with an off-campus hangout. Later, Larry transferred ownership to four influential small business owners who have kept the wheels turning. Bless them all.

Coffee shops don’t make much money and can consume a lot of time. These four soon invited Dan into ownership, recognizing his importance to the place.

If you’ve visited Mars Cafe a time or two in the last 14 years, chances are Dan Bosman has made you a drink. Chances are he’s made you more than that.

With the fate of my coffee shop, my home away from home, hanging by a thread in the wake of 2020, I feel the weight of this photo. It was Dan’s last drink.

To prevent a poorly timed blink, I give Dan a countdown. Three, two, one.

Click.


Dan Bosman is now the proud owner of his first solely-owned coffee shop, Daisy Chain, in Des Moines’s East Village. His shop combines his newfound passion for beekeeping and honey with his joy of serving up coffee and conversations. If you stop in, make sure to get his signature honey latte and ask how his bees are doing.

Mars Cafe was purchased and will continue on with new passionate owners!

Behind the scenes photos shot and developed by Logan Christian (@loganchristian @dsmfilmlab).

Dave Poyzer’s words edited by Ryan Borts.

Vintage style camera built with plywood and 3D printed parts in the UK by The Intrepid Camera Company.

Special thanks to CatLABS, curators of vintage and hard-to-find cameras, parts, and accessories for large format photography.

8×10 Polaroid Film was handmade in the Netherlands by Polaroid (formerly known as the Impossible Project).


About the author: David Poyzer (production manager & director of photography) is an accomplished landscape photographer, avid Driftless Area fly fisherman, experienced paddler, mountain bike hobbyist, and roller hockey amateur. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. He has a deep love for all things outdoors, vintage (especially cameras), and third wave coffee. He likes entrepreneuring enjoyable work for himself and others whether it’s a career, an art project, or renovating an 1898 home with his wife Mariah. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram. This article was also published here.

My Journey So Far in Live Music Photography as a Bass Player

Before I picked up a camera and discovered the potential for documentation, I had (still have) a first love: being a bass player. For those not in the know, the bass is the instrument that isn’t the guitar, isn’t the drum kit, and isn’t the vocals.

It’s the one that makes you dance, and rattles your teeth when it’s just right. Sir Paul McCartney is probably one of the most famous bass players of all time, but another guy I’d recommend checking out is James Jamerson. He rewrote the rulebook for bass. Seriously, check him out now after reading this article, maybe even during.

Anyway, one of the ways I’ve enjoyed combining my two passions is to carry my camera with me at all times, even when playing gigs.

This led me to my first personal long-term project, my yet-to-be-titled documentation of the London Blues scene. As a member of this scene, I have unrivaled access to all kinds of venues, both on and off of the stage. I am known to the regulars and have the level of trust and access some journalists spend a lifetime working to achieve. This allows me to photograph the stories brought by the patrons, players, staff, and any onlookers or contextual characters.

So far I have found it immensely refreshing – to gaze with new eyes on something so familiar to me, examining the perhaps misunderstood genre of music I hold so dear. My residency as house bassist at “Ain’t Nothin’ But” in London’s Carnaby area allowed me as much time as I needed, and the access to make images of fellow players and close friends from a perspective only being on stage gives; a window into my world while I play music for others to enjoy.

For most of this, I was reliant on two cameras: my Olympus XA (sometimes with the flash) as it is quick, discreet, and fits in my pocket making getting to the gig a lot easier rather than juggling my Leica M4-P which is also a quick and discreet camera, but is more familiar in hand in the crowd while not on the stage.

Currently, with the UK in lockdown, my access to these situations has been restricted. My main haunt, and every other live venue, has closed. I did what I could between the Spring lockdown and this one to spend time at the bar while it was open.

I want to curate my work down into a zine, but realized I don’t have nearly enough content, despite the hours and rolls I spent working on this idea. I don’t have enough images I am happy with, nor do I have enough to actually tell the story of my life as a bass player playing blues in London’s West End, let alone anyone else’s.

Another project I had been working on before the pandemic was “Adele: The Journey So Far”. This is a tribute band to Adele that tours theatres nationally as part of a much bigger band. To compare the size and differences I need to adapt to for these, the stage at my beloved bar in Carnaby that I share with 4 or five other guys (including amps and drums) is roughly the size of my personal riser I was working with in the theatres. Due to the level of performance discipline required, and how the space between songs is more limited, photographing on stage and between songs is not possible.

During the first set, however, there are the songs that are just Stacey (our Adele) and Dave on piano. This presents a chance for me to photograph from the wings looking out onto the stage. I also work on snapping pics of the band backstage; the tool for this being my iPhone as a camera could easily be misplaced – once I finish a collaborative project using color in my XA I can return to HP5+ and stow that in my pocket as an option I can carry on stage. Being in this band added advantages that I get to see many beautiful old theatres and travel to parts of the UK I would never have otherwise visited.

In February I got the opportunity to photograph bands for an online magazine where I had to include digital images for a faster turnaround. All the other work I have mentioned and shown has been on film which is my preferred medium.

The images shown here are from a gig at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, a venue I had been to many times to see many bands. I decided to use two cameras for this: my digital Fuji body with adapted M mount lenses and also my M4-P so I have some for personal projects and as mementos of photographing bands.

Photographing bands and musicians on stage has some severe technical hurdles to jump. Light is limited to whatever the technicians have set up – no relying on fast shutter speeds and/or narrow apertures here.

For the show at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, I was pushing HP5+ to 3200, a three-stop push, and it handled it beautifully as seen above. On my Fuji, I decided to stay consistent and set the ISO to 3200 and kept a shutter speed of 1/125th and aperture of f4/5.6 as I would rather have motion blur over fall off in any of my images.

One of the other pitfalls of photographing bands from the pit in between the audience and the stage is proximity and making sure there aren’t any microphones or microphone stands erroneously included in compositions. They are always a sure-fire way to ruin a photograph unless you’re specifically working them into the composition.

As an added benefit too, I get a great view of the audience on the front row; a chance to capture the emotion as the music from their heroes just feet away hits them square on. I particularly enjoyed shooting this gig as I had never heard of the band before, but I very much enjoyed their music and show – photography has always been a fantastic tool to introduce me to new things.

Looking back on my relatively short time working in these situations, I feel a great melancholy for the possibility that these may be my last. The industry as a whole is suffering a trauma from which it may never recover. The absence of live music and events from our lives is evident not just from the silence but the absence of those photographs of the life and soul that goes along with such events.

The impact this absence has is greatly felt by myself and others in the industry, but the ripples reach out and affect many others – all intertwined. The bar staff, the light and sound engineers, the stage set-up, promoters, of course the photographers, and even the bouncers. I dearly miss having these in my life and value the time I spent with it all.

A few weeks ago I was able to gain access to my regular in Carnaby while a band performed via a live stream. It was surreal and almost reverential – just me, the band, and their “live” audience. I was able to photograph, but it wasn’t the same. It was definitely valuable content for my project, but also potentially some of the last.

If things don’t improve, or a workaround isn’t found then the industry, the entire photographic genre may soon be gone.


If anyone reading this is part of a blues scene, please let me know and when music can come back I’d love to come and document your scene. Let me know via a DM on Instagram!


P.S. Over the summer I had to fill my time photographing for a different project, one which has been published as a collaborative zine, which you can read about here. If you’ve enjoyed my images here, please consider following me on Instagram, and the rest of the work on The Menzingers can be found here.

If the suffering of the live events industry I’ve spoken about here is something you’re concerned about, consider donating to a live music venue or charity of your choice.


About the author: Andrew Blowers is a 35mm film photographer, and bassist. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can see more of his work on his Instagram and Twitter.

Harrowing Report Paints Bleak Picture for Wedding Photogs Amid COVID-19

The Texas Monthly has published a story highlighting an issue many photographers in the state are struggling with: being forced to choose between making money and putting themselves in harm’s way.

For photographers with health conditions, the stories shared in the report are harrowing. The first example paints the picture of a photographer who had no idea the groom was infected with COVID-19 where no one was wearing masks.

“Oh no no no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine,” one bridesmaid told her.

Another seemed incredulous at the photographer’s anger. “I’m a teacher, I have fourteen students. If I’m willing to risk it, why aren’t you?”

The photographer who is a mother of three and has asthma a few days later started experiencing symptoms and tested positive. Prepared for this, she had already isolated herself, canceled her Thanksgiving plans, and sent her children to stay with relatives to avoid getting sick. When she informed the bride and groom that she had been infected, they reportedly did not care, did not compensate her for the test she had to take, and did not apologize for the situation.

According to the report, which is absolutely worth a read in its entirety, this experience has not been unusual for photographers in the state. Multiple others were interviewed anonymously for the report mention that there are some groups who are considerate, but many who are not. They retell similar experiences where wedding parties, guests, and even other vendors take no precautions against spreading the virus.

Many wedding photographers have struggled with rescheduled weddings for next year or straight up cancellations. Photographers that PetaPixel have spoken to have incredibly busy 2021 schedules and have to make due with significantly less work since the start of the pandemic. As wedding photography leans heavily towards seasonality, many of these photographers have had to find ways to make it a full year before their next paychecks.

That is the struggle many photographers are faced with, and those who were interviewed for the Texas Monthly piece may have continued to take jobs in 2020 because they did not have the luxury of making it through the next year financially otherwise. The situation in that state, which only required wedding venues to reduce planned capacities by half (instead of a 500 person wedding, it became a 250 person wedding, for example) did little to curb the spread of the virus.

Jon Lemon, a wedding photographer out of New York, says that he has largely been able to avoid gatherings like the ones described in the Monthly because of regulations in his state and the experiences of the residents.

“In NYC the restrictions came early and a large portion of people adhere to mask-wearing. I’ve had most of my clients reschedule for various reasons be it safety or travel or restrictions, but I have had a handful of weddings happen this summer and they were all fine,” Lemon tells PetaPixel. “Everything was outdoors, save for the last, which was 10 people in a church with tons of space. All of them were less than 50 people across the day, mostly with split crowds to spread that out. I was always masked and so were almost every single guest for most of the time, save for couples portraits and some select group photos.”

For photographers who have considerate guests living in states with stricter rules, it’s possible to have successfully covered weddings despite the pandemic.

“Overall I feel like the weddings that went forward this year that I photographed did so with safety as the first thing in mind, and all followed current local restrictions,” Lemon says.

But not all wedding photographers have been as fortunate. According to the Monthly’s report, a quick perusal #texaswedding on Instagram will lead to hundreds of recent uploads of mask-free weddings. While some are small and appear to be held safely, it doesn’t take too long to find photos of large bridal parties and indoor receptions that depict no masks or safety precautions. But in a state where there are few restrictions on gatherings while at the same time photographers have to make ends meet, anonymous complaints and stories like the ones shared through Texas Monthly may very well continue until the pandemic is behind us.

(via Texas Monthly)


Image credits: Header background photo by Andreas Rønningen

Disney World Briefly Tested Photoshopping Masks onto Guests

Last July, Disney World instituted a policy that required guests to wear masks on the property, with the added step of denying ride photos to those who were not wearing them. The company recently briefly tested digitally adding masks in such cases.

When Disney World reopened in July, the company made it clear that masks would be required on the premises at all times except in designated areas. For those who did not want to wear a mask, Disney World asked them to “reschedule” their visit.

Acceptable face coverings must be worn over your nose and mouth at all times except in designated areas. If you’re unable to do this, please reschedule your Walt Disney World visit to a later time,” the company said on its “Know Before You Go” landing page.

The mask mandate also applies to any rides, and Disney World was enforcing the rule by denying access to photos that are taken of guests on rides (think the classic roller coaster photos). Walt Disney World News Today confirmed at the time that guests who remove their face masks while on an attraction will have their on-ride photo pulled and deleted from the PhotoPass system.

In early December, Disney World started testing the practice of digitally adding masks to guests – that is to say, Photoshopping – who were not wearing them on rides. The choice was apparently designed to not punish guests whose masks had been moved as a result of the ride or not to deny access to photos of guests who were in a party with others who were not obeying the mask mandate.

The digital application of masks takes longer to process than other photos taken at the same time, but the goal was to encourage compliance and eliminate the idea that it would be ok to remove masks on rides. The digital face mask enhancements were rolled out only to a select number of rides at the park, namely the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at the Magic Kingdom and the DINOSAUR in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At the time, it was expected this policy would roll out to other rides across the park.

However, The Walt Disney World will no longer be digitally adding masks to guests, and will likely be reverting to the previous policy of deleting images of those who are not in compliance. This, unfortunately, means that if guests are sharing a car on a ride with others who are not in compliance, they will once again also be denied images of their time.

“In response to guest requests, we tested modifying some ride photos,” the Walt Disney World said in a statement. “We are no longer doing this and continue to expect guests to wear face coverings except when actively eating or drinking while stationary.”

It is not clear why the company has decided to stop the process, but it appears that the experiment/test Walt Disney World was running is now over. Speculating, it’s possible that the results of the digital masks were unsatisfactory and mixed with the extended time it took to process the images, was not seen as a viable solution to the problem. In the most commonly shared image of the digitally added masks, the woman in the back of the roller coaster features a comically oversized mask that looks almost like clip art, which is likely not ideal.

(via WDWNT.com)


Photo credits: Header photo by Tony Townsend on Facebook

Shooting Portraits Inside a London COVID Hospital

I first came to the hospital back in June, having decided that the stories and experiences of the front line staff shouldn’t be forgotten. We’d all seen inside the Italian hospitals, but when the virus hit the UK, there was nothing coming out of the UK, so I made it my mission to gain access and document the life and death struggles going on behind closed doors.

This project is unique, and through it, we have a chance to see what it was like inside a COVID hospital at the peak of the pandemic and hear from the front line staff in their own words what they were going through. The Kickstarter book will also help these very same people because all of the royalties are being given to the hospital’s charity, and used only to improve the staff’s working lives. It is a chance to give back to the people who have given so much.

I’ve had some scary photo shoots before, the floor of a nuclear power station is pretty up there, as is the time I had to jump on the back of a motorcycle taxi to escape an angry crowd that had me surrounded, but this was different, and I remember walking in for the first time feeling rather scared. I was knowingly going into a coronavirus hot spot, repeatedly and over many days, back when there were no tests to diagnose the virus and no cast-iron guarantees of how to avoid catching it.

My heart was in my mouth when for the first time I went into a ‘Red Room’ — one with a confirmed Coronavirus patient. I was there to photograph the medical staff as they treated him, and I was both excited and worried as I pulled on the PPE gown, mask, visor, and gloves. It struck me as a bit stupid that I could hardly see through the viewfinder, but in a way that probably helped me concentrate on the photography rather than my worries. It would be pointless to put myself and my assistant in danger if I didn’t even get the shot.

The general atmosphere in the hospital was intimidating. People were rushing to and fro, always on the way somewhere, or gliding by pushing beds with silent occupants. And it’s not surprising that many people didn’t want to be photographed.

They’d been, and in fact were, going through so much. They’d tell me stories of incredible suffering and heartache, such as the physiotherapist seconded into ITU who “could still hear all the beeping and the alarms in my ears when I got home, sitting in a dark quiet room,” or the nurse who told me “I still have nightmares at least three times a week and I know I’m not the only one in there.”

And so it became incredibly important that I approach the people, who nearly always didn’t know to expect me, with a great deal of tact and understanding. A portrait is a photograph of a person who has volunteered to share themselves, for better or worse, with the photographer – they’ve made the decision that they’ll let a stranger in, and show them who they actually are. That’s a big ask at any time, let alone when surrounded by “the most intense pain and grief and suffering.”

And so how do you as a photographer, make a connection in such terrible circumstances? It’s easier to say what not to do. That’s because each person is a world unto themselves. The bridge that the photographer has to build between them and their subject has to relate to them, and not the photographer, and so you can’t come at it with a list or a recipe — otherwise, you’re only taking a portrait of yourself.

So this is how it goes: I’m standing there in a corridor or a ward, lights and set up ready, and I’m feeling anxious about interrupting people as they scoot past. There’s a tug of war happening inside me, one part saying run away so I don’t leave myself open to their rejection, and the other half, the half that eventually wins, picks up when someone slightly slows down or slightly orientates themselves in my direction. But why did they do that? Why are they open?

That’s the question I now resolve to answer. It’s time – time for me to step out and try to find a bridge of some description. It’s always the most nerve-wracking moment, and it’s not something that I enjoy. I also never know what I’m going to say or do, which is doubly worrying! I’m often as much of a spectator as anyone else as to what’s going to come out of my mouth, but I’ve taken a decision that this is the way that it should be done, this is the way that it has to be, and so I follow my own lead – I genuinely want to know why they’re different from all the rest.

The present is a dangerous place which is why so many people avoid it at all costs. But to take a portrait, you have to be present with the other person, and place yourself in the precarious position of not knowing what will happen next. These kinds of portraits require that.

And it’s partly that unknowing, that makes me love this phase of the shoot so much. It’s like racing down a steep slope on a rickey go-cart, knowing that you may well wipe out, but you also might fly triumphantly onwards, reaching your unknown destination in glorious technicolor. And in the hospital, that feeling of being on the way to an unknown destination was heightened because I needed to have something much more meaningful than a regular conversation.

I had to ask them about situations and events that were incredibly painful – literally about the life and death of them, their patients and their families, and all that goes into that – and ask them to go back there and tell me about it. It kinda spooks me, thinking about it now, because of the enormity of what I was asking them to do. But I remember feeling that we were both high up, on a level far above that of a regular mundane moment. It was both enlivening and chastening to be elevated so precipitously without a net beneath, only the two of us. It all felt so fast, and so precarious.

And the difficult thing about photography is that you’re doing two mutually exclusive things at the same time. On the one hand, you are present and together with the other person; and on the other, you’re attending to the technical side of things which are constantly trying to strip you clean of the moment: is the exposure right, the location appropriate, does the composition or lighting need changing, how would they react to me doing that … is the lens cap on?

When you get it wrong, the sense of loss is huge. I’m sure every photographer knows the feeling when one of the spinning plates comes down. Sometimes you’ll only realize it hours or even days later. And here in the hospital, I was continually worried that I was in the wrong place, or taking the wrong approach, or going after the wrong thing. The weight of all the people’s experiences sometimes felt so heavy – what if I just wasn’t up to the job of translating these people’s experiences? What if they were telling, for the first time, the most extreme events of their lives to a stranger, and all for nothing?

The project is now a book, and I like to think that people are alive inside it. As you leaf through, it feels to me that you’re almost walking along the corridors or wards with them, or taking the buses home, or greeting their families on their return. I think also that inside it we can learn how to look after our own selves because so many of the people here are figuring out how to care for themselves too.

What has happened at the hospital, let’s not kid ourselves, is trauma en masse. Many of these people, on these pages, have undergone trauma on a scale unknown outside of war. And indeed, there have been more deaths of British hospital staff in 6 months than the British armed forces suffered during 12 years of war in Afghanistan, and 6 years of war in Iraq, combined. Combined.

It’s not normal, what they’ve been through, and I think, I hope, that this book tells their stories. These are their words, and these are their images.


About the author: Slater King is a photographer in London, UK. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Details of the book are on his site. All royalties from the book are being given to the hospital’s charity – ring-fenced so that they can be used to make these people’s working lives easier and more enjoyable. Think a coffee machine in a staff room, or funding to buy paints for a mural to brighten a place up. The book launched Tuesday, November 24th.. Slater won with three of these images at the prestigious British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain Awards 2020 in September 2020.

Unsurprisingly, Images That Mirror Life During COVID-19 Surged in Popularity This Year

Early on in the pandemic, you may have noticed that commercials did not deviate from norms, which led to a bit of a reality disconnect between viewers and advertisers. Eight months later, that definitely has changed.

According to Adobe’s Stock Creativity Insights, COVID-19 led to notable and trackable changes in both the creative and visual landscapes. Citing its own “State of Creativity” blog post, Adobe noted that 87%t of creatives believe the events of 2020 will have lasting impacts on creative businesses, and 82% went a step further and said that 2020 forever changed how they create. Additionally, 83% agreed that the events of 2020 have made it more important than ever to expand their creative skill sets.

As photoshoots either shut down or dramatically compressed, stock images and video have exploded in popularity, with specific types of images seeing a marked increase in demand. Images of people quickly moved from in-person imagery to feature virtual spaces with 5.7 times more daily searches for “virtual” stock images post-state of emergency (March 14 to Sept. 22) compared to pre-state of emergency (Jan. 1 to March 13).

Even basic search terms changed. Instead of firms looking for “people-in-person,” Adobe noted that “people-on-screens” grew significantly. You can see in the graphic below the kinds of images that became more popular given the months of the year with the search term “people”:

Adobe also cites that in 2020, it noted that meeting rooms and office spaces traded out with video conferencing calls and social distancing imagery. Masked workers briefly took the top licensing spot, but was quickly replaced by remote work imagery.

COVID-19 isn’t the only situation that affected stock imagery. Adobe notes that the Black Lives Matter movement affected search as well.

January was the pinnacle for growth regarding searches for “diversity” assets (402% YoY growth), which were soon eclipsed by searches for “Black Lives Matter” assets in April—peaking in June (810% YoY) in searches on “diversity”, “African American,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Searches and licenses for “protest” assets reached an apex in June (1,100% MoM growth for searches and 1,000% for licenses), and have seen steady growth YoY going into the fall season, revealing that creatives are taking a stance on social activism.

“Protest” Search and License Month-Over-Month Growth 2020

Gratefully, creators are apparently uploading considerably more content under the term “science” each month, with that segment seeing 147% growth. Adobe states that six of the top ten assets licensed under the science category are coronavirus related, which is down from ten out of ten searches in March.

Stock is, generally, one of the worst ways for a creative to make money. In order to gain enough traction to make a notable amount monthly, a photographer would not only have to upload a mammoth number of images, but they would also have to do so expecting to make sales in incredible volumes. If, however, you are the kind of photographer who had to shift your business as a result of COVID-19, data like this can help you understand what kinds of imagery is in demand, and how you can increase your volume within those segments to take advantage of that demand.

You can read Adobe’s full Stock Creativity Insights Report here.

Image Credits: Header image via Unsplash

Photographing a Nursing Home Where All Residents Are COVID Positive

At its core, photography allows us to tell the story of our history. Years from now, when we look back at images from 2020, our thoughts and feelings on how this year unfolded will be, undoubtedly, extremely complex.

One such image that encapsulates the heartbreak associated with this year was made by photographer, filmmaker and TED Fellow Isadora Kosofsky. In the photo, Maika Alvarez, a nurse in full PPE, holds an iPad as Jose Montoya, a 94-year old who has COVID-19, interacts with his daughter, Lillie Ortiz, via Facetime.

Isadora recently pulled back the curtain at Canyon Transitional Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home in New Mexico where every single resident has COVID-19. The culmination of her work can be seen in a powerful story, “Inside a Nursing Home Devoted to Treating Those with Covid-19,” for The New York Times.

Struck by her images and delicate storytelling, I reached out to Isadora to learn more about how she handled working in full PPE, the complicated process of gaining access to Canyon, her experiences with the residents and staff, and her lifelong attraction to photographing remoteness and grief.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Maika Alvarez holds an iPad, as Jose Montoya, 94, interacts with his daughter, Lillie Ortiz, via Facetime. Mr. Montoya is a World War II veteran. “It’s difficult for those of us family members. We are crushed by the helpless position we are in. We cannot hold our loved one’s hand and comfort them by our presence. The only thing that reaches them is our prayers because they are quarantined behind locked doors,” said Ortiz. “It isn’t until COVID hits a nursing home that you see the snowballing effect of its unpredictability and of its devastation.” Jose Montoya passed away on September 13. Photo by Isadora Kosofsky.

In your first Instagram post about the work, you mentioned that you had to get government approval to access Canyon Transitional Rehabilitation Center. Can you share a bit about what that process entailed?

First, I had to receive approval from Genesis Healthcare who operates Canyon Transitional. Genesis manages about 500 long-term care facilities in the US. Twenty-five of their nursing homes are in New Mexico. Initially, Genesis declined my request. They feared there would be outcry from both families and the general public that a documentarian was granted permission to enter a COVID+ facility. I appealed to Genesis to reconsider. I did not feel there would be a negative reaction to my work. So far, there has not been. In fact, families are grateful that their loved ones are seen and heard through the documentation. I think they were also surprised that someone would be willing to risk their safety for this story. After a few weeks, Genesis decided to reconsider my request. They contacted the state of New Mexico, Department of Health and Aging and Long-Term Services Department. After a few more weeks, they received a response that the state would not rescind the public health order banning visitors for the purpose of my project. I was not going to take no for an answer. I appealed directly to the state and was granted access upon explaining why elevating residents’ and nurses’ experiences was so critical. Basically that I wouldn’t sleep at night if I did not do this. I didn’t take no for an answer.

How do we tell the story of a war without showing where the bombs have been dropped? We are present at the frontlines of war. Where are we in this fight? When I was in the midst of trying to gain access to Canyon, there still had not been a visual reportage that shadowed COVID+ residents in a long-term care setting. Yet, 75,000 people have died in these communities. No photojournalist had been inside a nursing home in the US. The lack of representation in the press felt like an injustice that I could not sit with. Once I entered the facility in August, 4 months had passed since the first conversation with Genesis about this necessary reporting.

Alice Begay, 84, sits in her wheelchair wrapped in a blanket. Photo by Isadora Kosofsky.

We see nurses and occupational therapists in face shields, masks, and gowns in your photos. But what safety precautions did you take for the story? (Clothing, keeping a distance, getting regularly tested?) Do you have any behind-the-scenes photos?

I wore a Hazmat suit, a face shield, an N95, two sets of gloves, and shoe covers. The Times had me in more PPE than the nurses were wearing.

I quarantined for two weeks before entering Canyon. I was tested beforehand. I quarantined after. I was then tested again.

It gets very hot in the suit. I only changed suits once in a 12 hour period, meaning I only went to the bathroom, drank water, and ate once in a 12-14 hour period. Sometimes my face shield was covered in sweat and it was like I was photographing through a shower curtain. I couldn’t touch my face.

The risk is not putting on or taking off your Hazmat suit or PPE appropriately. I did not have to socially distance because every inch of my body was covered. COVID is everywhere in that environment regardless of where you are standing. Also, this work would not have been possible if I had been at 6 feet of those I was shadowing. The rooms are already fairly small with two residents living in the same space. Standing at a distance with PPE that resembles a spacesuit is not really my approach. I am entering the most intimate space with individuals who are in a highly vulnerable position. My priority was making them comfortable with my presence. When someone shares their story with you that is a sacred bond.

The riskiest scenario is to be with a COVID patient in a poorly ventilated room with the door shut for a long period. The only way for me to tell this story was to sit with a COVID patient in a poorly ventilated room with the door shut for hours at a time.

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Rogelio Ramirez, certified nursing assistant, stands in the hallway at Canyon Transitional, an entirely Covid+ nursing home. Rogelio volunteered to transfer from Albuquerque Heights to Canyon Transitional out of a sense of helplessness and grief after his aunt and uncle both died from Covid-19 in Mexico, where he is originally from.  “I felt like I needed to do it,” said Rogelio of his choice to work as a certified nursing assistant for Covid patients.  “If I’m not there, who is going to be there?” Rogelio asked. His wife, Jeri, also works in long-term care. She lost her grandfather to Covid-19 at another Albuquerque area facility.   “I was scared he was going to bring it home to us,” Jeri said. Rogelio lived in his garage during the first two months of Covid-19 exposure. But his daughter, Chloe, 2, struggled to sleep without him in the house.  At work, he is often the only person to speak to his patients. Not all residents have close ties to families. “They are busy in their lives. They don’t really have time,” Leslie, 66, said of her children.    When occupational therapists transferred Leslie from bed to chair, she requested Rogelio be present as a support. “There’s my love,” she said when he emerged. “The C.N.A.s actually talk to you,” said Leslie, “It really makes or breaks whether you get better or not.” C.N.A.s double as caregivers and confidants, sitting with residents through confusion, depression and even suicidal thoughts. “Sometimes all these people need is somebody to listen and be there for them,” said Rogelio, “I can’t leave these people.”  Women of color and immigrants predominantly fill certified nursing assistant roles. “We undervalue this particular workforce out of a very long history in racism and gender inequality,” said Dr. Leah Zallman, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Research at Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Zallman co-authored a study that found one in four workers in long-term care are immigrants. “It’s a perfect intersectionality of gender inequality, ageism, racism and xenophobia that just combines to the highly undervaluing of really important roles.” For more see link in bio @nytimes

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Physical and medical precautions aside, how are you taking care of yourself mentally?

I’m letting myself be sad, anxious, angry, hopeless in moments.

Are there any specific moments or people from your time at the Canyon Transitional Rehabilitation Center that weren’t included in the story you’d like to share?

So many moments and people have stayed with me from the three days inside Canyon.

I was in a room with Alice, an 84-year-old resident of Albuquerque. She had her blinds open, as the sun was setting. I noticed a woman with white hair at a window across the patio from Alice’s room. The woman, who I later learned is named Juanita, kept waving at me. From the reflections on the window, I could only make out her white hair, a bit of her face, and her waving arm. I later went to the director to ask if we could contact Juanita’s family so that I could enter her room. If she was waving at me, I felt intuitively that I should see her.

For 13 years, I have documented senior citizens in various contexts. I have never once seen any of these individuals as potential grandparents. I attempt to document them as peers. None of them have reminded me of my grandmother who was my best friend until she died when I was 13. When Sylvia, a C.N.A, opened Juanita’s door, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The similarities between 94-year-old Juanita and my grandmother were uncanny. I was astonished to find similarities between Juanita’s thick white hair, manner of sitting, gaze, and relaxed energy, and my grandmother, Marie-Josephine. When I entered the room and sat down beside Juanita’s bed, she asked me if I was a ghost. It was meant as a joke. But it was a strange and mysterious question. I have cried so much after shadowing these residents. And Juanita is someone who I often cry about. Through my work, the people I shadow give me the greatest gifts. Juanita gave me the gift of connection to my past, to the deepest part of me, without her even knowing. I told her I would visit her at the nursing home where she normally lives in Las Cruces. She told me, “I’ll be waiting for you.”

Editor’s note: Juanita is pictured in this pieces’ cover image above.

Leslie Riggins reacts as Sylvia Martinez, a C.N.A, adjusts the blinds in Ms. Riggins’ room. Ms. Riggins struggles with claustrophobia and likes to keep her shade up all day. Sylvia Martinez, 58, who has worked at Canyon for 22 years, has diabetes and congenital heart failure. “My family was worried about me. I would want someone to take care of me. It’s nobody’s fault,” said Ms. Martinez. Photo by Isadora Kosofsky.

In addition to this story, it’s clear from your other work that you have a real interest in immersive and long-form storytelling. How important was it for you to both photograph and write for this story?

I built intimacy and trust with both residents and nurses. It didn’t make sense to bring another writer into that covenant.

The lighting in your images lend to the reality of COVID-19; shadows and reflections off the face masks capturing both loneliness and small glimmers of hope or connectedness between patients and staff. I especially love the image of Sylvia Martinez adjusting the blinds in Ms. Riggins’s room. What element did lighting play in your storytelling for this project? How did you handle so much overhead fluorescent light?

The lighting in the images comes from the windows and from the overhead fluorescent light. I let my empathetic connection to residents and staff guide the way I approached light. Ultimately the interplay of sunlight and fluorescents speaks to the inevitable crossover of loss and resilience that is so much a part of human tragedy and condition.

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Jose Montoya, 94, in his bed at Canyon Transitional, an entirely Covid+ nursing home. Jose is a World War II veteran who participated in the Liberation of France. He is a career long tax preparer from Espanola, New Mexico. “It’s difficult for those of us family members. We are crushed by the helpless position we are in. We cannot hold our loved one’s hand and comfort them by our presence. The only thing that reaches them is our prayers because they are quarantined behind locked doors,” said Lillie, Jose’s daughter. “It isn’t until Covid hits a nursing home that you see the snowballing effect of its unpredictability and of its devastation.” With its beige walls and fluorescent lighting, the Canyon Transitional Care Center, nestled in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, has all the hallmarks of a nursing home. But, except for the occasional medication cart, or a nurse working silently at a keyboard, the hallways are empty. The doors of all 44 rooms are shut tight. Every resident at Canyon has Covid-19. Jose tested positive for the virus on August 10 at Las Palomas, another skilled nursing home, and was moved to Canyon the same day. “We always said that when someone is at the end of their lives in our family that we would be sitting by their beds. I cannot sit with my father,” said Lillie. Jose passed away on September 13. For images and text, you can go to the link in my bio. Or search “Inside a Nursing Home Devoted to Treating Those with Covid-19” through @nytimes

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More generally, how has COVID-19 impacted your photography work? (e.g. Was this one of your first jobs during the pandemic?)

I have been fortunate to be fairly busy. I am also a storyteller who will always create work for myself. I think it is our responsibility to be telling the stories that resonate with each of us. Part of being a documentarian is knowing what story is yours to shepherd. I’ve been working mostly in California and in the Southwest. I was supposed to be on an international reporting trip for Nat Geo at this time, but that has been pushed indefinitely due to the pandemic.

Can you share a bit about your photography background and how you got your start?

I began photographing when I was 13. As a child, I was always drawn to being a journalist. I used to watch foreign correspondents on TV and wanted to do conflict reporting. I learned in my teens that I was much more drawn to interpersonal ruptures and to war within our borders. I was drawn to remoteness and grief in relationship with self and others.

At 14, I knew documentary photography was what I wanted to do with my life. I fell in love with story, believing that it was a means of revolution, which I still feel. My first social documentary project was in a nursing home with a hospice care wing. I learned how to sit with people in the spectrum of their emotions, which is the most important part of being a documentary photographer. Challenging access to institutions has always been a part of my trajectory. I have always been drawn to spaces of confinement that are walled off from public gaze or consciousness.

When I was 16, I received access to a youth prison in Romania after writing worldwide for two years and traveled there on a grant I had received from the state of California that was meant for young artists. Two years later, I began a documentation about youth at a juvenile detention center in Albuquerque, which was deemed by both editors and peers as an “impossible” access situation. When I am drawn to a space and know that I must tell a story, I will not give up. My heart, my intuition, the amalgamation of my own life experiences, the trust from the people I shadow, guide the way.

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Sierra, 24, who has Covid-19, walks with Blane Brown, an occupational therapist, as her roommate, Sharon, watches in their room at Canyon Transitional, an entirely Covid positive nursing home in Albuquerque. Canyon Transitional, like long-term care facilities around the country, is not only home to those 65 and over. According to a study from the CDC, over 15% of nursing home residents are individuals with disabilities. Sierra Cowboy, at 24, the youngest resident, sat patiently in a wheelchair playing solitaire and watching The Simpsons. Sierra is developmentally disabled. She and her parents lived on the Navajo Nation in McKinley County, the hardest hit area in New Mexico.  Sierra and both her parents contracted the virus. They were all airlifted separately from Gallup to Albuquerque area hospitals. Sierra and her father Larry survived. Her mother, Mary, did not. Sierra and her father were transferred from intensive care  and placed in a room together at Canyon from May until his release in early August. “The hardest thing is that she’s still there,” said Larry.  Sierra believed that her mother was still at home. The past six months are a blurry gap with the exception of flashbacks of being unable to breathe, she said. When she arrived at Canyon, she was unable to walk. She now moves around independently with a walker.  Genesis Healthcare estimates that Native Americans make up 70% of the patient population since the facility was converted from a traditional nursing home to an entirely Covid+ setting for 70 people in April. For images and text, you can go to the link in my bio. Or search “Inside a Nursing Home Devoted to Treating Those with Covid-19” through @nytimes. Best viewed on desktop.

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What’s next for you?

Continuing to document the impact the pandemic is having on the elderly and adults with disabilities. I see myself returning to the prison industrial complex for another work. I’m shaping a book that centers around a woman I have been documenting for three years through her post-traumatic journey. And I’m in my last year of a 10 year photo documentary and film. This time has allowed me some time to reflect and organize work that remains indefinitely in folders.

Leslie Riggins in her room at night. Photo by Isadora Kosofsky.

You can check out the full story at The New York Times. Isadora asks that you use your desktop to view the photographs (if possible) as Clinton Cargill, Visual Editor at The New York Times, thoughtfully did the web design for this work.

Follow Isadora at @isadorakosofsky on Instagram as she shares additional images and stories from her time at Canyon.


The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors.


About the author: Caitlyn Edwards is the Community Marketing Manager at PhotoShelter, which regularly publishes resources for photographers. She has a degree in Peace & Conflict Resolution and is religious about black coffee and great wine (but never together). This article was also published here.


Image credits: Header photo by Isadora Kosofsky.