Since the 19th century, the camera has provided us with the ability to document moments in history in a very unique way. Whether it was Brady’s Civil War photographs, stereoscopic images of the horrors of WWI, snapshots from the Civil Rights marches during the 1960s or graphic images from the Vietnam War, photography from both professionals and ordinary citizens sought to define the essence of these events.
All over the world, Covid-19 is on our minds. Many of us fear it in ways that have not been seen for decades, since it is so contagious and because we don’t have any technology to stop or treat it at the moment. What we DO know is that you can’t catch it from a distance (the current guidance is 6 feet or more, away). Rather than completely isolating themselves from the world around them, photographers worldwide have the opportunity to safely document this crisis with a creative and compassionate eye. No one will have YOUR unique view of this crisis. You have the chance to document history, from the run on store products to racism in your communities to the mask-wearing public and acts of kindness in your communities.
Photographers, while, of course, heeding the recommendations of your local and national health authorities, should not miss their chance to document this important moment in time. Each of us has a unique “lens” through which to record this moment in time and to document it as it happens.