Photographers everywhere have taken precautions to accommodate Coronavirus. Street photographers are moving to new subjects, portrait photographers are distancing or taking a break from their subjects altogether. Sports photographers and travel photographers are limiting their interactions with the outside world; but this doesn’t necessarily mean photography has taken a turn for the worse. COVID-19 has opened up a whole new world of opportunities to document human experience.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

One of photography’s many purposes is to document human behavior. We as human beings are inherently interested in one another, and photography offers us a medium to view each other through. Everyone around the world has been affected by this pandemic, and that means many are changing their habits, routines, and all around demeanors to adapt to a new lifestyle. This is where photographers start to take interest. In the photo below, the subject has just been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is afraid to speak to the photographer without a mask, even though the two are separated by a window. This photo carries an essence of fear and paranoia that is unique to this situation. It helps us empathize with victims and the guilt that comes with a diagnosis.

Photo courtesy of Kasia Strek

Photography and human experience go hand-in-hand. The coronavirus has opened up a unique opportunity to explore the emotions that are linked to a pandemic. We may not know whether photography has changed for the better or the worse due to COVID-19, but we do know for certain that photography has been changed.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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