It seems that our daily lives have been upended almost overnight by the COVID-19 pandemic and yet life continues in what feels like a parallel universe. Your challenge this week is to document (with photography) something notable that has changed in your life due to the pandemic – something that you think might be of interest to future generations (or even historians) 100 years from now.
Documentary photography is all about storytelling. While you will only post one photo this week, I encourage you to approach this week’s challenge as a “project”. Think about what you want to document about your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, I took the above photo because my husband asked me to teach him how to sew – the first time he’s ever done so – so that he could help make face masks.
It is likely that many of us will choose similar subjects this week since we are all having a shared experience. Please do not feel that you need to come up with something different if someone posts a photo similar to your idea. I want you to post an image that is meaningful to your life and your experience.
“Be aware of your feelings [when] you are working on your project. Make photographs that are in tune with your mood and how you are experiencing what you are doing… Your view of the world is unique, and your photographs should portray this.” – Kevin Landwer-Johan in How to Create a Documentary Photography Project
I took the photo below because it was the first time I realized I couldn’t just make a quick stop to pick up birdseed after my weekly grocery run. The employees were actually very gracious and I was able to place an order over the phone while sitting in front of the store in my car. Even so, it was one of those moments when it hit me just how far reaching the changes to daily life would be.
Extra credit: Come up with a title for your image before you even take the photo. This will help focus your intent for the image and the story you wish to convey. Also, feel free to include text with your photo to help tell your story.
Need ideas? Here are a few articles that show what other photographers have been shooting lately:
- The World’s Great Photographers, Many Stuck Inside, Have Snapped
- Coronavirus: 24 hours on lockdown
- Coronavirus: Another 24 hours in lockdown
To recap this week’s challenge:
- Take a photo that documents or tells a story of your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Please follow all local regulations while taking your photo.
- While technically not “documentary”, self-portraits are allowed this week.
- Post your photo during the week of Sunday, May 3 and Saturday, May 9.
- Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week. I encourage you to consider how you connect with or respond to the story that the photo tells.
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.