When my teaching job was first shut down, then shifted to remote work, I began photographing my neighborhood. It's an area near but not in NYC that's very deep in military history. Many of the residents work as police / FD / military, or are nurses. It's deep red politically but also has strong immigrant ties.
I'm new here and the thing that has fascinated me since I moved in is the identical houses built en masse in 1960. So many have the exact same floor plan.
I wanted to capture the conservative tastes of the neighborhood -- in yard decor, in"military cut" lawns and in a chorus of flags that can come across as a dog whistle. I tried to reserve my judgments of my neighbors' political stances while I leaned evoking the eerie quality inherent in planned midcentury communities (Todd Hido has done this so well).
I rarely see inside my neighbors' homes, but my goal remained: let me honestly document our outdoor moments during the pandemic. I also added in my own moments around and about, since I found them interesting on their own but also because everyone who's non-essential has been spending so much time with themselves and whoever they live with.
I ended my photo project with the day I attended a Black Lives Matter protest. Since late May 2020, I have felt we are entering a different era that merits a different photographic approach.
Original description: I am observing the COVID era from the comfort of my suburban neighborhood. In March, before most of NY went into quarantine, my students went from shooting on C100s and 6Ds on a Friday to having no school whatsoever on that Monday. Many of them have no wifi, no cell phone, no camera. I went home to my 6D, my Pentax, our vintage cameras. Now I teach online, and every day I ask my students to document their lives in various ways. I feel it is only fair for me to make an attempt at documenting my own life, too. I live in a high risk household. I come from a family with riddled with autoimmune, mental and neurological illnesses. And yet, most of my contacts are doing well. I get to work from home, and I have plenty to eat. I have my 6D to shoot on. * Mine has always been a heard voice. I think these photos are tinged with the simple pleasures and complex guilt that this position entails.