Project Face Mask Book

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At the start of the 2020 Pandemic in New York, I found myself like most others; out of work and binging Netflix shows. As a photographer the one thing I was permitted to do was media coverage. My first idea was to take portraits of the healthcare providers in my community on Long Island. The logistics of this were a bit of a pain trying to get in or near a hospital. as you can imagine. So, I decided to go a different route with it. I wanted to focus on the workforce. I'm very active with The Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce and I approached them about a photo essay called “Project Face Mask.” I was looking to photograph business owners and employees in their place of business wearing a face mask. I would say about 90% of the businesses in town were shut down. I sent an email out to all of the Chamber members. I really wanted to capture the emotion that we are all feeling right now as small business owners. I didn’t want these images to look perfect. I was going for a darker moodier tone. One thing that I'm doing that has taken me some time to adjust to is photographing portraits with a 14mm lens. For those of you that are not photographers that may mean nothing. A 14mm is a wide-angle lens and portraits are generally shop with 50mm lens or longer, depending on the photographer’s style. The 14mm focal length gives a bit of a distorted point of view. Living through this pandemic is definitely giving us all a distorted point of ourselves and our day-to-day activities. Therefore, I felt this was the perfect fit. I did try one with a 70mm-200mm lens; this is considered the ideal portrait lens for most photographers but it wasn’t giving me the tone I had envisioned. It just looked too good. By the end of my photo essay I photographed close to 90 business and 100 individual portraits. This book is a result of those images.


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