A few months back, we talked about St. Louis, Missouri-based photographer Lou Bopp’s personal project entitled “Isolation,” for which he got images of his neighbors as they stayed at home during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was during this time that he contacted CBS to try and get his work in front of more eyes, but the timing wasn’t quite right. As spring morphed into summer and regulations began loosening, Lou realized he could add a chapter to his series.
I approached CBS back in April but it seemed like it was too late for this series. Then as people started to come out and regulations started to relax in May and June, I made images of that as well and then re-branded the collection and called the series “Isolation & Emergence” photos and it went from there.
Working with CBS was great — they were very collaborative and there was great communication. They liked the original concept; however, they ran something similar to what I shot in March, I believe.
When I came back with more images — many of a slightly variation — they were very receptive.
Lou had continued to get shots during all of this and documented this natural progression from concern to hope amongst his subjects. The difference is noticeable.
I was still making images for my project and my subjects started to change a bit. The weather and attitude was warming up, and I thought that it was a natural progression to my collection and the ability to document the ebb and flow of the pandemic. It was a sign of the times, even during the civil protests and uprising.
There was a sign of hope, a light heartedness that was swirling about. I love the images of the guy facing into the sunrise, and of the woman in front of the “Love” mural, the family on the porch with the white standard poodle, to name a few.
CBS ended its short video with the best shot of them all — one open to interpretation. Interestingly, it was the only photo that Lou shot on his phone, and it provocatively encapsulated the past few months and all the emotions therein.
The shot at the end of the piece of the sunrise was the only image that I made with my phone — iPhone 11 Pro. It was a serendipitous moment. I run a particular hill some mornings and I saw this man facing the sunrise and shot it with what I had, my phone. Pretty happy with the results.
CBS Sunday Morning Host: Lee Cowen
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