essays

The Human Element

A documentary street photography essay on the world lost to the quarantine.


The human element is a critical component of city life. The longer this quarantine continues, the more I miss being outside and interacting with the world. This photo essay features street photography from New York City, Toronto, Philadelphia, and my hometown of Los Angeles taken over the past 3 years. It’s a love letter to the world we’ve temporarily lost and the people who brought it to life.

I’ve been fascinated by big cities for as long as I can remember. Being born in New York, maybe some part of that is just in my DNA. Growing up in Los Angeles has taught me to appreciate the daily rituals that define the urban experience. The opportunity to capture this side of life is what inspired me to incorporate street photography into my work in recent years.

There is a certain beauty in the ordinary. Bustling sidewalks overflow with street vendors on either side while commuters slowly rise as a bus approaches. The collective sound of several conversations combine with the ever present sound of traffic in the background. I never once considered this way of life was endangered but now I can’t imagine when it will return. The Covid-19 quarantine has redefined what it means to live in a city.