A Photo Project During A Pandemic
When Eric Francis told me about “Isolation In The 402”, it immediately made sense. Unlike the popular #thefrontstepsproject which we have all now seen, Eric's work has both depth and breadth in some very nuanced ways.
Like Paul Gero, who I interviewed a couple of weeks back about his project in Wisconsin, Francis is also on a mission to document his community.
He wants to photograph as many families and individuals as possible in his area code: 402, during this time of self-isolation and social distancing. Hence the name for his project, “Isolation In The 402.”
Eric uses only Fujifilm gear and limits himself to one or two camera bodies and lenses. Most of the lighting you see in some of his portraits (scroll down) is either a porch light or day-light. Listen to the podcast, below, to learn more about his gear.
All the photographs are intentionally in black & white. As I saw Eric post portrait after portrait on his Facebook wall, I repeatedly stopped to read his posts too. Francis displays a sense of respect and curiosity to get know how each of his subjects is feeling on the day on the photo shoot.
Chatting With Eric Francis
Eric and I chat and text each other often. I know I wouldn't have converted to a Fujifilm photographer if it hadn't been for Eric's patient instructions. And yes, we can talk shop all day. When I asked if I could interview him about his project, he wasted no time in scheduling the call. Lean in and listen to how “Isolation In The 402” took shape and where he hopes to take it:
Photographs From The Project
Other Photographers Documenting Life Now
Paul Gero and Eric Francis both mentioned Matt Mendelsohn's project, Not Forgotten: The Yorktown Seniors of 2020. Take a look. If you know Matt, please let him know I would be honored to interview him for what appears to be a series now of chats with photographers about personal photography projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you know of other photographers who are creating a body of work during this time, please have them contact me on Facebook.