You Need to See These Powerful Documentary Projects That Focus on COVID-19

Photographers are doing some solid documentary projects right now, and we want to show them to you.

Here at The Pholographer, we love sinking our teeth into some good documentary photography. We appreciate the vision, time, and execution photographers put into sharing the world’s most important stories. And while some projects fail to hit the mark, many hit the sweet spot and make a substantial impact on society. With everything that’s going on the world, a deadly virus and quarantines, some photographers are capturing the moment wonderfully. So, while we could wax lyrical about our love for the genre, let’s move on to this round-up of fantastic documentary projects that you all need to know about.

1. Robin Sinha: All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go

Photo by Robin Sinha.

Robin Sinha is based in London, England. His project began by documenting his own experience while in isolation. However, it soon evolved into something bigger. Realizing he was surrounded by others on his street who were all going through the same thing, he decided to build a community-based project — while still respecting social distancing. The project encouraged his neighbors to take off their pajamas and sweat pants and put on their best clothes as if they were going somewhere special. The premise of the work was to bring the people of the street together, to break away from the mundane of being stuck at home. All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go has been well received, as Sinha has had coverage by the likes of the BBC and The Guardian.

You can see more of Robin’s project by visiting his Instagram feed.

2. Phil Penman: Sheltering in Place

Photo by Phil Penman.

Street photographer Phil Penman has taken his work out of the home and into the heart of New York City. While other photographers document isolation, Penman has turned his lens towards those who don’t have a home. Living on the streets of Manhattan isn’t easy: it’s even harder during a global pandemic. People living on the street rely on donations from the general public, but when the streets are empty, it isn’t easy to get even a dollar or two. Writing in NY Books, Penman said, “At some point, a street person I was talking to explained that they needed to be creative to attract donations: a witty sign was a meal ticket, of sorts.” Homeless people are often forgotten, and it’s good to see someone giving them a voice during a time when they need it the most.

Check out Phil’s Instagram page for more from this important project.

3. John Saponara: Until Further Notice

Photo by John Saponara.

The documentary project, Until Further Notice, is about connecting to an individual’s identity even when they’re hidden behind a protective mask. This multi-layered story looks at workers who are making PPE for the health sector. Many of the workers were faced with unemployment before a great demand for PPE came to their companies. John, a member of staff himself, saw the opportunity to document life inside the production studio. He writes, “The story of the workers here goes beyond a job and a paycheck. Most feel it’s an important undertaking to be part of. This is more than JUST about a job; these portraits show the New York spirit that we see when calamity strikes – the resilience of New Yorkers shines brightest when things get toughest.”

Check out John’s Instagram feed to see more from the series.

We Want to See More Documentary Projects

Is there an awesome project you think we should know about? We’re always on the lookout for fantastic work, so we encourage you to let us know about work that inspires you in the comments below.

Dan Ginn

Dan Ginn is a content writer and journalist. He brings with him five years' experience writing in the photographic niche. During that time he has worked with a range of leading brands, as well as a host of professional photographers within the industry.