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Life on Pause (Part 2)
A personal project documenting life in quarantine. The new normal.

Kevin Steele by Kevin Steele on April 23, 2020


The world has shifted to a new normal. Each day brings difficult news of the seriousness ahead. These are unprecedented times. You may know me as a commercial advertising photographer, life full of color and emotion. This brings me back to my roots documenting life. These days bring us together no matter how we are physically apart. Shot with one camera & one lens, photographs are being added daily. I am being extremely safe: mask, gloves, Clorox wipes and distance. Shooting from outside in.

Shot through the front door, being safe, into the space of self-isolation revealing life apart and together.

This is Sade.

“I had three jobs. At noon I got a notification that one job had shut down and by five I got a notification that my second job shut down. I am not working at all, it’s been very crazy. I'm trying my best to meditate and journal and just be. Hopefully it will be over soon. My mother was getting her nails done two weeks ago and I had to tell her to stay inside, this is serious. My grandmother is more aware: she has stayed inside for weeks. I call her every day to check in on her. I’m keeping the bonds alive, virtually. I hope that’s something that stays with us when this is over: that people don’t take things for granted anymore.”

This is Bob. And Bob.

“The isolation is driving us crazy!”

This is Jonilyn and her girls.

“It’s been really tough. Trying to work full time and home school my 5 year old plus feeling lonely, not being able to see my family and my friends and just the weight of what’s happening in the world right now. I wish there was more that I could do…I guide meditations online and I hope that helps others during this."

This is Flavio. Our delivery guy from the pharmacy.

“I’ve been waking up with this view of the city empty but a feeling of unity. As much as I see emptiness on the streets I see unity. It’s like running a 400 meter loop. The whole world is taking a loop around the track, cleansing, we never did as much cleaning. The air is clean, the water is clean, the houses are clean. We’re halfway around the track and we’re gonna come to the finish line more united than before.

At the same time that I feel togetherness…I’ve experienced something I never thought would happen. My car was stolen a few days ago while I was delivering prescriptions. Ten thousand dollars worth of medicine. That something like that would happen while everyone is banding together is just...crazy.”

This is Carol.

“I think that the hardest thing is being separated from other people. I’m cut off from my children, my grandchildren, and that’s been very hard for me. I’m a very outgoing person, I like people and I like to do things with people… I Have my dogs, this is it. And my husband. I don’t know how many people are feeling the same way, maybe some people are enjoying the solitude but I am not.”

This is Ngozika. Making masks.

"There’s something about this isolation that’s different. Being a freelance designer I’m home by myself anyway but there’s something sobering about the fact that my clients now are people all over the country that are helping to save lives and I don’t know them. I haven’t seen their faces and I don’t know their names. I just know that I’m trying to help as much as I can.

So now my business is making masks. No more cocktail dresses. No more wedding gowns. Masks!”

This is Cheryl.

"While sheltering in place has been a bit of a financial burden, I feel it's a privilege that I'm able to do so to protect myself and my family. So many do not have the luxury to just stay home: the healthcare workers at hospitals and assisted living facilities, grocery workers keeping our stores open and stocked, the farm workers in the fields harvesting our food, delivery drivers, truckers, etc. I am lucky to be stuck at home and grateful to all of those who continue to toil to keep the rest of us safe and fed.”

This is Bernice, Matt and their son.

“My daily struggles: being a mom to a 15-month old, working full-time from home, and worrying about my parents. My parents are seniors who depend on the income they make from running a motel in northern California. They can't afford to hire help and can't close the place.

My mom is high-risk, she had a brain aneurysm last year and has had lots of major surgeries in her lifetime. They have fewer customers than usual, but I'm constantly concerned about their safety. They haven't been able to find any disinfecting supplies in stores, so we've sent them everything we have.

Modern technology has been a blessing and we've been face timing with them as much as possible.”

This is Erika.

We shot early Monday the 15th... a few days into the quarantine when we thought it would only last 2 weeks. “Fear, anger, sadness, frustration, positivity, then back to fear. Throughout the emotional roller coaster I try to remember ....this too shall pass.”

This is Jerry, 98 years young.

He just finished his book & he’s got quite the stories!

If you're in LA and wish to participate in the Life on Pause project, let me know.

★ Follow the Life on Pause project on Instagram ★

©2020 Kevin Steele. All rights reserved.

More About Kevin Steele

Kevin SteeleIt's all about feeling: Creating an emotional connection in images that range from quiet and still to explosively dynamic. Kevin love's shooting people with a zest for life – working fast and light or crewing up as needed for both stills and motion production with a great team. Every assignment is an opportunity to create something extraordinary....and have a lot of fun. Authentic, emotional, time-slowing, cinematic imagery is how Kevin sees the world for recent clients ranging from American Express, Four Seasons, Delta Airlines, and Norwegian Cruise Lines to travel/tourism and healthcare campaigns.

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