The 2020 Series

You can ask just about anyone and they'll say this year has been like no other in so many ways. At the beginning news (and panic) was spreading around the virus outbreak COVID-19. By the middle of March as other countries had already begun to go into lockdown, much of Boston was sent into what we thought would have been a fairly temporary state of "working from home," "waiting it out," etc. Stuck quarantining at home for the foreseeable future I decided for the first time to start an ongoing journalistic-style photo series documenting my experiences through the pandemic.


Weeks became months and eventually shifted to there being no end in sight as the virus continued to spread. What I thought would have been a six week series (give or take) has now reached over 20 weeks, and while things are changing all the time it still feels as endless as it did 8 weeks ago. In my mind initially the series was a way for me to hold myself accountable and flex my creativity, stay sane, and learn a new style of shooting while documenting my experience around this pandemic. But the world is in an ever-changing state of unrest and we are seeing it unravel in real time, most recently in the Black Lives Matter movement. About halfway (at this point) through the series I began attending protests for BLM and documenting my experiences there, which has taken up a large part of my focus in the series. I thought it was an important time for me to reassess the series and what it meant, what purpose it was now serving. It is no longer a COVID series, more-so an all-encompassing documentation of my experiences living through the current landscape of 2020 in Boston.


Since then, I've pulled back in my frequency and expectations for the series as shooting weekly was beginning to impact me in a negative way. I was putting too much pressure on myself to go out and "get content" instead of staying true to what I intended for the series, which was to thoughtfully document my experiences as I lived through it. It was important for me to reevaluate as it's been very challenging and motivating to have an ongoing project. I've learned so much shooting this series, finding new ways to use my voice through my art. I plan to continue to shoot this series for as long as it feels right as things progress.


That all being said, I wanted to take a little time to share some of my favorite images I've taken so far, and also speak to the thought behind the creative side of my series. I've always loved and gravitated towards street photography and incorporating it into my shooting style. Part of the aim in this was to not only document the experience; but to do it in my voice, weaving in elements of the things I would have thought interesting to shoot before starting the series.



You can see the full series here. I update it every few weeks as things progress.


Resources for where you can help:

Black Lives Matter

Mass Bail Fund

CDC Foundation

Feeding America



© ALLISON SEPANEK PHOTOGRAPHY