Kremer Johnson Presents LA in the Time of COVID

When it became apparent that COVID would be here for a while, Kremer Johnson considered their situation and saw an opportunity to make the most of the present. Everyone appreciates positivity, and Kremer Johnson has that in spades. They set out to take advantage of the lack of LA gridlock and cruised around the city to capture a visual time capsule.

What was your most memorable moment on this project?

It was a series of moments that collectively revealed a pattern. This project was spur-of-the-moment street photography, where we approached people leaving their houses or getting into their cars. We wanted to capture what the world looked like, how, and what people were doing. 

Every day was memorable because we were in LA, which normally has gridlock no matter the time of day, and the streets were empty; we didn’t see others out in the city working. Driving around was easy. But, finding parking was still a challenge.

What did you learn on this project?

We learned early on to abandon our usual aesthetics. We avoided well-known spots and shot in locations that we would not have if it weren’t for COVID. In all, it changed the way we look at locations. By taking a reductive approach, it ended up making the shots more realistic, less journalistic.

One observation kept coming to light. We noticed that the poorer the community, the more people wore masks. When we were in richer neighborhoods, we saw fewer masks, as if people felt above the rules. Culture and demographics dictated what we’d find when we approached potential subjects.

No matter who we met, there was a common understanding of keeping our distance, which sometimes made it challenging to find locations and people to agree to the project. We were positive and persevered, though. This approach led to shooting 49 people in 10 days.

What do you hope people learn about you and your work after viewing this?

We hope people will realize that an artist will always find a story to tell, no matter what is happening in the world. Our wish is that brands will see that we are adaptable, flexible, resourceful, and spontaneous. This project kicked off a very productive year. 

Follow Kremer Johnson on Instagram for more story-telling scenes capturing authentic moments.

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