In the weeks since COVID-19 put a halt to the productivity of many freelance photographers and videographers, Matt Wright ‘10 has shifted his attention to documenting the central players in this unprecedented historical event. The communications major, who also earned an M.S. in journalism from the Boston University in 2017, says it was his previous experience working in health care that sparked his initial idea for the photography project.
“I know that many of [the health care workers] already had a tough enough job and I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to continue to provide care right now amid resource shortages, scarcity of PPE and other necessary equipment, and the threat of the virus itself,” says Wright, owner of Matt Wright Photography. “I started this project because I wanted to recognize people who are working in health care during this pandemic.”
Wright says that this subject hits particularly close to home because he has many friends and family members who work in health care in a variety of capacities. “This is my way of making sure that their work and dedication are not overlooked.”
Wright’s collection features portraits of a wide range of health care professionals in uniform, some wearing personal protective equipment like masks and caps, and some wearing earnest, solemn expressions that reflect the gravity of the current public health crisis. Among doctors, nurses, EMTs, and medical assistants are also firefighters, X-Ray technicians, and pharmacy technicians. Below each portrait is a brief statement from the subject reflecting on his or her experience working in health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Included is a portrait of Caitlin (Jachimczyk) Pacheco ‘09 (pictured far-left in header image), who is a surgical ICU nurse working in a hospital unit that has been converted in order to allow more staff to care for COVID-19 patients. Her reflection reads: “Nursing is a difficult profession. It is very rewarding. I have met so many wonderful people over the years (patients and co-workers included). I am proud to be a nurse and hope to help those affected during this time in any way that I can.”
Another portrait features married EMTs Dashia and Hailey, who work together. Hailey’s reflection reads: “Working with my wife is the best scenario right now. We are both being equally exposed and equally quarantined together. She is my biggest support system [since] we have been staying away from our family, for their safety and ours. She and I have been working together for a few years now. There’s no one that would have my back like she does.”
More portraits and reflections are included on Matt Wright’s Instagram account @mattwrightphoto, and on his blog at https://mattwrightphoto.wordpress.com/2020/04/23/healthcare-portrait-project .