The Covid frontline Heroes with Aaron Jay Young
With the launch of the Elinchrom ONE, we are moved to partner with photographers doing humanitarian personal projects. Today we catch up with Aaron Jay Young to learn more about his passion, approach, and story behind this project.
Let’s face it; it has been a tough year in the wake of Covid. But during this time, Aaron set off to really capture this moment, and more specifically, the heroes within his local hospital that have been working in the face of the deadly virus all throughout the pandemic.
The pandemic background
I went through many different ideas for this project, however since we were in the middle of the pandemic and it was something that everybody collectively was going through at the same time I knew I wanted to focus on that.
I had seen various different videos throughout the months of healthcare workers who were on the front lines, having to deal with the reality of this virus... They didn’t have the luxury of debating whether or not it was real or getting into the countless arguments based on politics... they were busy actually living it, actually showing up every day risking their own lives to care for others.
For this reason, I wanted to feature them.
I’ve got a desire to allow everybody to feel seen and heard.
For me, I’ve got a desire to allow everybody to feel seen and heard. I want to give a platform to people who are oppressed and discriminated against, who some people think of as “less than.” I want to capture them in a way that feels the truest – with a sense of authenticity, dignity, and humanity.
There is an element of dehumanization that occurs in so many ways from our prison system, to the healthcare system, to the systematic racism that permeates through every institution in this country and I guess I see my work as the antithesis to that.
Rather than dehumanize I want to not only humanize but capture the tenacity of the human spirit.Every time I do any kind of project like this or even in my daily work I am constantly reminded that every single person has a desire to be seen and to be heard and I am constantly reminded that we can all give this experience to any person at any time simply by being present with them.
I love how lightweight and small the Elinchrom ONE is.
With Aaron being one of the first photographers to get their hands on the Elinchrom ONE – we had to ask about the experience of shooting with the new light during this project.
I love how lightweight and small the ONE is. The way we lit this project is very similar to how I usually work – I’m often mixing artificial and natural light on-location and I will definitely be using the ONE for future projects.
My next adventure
I just finished a project with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition for Father’s Day, where we photographed a number of formerly incarcerated fathers and their kids. Check out their Instagram to see the project and learn more about the amazing work they are doing.
I recently did my first photography workshop with my good friend Jonny Edward in Los Angeles. An experience I enjoyed and that I’m definitely going to pursue. For more information on that, you can head over to aaronandjonny.com.
There are also a couple of other big things on the horizon that I can’t talk about just yet but am so excited to be announcing soon!
Kit used in this blog
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