Population Isolation

NASHCO is a commercial photography duo based in Portland who began a personal project during the pandemic called “Population Isolation”.

We started with self-portraits as a way to be creative and wrestle with our anxiety (that’s Leah biting her nails to the quick). For as photographers that is how we naturally respond to things. We photograph them.

We then moved outward, contacting friends, family, neighbors, even using Craigslist. We reached out to all ages, economic groups, races, genders, and sexual orientations. For the pandemic is strangely a unifying group experience, regardless of who you are, we are all isolated together.

During this project we documented rage, laughter, tears, joy, and fear, sometimes all in a single shoot. But one thing remained constant; how invigorating it felt to connect to our community, even from 6 feet away, even yelling through masks and glass, getting incredibly good at games of charades.

Our goal with each subject was to create Edward Hopper inspired narratives, a retelling of each person’s story based on what was important to them, how they were feeling, and what they were doing to cope (or not cope).

The result? Connection. As photographers we crave it, it is the reason why we do what we do. To see how folks live, see how they survive and to help them feel seen and heard. Even when, especially when, we are in isolation. And to leave folks a little bit better than we found them.