Kurt Johnson healthcare nature photographer Omaha Nebraska Midwest biophilic design installation hospital

What I Did During Covid

When I used to hear the term 2020, the first thing I thought about was having perfect vision.  In my mind, 20/20 was a quality to strive for as a person making a living by photographing the things I see.

But when I hear 2020 now, I, like most people, can’t help but think of anything besides the pandemic and everything that came along with it.  Things like change, fear, resilience, introspection, and uncertainty.

Like most of you, we left our office space, moved desks and computers to our houses, and started the work-from-home reality.

We became much too familiar with Zoom meetings and grew tired of them just as quickly.  We missed the unfiltered human interaction of being together and sitting next to each other as we shared ideas and stories. 

But our empty studio became an escape for me. 

It became a place where I could keep taking photos even during lockdowns, bad weather, during spikes in Covid cases, and ambiguity about what it was still okay to do. 

In the silence, I fell in love with my craft again.  And when spring and summer came, my workspace often extended past the four walls of my studio space, moving into the outdoors where nature became inspiration, creativity and the healer I so greatly needed.

And that’s something I’ve heard from lots of people throughout the pandemic.  Nature has been the biggest comfort during a period of darkness.  It became the place we could all go, whether it was to a neighborhood park, a local lake, a campsite, or even our own backyard.  Nature is the thing that continues to heal us all.

The truth is, we’re not out of the woods yet.  And we can’t ignore the heartache we’ve witnessed.  But it IS up to us to decide what we want to take away from this time.  

So I want to share some of the things I saw last year.  Not just through my camera lens, but through a lens of what it means to live through uncertainty and still have hope.

And while I may not ever have 20/20 vision, I’d like to think I’m seeing my own life much more clearly as a result of what we’ve been through this past year. 

Hope you enjoy:

Written by Kurt Johnson Photography