Jesse Justice left a career in Washington, D.C., and New York where most of his photography work was editorial and commercial, to move to Utah with XMRadio.building a portraiture business on the side. He left his tech job with a banking software company to transition to full-time photography in January. “Since the quarantine, my wife has been working from home and and I was just hanging around the house shooting bugs and weeds with a macro lens,” he says. Then it occurred to him that “we have artist friends and we knew they were struggling.”
“My purpose in taking these pictures was to illustrate the people I know who are actually changing their lives, changing their whole business model, changing their hours, selling stuff they don’t usually sell, so they can stay in business, take care of their employees and survive.”
“I can’t imagine what it’s like for them—I’m in a business where I can weather these things, but most cannot. When I call to ask if I can photograph, I tell them I want to commemorate the effort they’re making to take care of their people. I have a rig so I can give them a postcard right when I take the picture, then I send them a print.”
Justice sees the outcome of Covid-19 as changing individualism into community.
“It’s like wearing a mask,” he says. The masks aren’t for me, they’re for you, to keep other people from getting sick.”
“The photographs are my way of saying thank you for keeping on keeping on.”