Stephen Wilkes’s photographs of essential workers in his hometown of Westport, Connecticut, document a different kind of frontline.
Editor’s Note: Stephen Wilkes is an ASMP Professional Member.
As a photographer and National Geographic Explorer, Wilkes has documented endangered species and habitats, rising seas, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Ellis Island in decay, and more. “I’ve been a witness to change in the world in a very dramatic way through my work,” he said. Inspired by Jordan’s devotion to her neighbors, Wilkes photographed essential workers in his hometown of Westport, Connecticut—an early COVID-19 hot zone in the northeast—who are continuing to do their jobs so that the entire community will stay afloat. “The relationships built over the years in these communities,” he said, mean that “so many great, small mom-and-pop shops are making sure that everybody is okay right now. Without them, I don’t know what we’d do.”