Reflections on this Surreal Spring

Quarantine and Black Lives Matter

Anyone who has worked alongside of me for a length of time knows I come from a long line of sighers. I grew up hearing my father’s nightly comforting ritual – sighing at four specific points on his path to embracing “his bride,” my mother, each day after work. As we move from the surreal Spring we have all experienced, I find myself sighing in three distinct ways. A guarded sigh of relief as the restrictions from the pandemic start to lift. A sorrowful sigh as like many we are unable to visit with our loved ones (for me this is my mother who is thankfully safe in an assisted care facility). And a resolute sigh as we come together with our Black brothers and sisters in our fight to end racism and support equality. Optimism and change are afoot!

Black boy in doorway | Philadelphia Photographer
While reflecting on the Black Lives Matter movement, this photograph I took came to mind due to the symbolism and emotions I find in its narrative. I am hopeful that the momentum, now having gone worldwide, will create permanent changes for equality. Aside from attending marches and reading history, I am listening to the experiences and stories of being Black in this country. This process has been raw; I am humbled by how little I know and the grace in which I have existed. This image was shot during the 90’s in the neighborhood I lived in Powelton Village, West Philadelphia.

My business officially “shut down” on March 16th, and the ensuing forced slow down and reflection have brought about a profound shift in my priorities. As it is for many people, the things I take for granted and the very rhythm of life has been laid bare.

A recent image from my current “Vignettes” project which illustrates the shift of the everyday in these surreal times. “Jason and Melissa, #0520.”

This time of introspection and slowing down have yielded silver linings: the deep dive into my mindfulness practice, more time for exercise and recreation, completion of long neglected projects, and much needed time with my family. Ultimately, this time has led to a thorough reassessment of my life and what is important to me. I am grateful to my daughter Ruby who completed 11th grade virtually—her spirit and tenacity allowed her to push through secluded online learning while bringing laughter to us every day. And to my wife Loretta, who continued to teach kindergarten through Zoom; there was great joy in coming downstairs to see her dancing and singing to a screen full of little faces. My family’s patience and support were key as my unbounded energy underwent a fine-tuning due to containment within our center city row house. I never imagined this amount of screen time when I chose to be a photographer!

My Procedures and Protocols for Shooting in a Pandemic

Through the amazing efforts of ASMP and many generous Zoom-ers, I have learned so much in the last few months. Now that we are opening up and taking assignments again, I wanted to make my procedures and protocols for shooting during this time available. We have taken great care to assemble a company handbook, production procedure protocols, and more to mitigate the risk against COVID-19 during productions. Please feel free to view and download the documents. I welcome your feedback; it is important to me as we continue to adapt to this new environment.

Be safe and I look forward to seeing you out there again!


Dave Moser

Philadelphia Photographer Dave Moser is a commercial and editorial photographer who specializes in advertising, portrait, and corporate photography. To see more of Dave's work, visit

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