Photos capture unique time that will be impossible to explain

A dozen high school photographers from around the country share their favorite images taken this spring

The photographer captures her grandmother, Nancy Hoit, who is sitting in the window of her house in Hingham, Mass., on April 22, 2020.

While many are stuck at home or forced into social distancing, high school students have been abruptly handed large amounts of free time. Although not all students spend their free time in the same form, some students captured this unique moment in time and shared their favorite pictures taken during quarantine in the attached photo gallery. Below, some of the students explain more about how they came to take these pictures.

Vice principal Luke DeVries and nutrition director Alison Demory are surprised with a gift during lunch pick-up hours May 4. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iowa City Community School Department opened lunch pick-up locations beginning March 23. On a typical day, DeVries and Demory expect around 500 people to pick up pre-packaged meals bags from West High. “It’s the silver lining of my day … getting out of the house and helping people,” Demory said. (Caroline Mascardo / Iowa City West High)

Caroline Mascardo, Class of 2022, Iowa City West High School — “I was taking photos of lunch pick-up for a journalism project when this family pulled up and gave Mr. DeVries and Ms. Demory a handmade dinosaur. I snapped this photo when this thoughtful exchange occurred. This is my favorite photo because it shows that there is still  kindness during an otherwise dreary and negative time. It made my day to see a little kid appreciating and giving back to volunteers who are risking their lives to help others.”


“Lonesome Chaos” — The moon over Pleasant Bay on Cape Cod. (Ryan Sanghavi / Noble and Greenough School)

Ryan Sanghavi, Class of 2022, Noble and Greenough School (Dedham, Mass.) — Before the nationwide lockdown that limited our movements and whereabouts, I snuck away to the beaches of Cape Cod for an evening to forget about the increasing threat of the pandemic. The moon is notoriously hard to photograph without the proper equipment, though the detailed ripples of Pleasant Bay tone down the harsh beacon reflecting from the sky. The light may be unbridled, but it is impossible to miss or ignore in the midst of the surrounding night.


(Kathryn Van Winkle / Arlington (Mass.) Catholic)

Kathryn Van Winkle, Class of 2021,  Arlington (Mass.) Catholic — I sat in the middle of a road in New Hampshire. No cars came in the duration I wandered around taking photos of the emptiness caused by quarantine.


(Nao Oya / Iowa City West High)

Nao Oya, Class of 2023, Iowa City West High School — I took this picture while I was on a walk with my dog, Robo. It was a really nice day and my dog was walking around in the grass so I decided to take a picture and I thought the dandelions were really pretty and the pop of yellow would look good in a photo with my dog. I love this photo because it just gives you that feeling of warm weather and makes you want to roll around in the grass. Also, my dog is mad cute.

–May 27, 2020–