Local Photographer Seeks The Essential Workers Behind the Mask During the Pandemic

Christine Tarlecki
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A local writer and photographer focused on frontline healthcare workers, like those at CHOP, behind the mask for his latest photo series, reports 6abc.

Florencia Greer Polite, MD, Chief, OB/GYN, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Image via J.C. Sager.

J.C. Sager worked as the F&B Manager at the Philadelphia Cricket Club when he lost his job to COVID-19 in April.

After creating a fundraiser in August for the 8/28 Commitment March in Washington D.C., he turned his lens to the essential workers serving those in the Philadelphia area.

The idea for Behind the Mask was an easy one for me, says Sager. “While many struggled to manage the reality of this “new normal”, most of us just wanted to run away from it all. Our healthcare workers willingly ran towards it, over and over again…in full PPE of course!”

Philly nurse
Sultantauheed Howard, CCP Nurse Instructor, image via J.C. Sager.

“I love people, photography, and sharing stories. Nurses run in my family. As a former EMT myself, I just wanted to help give back to the medical workers who sacrificed so much,” he explains. “I’m just in awe of what they continue to do.”

“Due to extreme humility, these professionals would never dare brand themselves a hero,” J.C. says, “But we all know that’s exactly what a hero would say! In addition, these selfless souls would never request a public platform to speak on, which is exactly why I wanted to provide them one.”

No healthcare worker participating in this project asked for a single thing in return. It was me who had reached out to them, J.C. says.

“They only expressed a deep gratitude for the opportunity to simply share their personal stories with others. As a way of saying thank you for their participation, I created a photo fundraiser called, “Prints for a Purpose”.

Read more about J.C. Sager and his photo series on the selfless Philadelphia-area front-line workers at 6abc.

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