Milford photographer chronicling stories of health care workers

One of John Mollura’s first subjects for his Sacrifice & Light series was Adrianne Shane of Milford. Submitted photo/John Mollura

MILFORD — John Mollura wanted to bring attention to what health care workers are going through during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Milford-based photographer’s new project “Sacrifice & Light” focuses on those on the front-lines of the pandemic.

Mr. Mollura is creating portraits of health care workers, projected onto a pair of scrubs, combined with their stories of positivity they have witnessed during the outbreak and what sacrifices they are making.

John Mollura

“One of my very dear friends is a health care worker and I overheard her telling my wife she won’t sleep in the same room as her husband because she doesn’t want to expose him,” Mr. Mollura said. “That broke my heart to hear that. Another nurse doesn’t want to hug her kids because she’s scared she could infect them. She loves her kids too much to hug them.”

“Hearing all that haunted me,” Mr. Mollura added. “I wanted to bring attention to them.”

The service is free and is not limited to Delaware health care workers.

Mr. Mollura does the portrait over the internet via video chat. Participants sign up online by selecting a time to be photographed and by typing in their story.

“Getting portraits in person is impossible right now but I figured out a way via ZOOM,” Mr. Mollura said. “The actual process isn’t too hard once I worked out the kinks. It takes just a few minutes, I know their time is precious right now.”

There is also an option to be shot anonymously, by taking the portrait shot with their masks still on.

“My intent is to highlight the people who are really on the front lines,” Mr. Mollura said. “It gives them an opportunity to share the sacrifices they’ve made and their story. I want to highlight some unexpected bright points and light they have seen during this time.”

Mr. Mollura began work on the Sacrifice & Light project this week. He said he first thought of the idea while mowing his lawn on Sunday.

The day prior he worked on a virtual shoot over ZOOM with his assistant, celebrating her one year anniversary of sobriety. After seeing how well that went after sorting through any technical issues, he thought he could do the same thing with healthcare workers.

So far Mr. Mollura said the No. 1 thing that has stuck with him is how selfless his subjects are. One said the hardest thing right now is watching people in the hospital in quarantine not having a support network while another was most concerned about balancing her time at the hospital and her three children at home.

“The common thread from people who have participated is their sacrifices aren’t about themselves,” Mr. Mollura said. “They’re so much more concerned with everyone else.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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