COVID-19 Discharge Walk Photography
for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Project Overview: During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, I served as the sole graphic designer for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. This was an unprecedented time marked by uncertainty and fear as the world grappled with a novel virus that had a profound impact on daily life. In California, stringent measures were implemented to curb the spread of infections, including a strict no-visitor policy in hospitals. This policy, while necessary, added an emotional burden on patients and their families, isolating them during critical moments of their healthcare journeys.
Role and Responsibilities: As part of the marketing department, we faced the daunting task of continuously working to create informative signage and materials to educate staff and the public about rapidly changing policies aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19. One of the most uplifting aspects of this challenging period was the discharge cheer walk for recovered patients, a poignant reminder of hope and resilience amidst the crisis. Documenting these moments through photography became one of my key responsibilities.

Photography Project: Discharge Cheer Walks From April 1, 2020, to July 30, 2020, I captured images of patients being discharged after their battle with COVID-19. These photographs not only served to document a significant chapter in the hospital's history but also provided an emotional and inspirational visual narrative of recovery and human spirit.
Context and Challenges: The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were characterized by a rapidly evolving understanding of the virus and its impacts. Hospitals were overwhelmed, and healthcare workers were under immense pressure. The no-visitor policy, though essential for infection control, meant that patients faced their recovery alone, and families waited anxiously at a distance. These discharge walks, therefore, became a vital symbol of hope, marking the end of a patient's isolation and the beginning of their return to loved ones.
Photographic Approach and Design Terminology:
Lighting and Composition: Given the hospital setting, natural light was often used to capture these moments, enhancing the authenticity and emotional impact of the images. Strategic composition was crucial, focusing on the expressions of joy and relief on patients' faces as they exited the hospital.

Depth of Field: A shallow depth of field was employed to isolate subjects, drawing attention to the patients and the healthcare workers who cheered them on. This technique helped to convey the significance of each individual’s recovery journey.

Color and Contrast: The use of color was intentional, with the warm tones of hospital interiors contrasting with the bright, hopeful expressions of the subjects. This juxtaposition highlighted the transition from the sterile, clinical environment of the hospital to the warmth of recovery and reunion.
Emotion and Storytelling: Each photograph aimed to tell a story of resilience and recovery. The images captured not just the physical act of walking out of the hospital but the emotional triumph over illness, the joy of reunification, and the collective support of the healthcare community.
Inspirational Impact: These photographs are more than just documentation; they are a testament to the strength of the human spirit during one of the most challenging times in recent history. They capture moments of pure joy and relief, offering a powerful reminder of the importance of compassion, perseverance, and community support. Witnessing these individuals overcome their battles and walk out of the hospital left an indelible mark on me, reinforcing the profound impact of visual storytelling in capturing the essence of human experience.
Conclusion: The COVID-19 discharge walk photography project at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital stands as a highlight of my career, showcasing my ability to use photography to convey deep emotional narratives. These images not only document a pivotal time in history but also serve as a beacon of hope, celebrating the triumphs of our patients and the unwavering dedication of our healthcare workers.
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