Over five months, the New York Times set out to chronicle the service workers who kept New York going during the COVID-19 pandemic. At an estimated 2.5 million jobs, the city’s service economy is central to the lives of many New Yorkers who want to order in, get a haircut, or have their groceries delivered. The portraits shown here—unadorned but not inexpressive—reflect hope and dignity in a way that connects us to our fellow New Yorkers.
Todd Heisler is a New York Times staff photographer based in New York City. His work often explores major news stories and how they affect the lives of individuals. In recent years he traveled the U.S. extensively—photographing stories around immigration and elections. During the pandemic he remained in New York, documenting the impact of the coronavirus across the city while, like all journalists, living the story himself.
Heisler’s dogged commitment to this story is evident in other major COVID-19 coverage throughout the crisis. “The New York City of Our Imagination” is a visual contemplation of city life during the pandemic; “The Epicenter” documented Elmhurst, Queens—a neighborhood ravaged by COVID-19.
In 2006, as a staff photographer for the Rocky Mountain News, Heisler received the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography, as well as other recognitions for “Final Salute,” a project that examined the life of a Marine Casualty Assistance Officer and the families of Marines killed in the Iraq War. In 2010, he won a National News and Documentary Emmy as the sole photographer for “One in 8 Million,” a New York Times multimedia project that profiled 54 New Yorkers every week for a year.
Since 1851, the New York Times has been on the ground reporting stories from around the globe that no one else was telling. How we tell those stories has changed, but our mission to seek the truth and help people understand the world has remained constant.
Essential, But No Guarantees
Featuring: Todd Heisler
Curated by: Todd Heisler
LocationsView Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn
1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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