Photographer Damon Adams documented what he saw on Detroit’s west side and downtown during Detroit’s coronavirus pandemic. Adams gathered his images while Detroiters observed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders. Detroiters — ever resilient — found a way to gather, celebrate while social distancing. Adams’ images are the second part in a series of photographers documenting their observance of the coronavirus impact on Detroit. Adams’ photos were taken May 3 – 12.

Q: Where did you take photos and why?

I focused on the west side and wanted to get some [images of] downtown.  Obviously, downtown [offers] a contrast between the city and its neighborhoods. Downtown is a commercial district, all sorts of things [are] going on.  Downtown is usually the most generic version of any city but you see people coming and going. 

Q: What did you see at the graduation?

 [The graduation party] showed unity among a family in a difficult time. We were trying to show love for the graduate while social distancing. It was a mock graduation. Shanna Lee was graduating from Michigan State, she walked and everything. The family got her a black robe, there was a rug, she stood, and everyone took pictures like a regular graduation.

Q: What did you notice?

[Detroiters] were trying to find something to do without doing too much. Everyone is looking for some leisure outside of the house while social distancing. I have noticed a lot of people practicing distancing but not always correctly, unfortunately. I think people need to be more aware and cautious. I would say most people [wore] masks, I feel offended when people don’t wear masks.

Q: What got you interested in photography?

I always wanted to pick up photography, I didn’t have any hobbies. I didn’t play sports. I was into streetwear and alternative hip-hop, anything that was more underground. I got my start [in photography] at Michigan State shooting lifestyle shots and party pictures. I like photos of people living their life. Intimate shots but nothing posed. I know the difference between a beautiful intimate moment, I try to respect people and shoot what wants to be shot.

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