Documenting the Great Equalizer: the Face Mask

When the coronavirus pandemic began, I ran the gamut of emotions and feelings from fear to the expanse of connection to my fellow human beings. As a photographer and an artist, I knew that I had to give back my inner vision of love and peace to as many people as I could to help tame their fears of the unknown and what the future might bring. My first thoughts were to do socially distanced porch party portraits for families that wished to capture their time in quarantine in a light and whimsical way. But when I shared the idea with colleagues and friends I received mixed feedback, so I scrapped the idea. The thought of bringing stress to anyone at this time seemed counterproductive.With that idea mothballed for a less turbulent time, I moved on to the project "The Great Equalizer." The driving motivation for these images was to create a sense of unified community based on the face mask being the great equalizer that protects us all and is being worn by everyone—the young, old, rich, poor, and people of every race in our country and around the globe.  I hope to eventually make prints of these portraits for auction to raise funds for various foundations. To create the images I compiled more than 350 small photographs of people from across the country that were made by many different artist photographers. The foreground image is that of a hero working tirelessly to keep us safe. The heroes represent the pillars of our communities who have stepped up to ensure the well-being of our society.While the necessary social distancing has separated us physically out of necessary design, I believe that the mask has become the great equalizer that symbolizes hope and caring for our fellow human beings.Dana Lynne Rubin is the owner of Dana Rubin Photography.