When things began to escalate in New York City, my wife and I and our three sons left our apartment in Manhattan and drove out to Long Island to stay with my parents. We didn’t know how long we would be there, but we felt it would be the safest place. I’ve lived in New York for all of my 45 years, and the last few weeks have been one of the strangest stretches of time I can ever remember. Navigating life in the city can often feel like a solo endeavor, but being together day after day has given us a genuine sense of unity and even joy—despite the future being so uncertain.
Once we got settled, I started photographing our new life and the daily arc of having three young sons at home — the family meals, lazy mornings, afternoon cocktails, and attempts at online schooling — but also the quieter moments — an unexpected gift of this pandemic. An eight-year-old’s curious moment of wordless contemplation, an impromptu trip to the beach, destination-free walks down an empty road. Photographing my family has given me a renewed sense of purpose beyond the daily chores and responsibilities of being a father and a husband and a son and has allowed me to follow my visual impulses this way and that, even in the midst of this virus-induced malaise. Each photograph reminds me not to take these moments for granted. Not to take this life for granted. And already as I look at the pictures when my boys are asleep at night, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude to be alive, here and now, in this place—without expectations.
I’ve never been so happy to bring my work home. And I’ve never been so grateful to have one.
– Landon Nordeman