For HUP OR nurse Marc Goldfarb, BSN, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the picture. With OR volumes down, Goldfarb was redeployed across different areas of the hospital, including doing thermal scanning at entrances, and aiding other clinicians as an expert in doffing and donning PPE. As he worked with different people, he began snapping portrait photos of his new colleagues — powerful images of those on the front line of care. Read below to see what motivated him to take them... and what makes them so special. See more by following @PennMedicine on Instagram.

What inspired you to take portraits of your colleagues?

As nurses were asked to remain flexible and provide care in different settings, I found myself working alongside of a lot of familiar faces but the expressions had changed. I didn't see fear; I saw concern. I didn't see hopelessness; I saw bravery. And more than anything else, I noticed camaraderie. My fellow health care workers inspired me to take these portraits.

These portraits are incredibly moving. Tell us a bit about your process.

I take the picture as fast as I can before people become too self-conscious. I am trying to capture medical personnel as they look on a typical work day. There is beauty in that.

What is the reaction you typically get from your colleagues when they see their portraits/portraits of team members?

In general, most people do not want me to take their picture at work because scrub hats and masks aren't extremely flattering. But it’s the eyes I am focused on. I think this captures the mood of a person in that moment. The most common reaction people have to seeing their own portrait is amusement and pride.

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