PHOTOS: CONNECTIONS Unable to photograph school events, our photographers take and submit photos to a local contest.

With the transition to distance learning, our photographers have lost many valuable opportunities to take photos for The Lowell. Fortunately, we found a new challenge for them. The Journalism Education Association of Northern California (JEANC) has created a monthly photo contest for journalism students. Each month, a theme is presented that allows students to use their creativity while following COVID-19 safety guidelines. To make the contest more equitable, since access to school cameras is limited, students are only allowed to use their phones to take these photos. Over the next few months, we will be publishing the photos our staff photographers submit. The September theme for the JEANC photo contest is “connection.”

Shot at a nearby laundromat, this is an artistic interpretation of staying connected during the pandemic. The pictures depict two friends sharing stories over the phone. Even though they must be separated, talking to each other makes them feel as though they are together again. Photos and caption by Cliodhna Woods
A little boy enjoys his s’more while camping in a socially distanced yurt with his family. With a wide smile on his face, the boy shows how some youth remain innocent during the pandemic, and are still fully able to appreciate small joys in life even under different circumstances. Photos and caption by Kimi Norway
My grandparents were both battling COVID-19, then my grandmother had passed away on the night of Sept. 16th. I was very close to her, as she was like a second mother to me. My family and I have been depending on each other for support. These photos show not only our connection to one another when we eat together, but also to my grandmother, who is represented by the spot covered in flowers. I chose the dining table because my family and I talk the most when we’re eating meals all together. Photos and caption by Hayden Cheung
Left: As my parents face the 100 degree Berkeley heat to visit their oldest daughter, the frustrations with the limits COVID-19 has put on the interaction is seen in their twin expressions. Masks are necessary and hugging is not allowed, making connection much more difficult. Right: At opposite ends of a six-feet long folding table, my 13-year old sister and her long-time friend celebrate her birthday by having individually wrapped strawberry cakes. All the excitement and thought that went into the celebration, covering the table with fruit-patterned vinyl, chilling the bottles of grapefruit sparkling water, and writing a heartfelt birthday card, has finally paid off. At last, the birthday party can begin. Photos and caption by Jaxi Cohen
These photos illustrate how, during the quarantine, my strongest connection has been with myself. Exploring and finding my own identity is often both confusing and disorienting, which I conveyed with foggy backgrounds and multiple photos of the same person. I took all of the photos on an iPhone and used printed cut-outs of the photos to edit them. Photos and caption by Marlena Rohde
At sunset, Golden Gate Park is filled with bikers and runners doing an afternoon workout. The rays of sunshine through the trees are experienced by everyone at the park, and connect these people who normally would not have been together in any way. Photos and caption by Bella DeLoa.