Photographer Says To Document This Historic Time Now

Mar 29, 2020

Someday, the COVID-19 pandemic will be history. And that’s why one DeKalb County photographer is urging people to document it now.

Bob Myers took his wife’s advice. She’s DeKalb County historian Sue Breese, and she encouraged him to photograph the empty store shelves, the empty parking lots, and the altered daily interactions that are now part of life under the State’s stay-at-home order. In turn, Myers turned to social media to ask other DeKalb County residents to join the effort. For him, it’s important to keep the project local because it “makes it hit home more.”

Bob Myers, self-portrait

Myers has received photos of closed businesses, school lunch distributions, the parking lot tents at Kishwaukee Hospital, and a mother and daughter touching hands through a closed glass door.

Of course, there’s a touch of humor, too. One photo is of a downtown Sycamore icon, the statue of Pumpkinfest founder Wally Thurow standing next to his old-time bicycle. Someone had already thrown a scarf around his neck for winter.

“But now he's wearing one of those surgical masks to protect him from the virus,” Myers laughed. “And I don't know who took that picture, but it's a great picture.”

Wally Thurow dons a mask, downtown Sycamore.
Credit Dolores Davison-Schroeder

Myers is also a drone pilot and instructor. He plans to get dramatic overhead photos of the community, too.

Beyond sharing through social media, Myers hopes to put together an exhibition when the pandemic’s over. “I’m not going to keep these to myself,” he said. “These will be shared.”

He encourages people to start collecting photos in their own communities and finding ways to share through social media.

“You know, we’re getting this as it’s happening. This has never happened before. This is uncharted territory for all of us, and I’m just doing my little part to document it.”

You can see Myers’ photo collections and share some of your own DeKalb County pictures with him on several Facebook sites. They’re his drone photography page DeKalb County Illinois By Air  and Bob’s Photography Collective And Art. He has also collected photos through posts in DeKalb in Pictures and You Know You’re From Sycamore, Illinois When…