Life in Quarantine

The non-majors PJ131 Introduction to Photography class took to turning their camera on themselves, the life around them and their families as they found themselves quarantined the second half of the spring semester due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. We are proud of their efforts and wanted to take a moment to applaud their work and recognize their efforts.

“The first thing I’m doing when quarantine is over is going to church,” Catherine Taylor said on Sunday. Much like her husband, she has missed very few Sundays and longs to be back in the church building she grew up in, rather than praying virtually on her front porch. “I know that church isn’t just a building, but I can’t wait to be worshiping with my church family again.” she added. Photo by Rachel Taylor

Stephen Taylor follows along in his Bible as his pastor reads Psalm 23 through video. “These days I’m spending Sundays mornings on my front porch watching my preacher on a Facebook video and I think it’s normal. How crazy is that?” Stephen said he’s never missed church more than two or three Sundays in a row his entire life. Now he’s missed nearly seven because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Rachel Taylor

“In all my years of preaching, I never could’ve imagined doing something like this.” Brother Grant Minton has been the pastor at the Auburn Cumberland Presbyterian Church for over 25 years and has been a pastor his entire life. “The worst part is the empty seats. Preaching to my phone just isn’t the same.” Photo by Rachel Taylor

As Lara Levine is painting, Tiger, one of three cats comes to visit. He is intrigued by the paint brush and sniffs it, ending up getting paint on his nose. “Tiger is a funny cat and is always sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.” Photo by Samantha Levine




While the COIVD-19 pandemic takes over, I try to find the light in the situation no matter how impossible it seems. Continuing to find myself and blossom like I was in my first year of college has taken an unexpected turn, but I will make do. After every storm there is a rainbow, you just have to look for it. Photo by Grace Bailey


Luke Taylor, a Western student, goes to the grocery store so his grandparents can stay at home. “You never know how much you hate being lazy until you’re forced to be lazy. Sometimes, I go to the store because I have nothing better to do.” said Taylor. There is no question many share Taylor’s feelings, even during quarantine the roads of Bowling Green are packed to the brim as people try to escape the boredom of their homes. Photo by Raaj Banga



Derrick Russell, 9, looks out the window with his backpack thinking of memories of going to school. “I miss my teacher and friends, I don’t want to stay in the house anymore.” With hopes to everything getting better he is currently taking classes online. Photo by Vonn Pillman





Yvette Calhon, 60, cheers up her grandson who misses going to school. “I understand that every kid his age wants to be around others his age this is very hard for him.” With hopes of everything going back to normal she gives him a new toy everyday to make him happy. Photo by Vonn Pillman


Photographer Kennedy Gott tries to find a way to continue to take portraits while in self-quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing is becoming very frustrating to her because she misses being able to do the things she loves and see the people she loves. “I wanted to use this blanket to show this feeling of ‘being trapped’ within my home,” she thought. Photo by Kennedy Gott


Paul Driehaus sits on the stairs, rather annoyed with Josie, the dog. They’ve had a long few weeks, with him not being able to go out. Paul is not taking too well to being stuck, as he likes to be independent. Photo by Alex Driehaus


Michael Frausto secures the placement of his mask to avoid contamination. Michael says, “I must do everything in my power to ensure safety of my daughter.” Photo by Karla Frausto


This moment in my life is very strange and I’ve found myself struggling to find balance between healthy and unhealthy behaviors. My cigarette intake is up to two packs per day. I’m also finding it hard to convince myself to bathe, as it’s really my only big to-do. In this photo I’m embracing the yen and the yang. Photo by Missy Johnson


During the COVID-19 pandemic, several volunteers help to bag groceries contains essential foods for the Ephram White Park Food Drive in Bowling Green, KY. Photo by Kennedy Gott


Two sisters run around in the creek through Cherokee Park. “I love watching them play in the water, they just have so much fun!,” their parents said, Even though these girls can’t be around their friends the ability to get out and enjoy the weather brought big smiles to their faces. Photo by Alyssa Gordon


Carley Kayabasi sits at Cherokee Park with her mask on while visiting her friend. She says, “With such pretty weather it has been awesome to social distance in the outdoors with a close friend.” Photo by Alyssa Gordon


On April 14th, her fourth week of self-isolation and social distancing, WKU freshman and student journalist Cassady Lamb takes a slow shutter self-portrait in her house located in Louisville, KY. Louisville currently has hundreds of reported coronavirus cases, and citizens of the Commonwealth are urged by Governor Beshear to stay in their homes if applicable. Photo by Cassady Lamb


Ken and Leslie Kann have found taking walks around their neighborhood to be beneficial for their mental health. “Getting some fresh air outside helps life feel a little more ‘normal'”, Leslie says. “A change of scenery no matter how small is definitely nice.” Photo by Elly Kann


Self-portrait by Fatimah Alhamdin.


Self-portrait by Raaj Banga.


This very small one bedroom apartment located on Fairview Ave.houses three cats and one dog, making Johnsons time of isolation less lonely. Photo by Missy Johnson

On Poisoned Land by Gabriel Scarlett

On Poisoned Land

How the Navajo still suffer from a country’s flirtation with nuclear war.

WKUPJ student Gabriel Scarlett examines the effects from decades of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation’s health, water and environment.   According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Nearly four million tons of uranium ore were extracted from 1944 to 1986; left behind were more than 500 abandoned uranium mines, four inactive uranium milling sites, a former dump site, and the widespread contamination of land and water. Only recently has the government attempted to assess and mitigate this contamination, but full reclamation of the land is unlikely.”

To see more about the in-depth project visit:

Begay with two of her sons, Lewis and Leonard, who died of cancers at 25 and 42, respectively. She counts at least a dozen of her close relatives who she believes died of exposure in or around the mines.
“Do you want me to show you where I dreamt of the water running?” Desaire Gaddy muses. “All through here, just blue water and dolphins.”

Decision to Dance

Decision to Dance

Photographs by Lydia Schweickart

The decisions people make for family is the subject of a photo story by WKU student Lydia Schweickart, who documented the double life of mother and exotic dancer Rachael, a.k.a. Nicole.  After Rachael’s fiancé was laid off from his job she started supporting the family by dancing at Tattle Tale’s Gentleman’s Club, bringing home more in one night what than her fiancé’ brought home in two weeks. Now that he has found another job and Rachel is expecting another child, she has decided to quit, after her doctor banned her from doing extreme activities.

Capturing a dramatic rescue

WKU Freshman Tyler Cacek spent several weeks working with an ambulance crew for a project for Intro class.  One day he documented the dramatic rescue of several people from a car crash.

Margaret Mason, 63, of Marion County, Ky, attempts to remove the victim of a head-on collision on highway 50 outside of Lebanon, Kentucky. The crash resulted in the hospitalization of 5 people, two of which were flown directly to Louisville, KY hospital from the scene.

Peace After War in Uganda • WKU student Tyler Cacek travels to Africa

In June 2009, I left the United States for East Africa. The primary purpose of my trip abroad was to document the efforts of The HALO Foundation ( working with disadvantaged youth in Kampala, Uganda. The majority of my time was spent creating a portrait series for each of the homes HALO works in, but in my off time I pursued other stories dealing with issues across east Africa. For years I have wanted to be a documentary photographer working in the Third World. This was the perfect opportunity for me to embrace my dreams and take a step into a career that I will hotly chase for the rest of my life.

I spent two months photo-mentoring a group of boys living in one of the group homes HALO supports. There isn’t much art appreciation in Uganda, so giving disadvantaged kids cameras and allowing them to explore the world in a way that they never thought possible allowed them to grow and appreciate a little bit of something that they never had.

I will continue to return to Uganda to document human stories an elements. My trip this summer allowed me to solidify my passion and honed my vision for my future.