Wednesday Aug 10, 2022
Wednesday Aug 10, 2022

VIRUS DIARY: From red carpets to empty streets, and back


Nepalnews
2021 Apr 30, 10:48, Los Angeles
Singer Christina Aguilera poses with students from the Wushu Action Star Academy martial arts school in Temple City, Calif., at the premiere of the film

On the last normal night in Hollywood, there was one couple wearing masks. It was novel enough that I shot a photo of them. I had no idea they would soon be all of us.

It was March 9, 2020, and the premiere of Disney’s live-action “Mulan” brought a packed red carpet to the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, where as an entertainment photographer for The Associated Press, I had shot the Oscars four weeks earlier. Stars posed up close with big clusters of fans for a crush of dozens of photographers.

Taylor Swift appears in the audience at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
Photo: AP
Taylor Swift appears in the audience at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. Photo: AP
Billie Eilish accepts the award for top Billboard 200 album for
Billie Eilish accepts the award for top Billboard 200 album for

A year has passed. Nothing like it has happened since.

Two nights later, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, two people I’d shot often, announced they had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, giving a familiar face to the growing pandemic. The entertainment industry, along with most of the U.S., would shut down within days.

I was worried not just about doing my job, but whether I’d even keep it. I was an absurdity: an entertainment photographer in a time with no entertainment.

Yet in its place, history was happening. And what photographer doesn’t dream of capturing that?

So for weeks I wandered through formerly crowded streets, shooting the eerie emptiness of Rodeo Drive, and a Hollywood Boulevard that was suddenly stark and desolate.

Host Taraji P. Henson speaks at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Photo: AP
Host Taraji P. Henson speaks at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Photo: AP
Beyonce appears in the audience at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
Photo: AP
Beyonce appears in the audience at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. Photo: AP
This March 27, 2020, file photo shows a video monitor at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl with a coronavirus-related message in Los Angeles.
Photo: AP
This March 27, 2020, file photo shows a video monitor at the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl with a coronavirus-related message in Los Angeles. Photo: AP
Musician Ringo Starr poses in front of his
Musician Ringo Starr poses in front of his
Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz poses for a portrait in his home studio, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Oceanside, Calif. 
Photo: AP
Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz poses for a portrait in his home studio, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Oceanside, Calif. Photo: AP

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