Leopo: A Photographic Look at the Year 2020 in Orange County
JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
Left, Eric Marcial, 44, and his wife Maria Mendoza, showed up early Saturday morning to clean the debris from the protest from the night before. Marcial, who has lived in the city for 33 years says, "It's ok to protest, but we also have to take care of our community."
Photographing 2020: A year so eventful, at times it felt as if there wasn’t enough time to photograph every single turning point in Orange County.
Yet we did just that.
An enterprising and award-winning photojournalist in Orange County and beyond. Leopo, as Voice of OC’s Director of Photography, has captured a wide array of photographs visually documenting the news and soul of Orange County local government and community. Her work has also appeared in Vice, KCET, Ed Source, The California Endowment and OC Weekly.
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Just last year, our newsroom began adding more visuals to our reporting, and this year, we included photography in our reporting more than ever.
Many of our visuals this year were shot using a telephoto lens or we pre-planned all portraits taking into account precautionary measures.
As the year progressed, we photographed life during Coronavirus, protests, elections, fires, hospital surges, empty malls, crowded areas, renters woes during Coronavirus, food drives, unemployment, and then the yearly events that were celebrated such as: students graduating, Indigenous peoples day, Dia de los Muertos, Veterans Day, Memorial Day among so many.
This year in photos also became a truly collaborative effort. Voice of OC published photos sent in from community members and readers. We also brought on a group of new freelancers that brought a deep passion for documenting the county of Orange.
Our visuals team expects to keep expanding and getting more creative in the ways we tell stories about Orange County residents getting through unprecedented times.
Left, Eric Marcial, 44, and his wife Maria Mendoza, showed up early Saturday morning to clean the debris from the protest from the night before. Marcial, who has lived in the city for 33 years says, “It’s ok to protest, but we also have to take care of our community.”
Orange County’s election season this year could be shaped by local response to the coronavirus pandemic and countywide protests calling for police reform and social equity for communities of color, which saw young people take to the streets en masse.
Elsa Hernandez, a 48-year-old San Clemente resident, said she had never been to a protest before. That changed on Sept. 24, when an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a Black homeless man in her city.
Joyce Perry, stands at the ‘Old Peoples Resting Place’ an ancient burial site in Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach. 174 human remains were disturbed for Hearthside housing projects, the human remains have since been reburied in an undisclosed location. Joyce has been advocating for the care of this site for 30 years, her non-profit, Acjachemen Tongva Land Conservancy is working towards being granted the remaining undeveloped land back. Oct. 9, 2020.
Real estate accountant Nahima Borque woke up to the smell of smoke outside her window at 8:00 a.m. just before she began getting ready to work from home again. She’s been a resident of Woodbury in East Irvine for over 10 years and wishes the city would have worked faster to send her information on what to do and where to go as she received a text from the city of Irvine an hour later to evacuate.
(Right) Reyna is the first to arrive at the food drive sponsored by the Orange County Labor Federation while (Left) Maria, translates drive-up directions to Reyna for the food drive. Maria, who belongs to Unite Here, a local labor union, has created a close bond with Reyna, many times in Spanish, Maria, encourages Reyna to keep moving forward through her time of uncertainty.