After their widely publicized portraits of Italian doctors and nurses battling the coronavirus pandemic, Rome chief photo editor Domenico Stinellis and Milan photographers Antonio Calanni and Luca Bruno wanted to go deeper. They set out to capture with more context and detail what a day was like for health care workers putting themselves at risk to save lives in the deadliest outbreak in Europe.
Using contacts cultivated over almost two months covering the pandemic, the AP photographers found a doctor and two nurses in northern Italy who agreed to not only let them into their workplaces, but their homes.
The result was a series of intimate portrayals of medical professionals, showing their efforts, sometimes fruitless, to help patients survive the virus, and the sacrifices they must make to avoid bringing it home to their families. The photos were elegantly captured in words by Rome correspondent Frances D'Emilio in a touching three-part series.
Bruno’s photo essay was printed in newspapers as far away as The Columbus Dispatch, while in his hometown Milan the newspaper Corriere della Sera used both his photos and video – and requested a separate interview with Bruno.
Calanni’s photos also made an impact both far and wide. The Washington Post posted the photo essay in its health section while Italian public broadcaster RAI ran a slide show of his photos with an Italian translation of the text.
Stinellis’ photos appeared in newspapers from The Guardian to Argentina's Clarin and the Arab times. Stinellis also received feedback on a personal level when he was contacted by the daughter of a COVID-19 patient seen in one of his photos. The man had died a few days later. The daughter was deeply moved by the photo and thanked Stinellis for taking it – she hadn't seen her father since he was admitted to the hospital.