“Onward, Camille,” is a letter to myself exploring my listlessness throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. At the onset of the lockdown, I was living and freelancing as a photojournalist in Chicago, already struggling to find my footing in the industry one year after graduating from college. When the Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker issued the first stay-at-home order on March 21, 2020, my initial instinct was to contact editors to see if they needed any stories to be covered. I was given a few assignments in the beginning, but the work soon dried up, creating an emotional and financial void that couldn’t be filled. Having struggled with mental health for my entire life, I’ve been averse to routine and disinclined to sit with myself. My entire self-worth was structured around telling other people’s stories, and when I couldn’t do that anymore, I only had my own.

The idea of being forced to contend with these emotions of uselessness during a turning point in my adult life amidst a global pandemic and racial justice movement felt like both a curse and a gift. I bounced around three different states during the pandemic to find a job in my home state, leave that same toxic job five months later, then find another job in a place where I knew no one and had never been. Much of this body of work was made before and during the moves to distract from an unwanted upending of my life, multiple times. I didn’t know what I was creating at the time, but I knew that making photos and adding text was the only way I wanted to share my anxieties, which ultimately brought me comfort. It was the only way I could process the surreal moment we were collectively going through, in some cases all alone.



Camille Fine is a Documentary Photographer and Reporter for the Portsmouth Herald, specifically covering York, Maine. Camille received a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communication and held internships at the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and The Hill. She has also been recognized by College Photographer of the Year and the National Press Photographers Association. Although her passion for listening to and visualizing other people’s stories will always be first, 2020 challenged her and everyone else to look inward and beyond our own perceptions’ of reality; putting ourselves into the lives of strangers while simultaneously cementing us to our own.

Instagram Handle : @Camillefine

Phone: 216-905-3948

email: camillefinephoto@gmail.com