The Essentials, 2020


Project Type:
Photography, Documentation, Photo Essay




The Essentials is a photo essay honoring essential workers in the Mission District neighborhood of San Francisco. Using my daily quarantine walks, I created a project that examines race and labor in San Francisco’s coronavirus epicenter. The portraits ruminate on the dichotomy between essential yet unprotected, or essential yet accessorial. 


Ramon, Urban Alchemy
Ramon, Urban Alchemy



Leo, United States Postal Service


Aura, Self


Robbie, UCSF at San Francisco General Hospital


Mike, Mission Groceteria


Gabby, Calle 24


Sam, Samy’s Liquor


Billy, SF-Marin Food Bank

Jon, TODCO, Calle 24, Vota Ya, City and County of San Francisco Dept of Building Inspection

Lovely ladies, Dynamo Donut



Francisco, Spice Jar



Jay, Recology



Bryan, Amazon


Santos, L’s Caffe



Jake, Purple Star M.D.






This work was developed as part of my fellowship with YBCA in 2020.
Special thanks to my collaborators and producer Anna Lisa Escobedo.


All images copyright.
©2020 Cheyenne Concepcion