Local photographer’s social distance photo essay ‘I Miss Us’ is a love letter to St. Petersburg


Sandra Döhnert Bourne’s byline is usually on a CL gallery of concert photos, but like so many of us, the St. Petersburg photographer found herself restless as local safer-at-home orders went on.

“Over a month and a half ago, when all the talk about the COVID-19 started to gain momentum here in the U.S.A., my husband, our child and I went out for a bike ride for what we were considering our ‘last hurrah,’ a family picnic at Northshore Park,” Döhnert Bourne explained. “There, I mentioned how I would miss seeing our community the way it was—vibrant, with tons of things to do and places to visit, lots of new small businesses opening, and most of all, the people that make St. Petersburg my favorite place I've ever lived in.”

So she reached out to her community and came back with  “I Miss Us, St. Pete: A social distance photo essay from afar.”

The more than three-dozen photos are heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. They remind us of the life we had before and make us look forward to whenever—and however—we safely emerge from all of this.Creative Loafing Tampa Bay is gratefully running the photos here and reaching out to many of the subjects as the weeks go on. Visit cltampa.com to read more and see sandrasonik.com to read Sandra’s conversations with her neighbors and yours. —Ray Roa

| Photos by Sandra Döhnert Bourne