When photographer Daniel Dreifuss started working for the Santa Barbara Independent back in February, no one had much of a clue how dramatic of a year it would be, from the COVID-19 pandemic to Black Lives Matter protests to a heated election season. For this week’s issue, he compiled dozens of his best shots to recap a year of work.

“Working to make sure I am safe as well as keeping the people I photograph safe is a challenge,” said Dreifuss when asked about challenging assignments. “Documenting the Foodbank of Santa Barbara — which is doing so much to help feed Santa Barbara — and editing it down to 10 photos while still showing their impact was a challenge.”

He enjoyed preparing the cover story on pandemic pivots. “Santa Barbara is filled with talented people,” he said. “Seeing the awesome work that people of all ages are doing to get through the pandemic was fun and inspirational.”

But COVID restrictions remained the biggest hurdle of all in 2020. “I do a lot of sanitizing my gear, my car, my masks, etcetera,” he said. “I never really thought I would have to take so many precautions just to photograph someone at a park.”


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