Just shoot it: Local photographer turns his Cleveland images into Zoom backgrounds

In the past two months, photographer Andy Lash started feeling quarantine stifling his creative juices.


Because of the coronavirus, he's unable to go out and shoot some of his favorite iconic Cleveland street scenes, like East 4th Street, and it was making him antsy to do something with his craft.


Lash, a Brunswick resident and owner of Youphoria Photo, shoots anything from residential real estate to pets. But he says he is most inspired by the Cleveland landscape and Lake Erie.


“Sometimes it's daytime and clean and crisp and sometimes there is a night element or theme that is moody and elicits emotion in the image,” he says of the Cleveland vibes he likes to capture. “Each photo can speak differently to each person and I think being subjective is part of the art.”


Zoom background photo by photographer Andy LashAfter Zooming one night with some friends, Lash came up with an idea to keep his favorite Cleveland scenes close to him—and bring the images to others who are stuck indoors, spending time on Zoom meetings and happy hours.


Lash decided to create his own Cleveland Zoom backgrounds. “I thought it would be an interesting background and promote Cleveland,” he says. Then he decided to share the backgrounds with the rest of Cleveland.


So, Lash then turned to The Keep it Local Project, an organization that raises awareness of the local business community and highlights all that is uniquely Cleveland, for help promoting his Zoom backgrounds.


Keep it Local happiness coordinator Lorena Opris loved the idea and thought it fit perfectly with the organization’s mission.


“We wanted to do something fun for the community, especially with many people using Zoom during social distancing,” says Opris. “We thought, why not collaborate with one of our awesome members, Andy, who has taken some stunning shots of Cleveland to ignite joy and appreciation in people who are having to stay home during this time.”


Lash used some of his favorite haunts as backgrounds—East 4th Street, the Lake Erie shoreline, and Playhouse Square.


He says he hopes his photographs will inspire people to visit these places in-person and explore parts of Cleveland in ways they’ve never viewed it before.

Read more articles by Crystal Beaulieu.

Crystal Beaulieu just earned her journalism degree from Cleveland State University and is determining the next step in her career. As a mother of three, Beaulieu enjoys healthy eating and long hikes.
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