D.C. is often photographed through the lens of politics. In fact, the typical images coming out of our nation’s capital are protests, demonstrations, political events, elections and the National Mall, to name a few. Although these types of images are relevant, D.C. is more than a political stage. When the election ends and protestors go home, life in D.C. continues.
As a result, «Oblivion» aims to show the in-between moments of a city that ebbs and flows between the centre of everything and nothing. Thomas Woodruff hopes to humanize D.C. and show that it’s full of life and not just a political machine. Above all, it’s a place where people live, different cultures intersect, and a mood of anxiety persists in anticipating the next overhaul decided by the rest of the country.


Thomas Woodruff is an American documentary and street photographer based in Washington, D.C. He is currently a resident artist for The 50 States Project, a visual research project exploring what it means to be American during these turbulent times.
Woodruff is a graduate of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication with a Master’s degree in photojournalism. He is also a finalist for the Reinke Grant for Visual Storytelling. He began to explore fear and anxiety in 2019 with his project «Shape Oblong», a deeply personal study of his struggles with mental illness. Consequently, his work has become a meditation on fear and its pervasive effects on the United States. How do these anxieties contribute to current tensions in the U.S.? Are things getting better, or are they getting worse?
Thomas Woodruff is persistently passionate about exploring these questions through street photography in his hometown and across the country. Ultimately hoping to answer the big questions: where is fear taking us, and what the future of America is?