Alone Together: A Pandemic Photo Essay – Book Launch

  By Ryley Smith

Leah Hennel posing with her newest publication, Alone Together: A Pandemic Photo Essay, in front of prints from her book. Photo by Jeff Yee.

On Friday, May 13, 2022, we had the pleasure of hosting a Book Launch for Leah Hennel’s latest publication, Alone Together: A Pandemic Photo Essay. In the stunning Contemporary Calgary Dome, we got to showcase Leah’s powerful images and stories about the incredible AHS staff she’s been documenting since the beginning of the pandemic. 

From left to right, Evelyn Drake, Leah Hennel, Mia Torres. Presenting on Alone Together: A Pandemic Photo Essay at the Contemporary Calgary Dome. Photo by Jeff Yee.

Friends, family, photography lovers and Alberta Health Services staff all came together to hear the real-life stories behind the images that make up Alone Together: A Pandemic Photo Essay. Leah, who was joined by ICU Nurse Mia Torres, shared some of the most difficult moments in both of their careers.

From left to right, Mia Torres, Leah Hennel. Posed in front of Leah Hennel’s photograph of ICU Nurse Mia Torres. Photo by Jeff Yee.

From heart-wrenching stories to lighthearted jokes, this was more than just a book launch, but a moment to come together as a community. After an incredible presentation and discussion, everyone came together to celebrate Leah’s publication and get a signed copy of Alone Together: A Pandemic Photo Essay.

Line up of attendee’s waiting to talk to and get their books signed by Leah Hennel. Photo by Jeff Yee.

Leah Hennel signing books. Photo by Jeff Yee. 

We would like to give Mia Torres, a big thank you for being so vulnerable in sharing your experiences as an ICU nurse during the pandemic.

We would also like to give a special thanks to Contemporary Calgary giving us the most perfect place to host our event and their amazing staff for all their help. 

A special thanks to Rocky Mountain Books for approaching Leah and creating the beautiful book that is Alone Together: A Pandemic Photo Essay. 

As well as a HUGE thank you to all the AHS staff that were in attendance, the AHS who couldn’t make it because they were working, and all the AHS staff who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe since the very beginning! We are all so grateful for you!

Leah Hennel posing while signing books. Photo by Jeff Yee.


Ryley graduated in 2018 from the U of C, with a bachelor in Sociology. With a strong love for writing, and having dabbled in photography, she wanted to take her curious mind and put it towards a more fun and creative future. In her spare time, Ryley finds herself camping, skiing, and fishing. She also loves craft beer and interesting food, ideally together.