“…the art of photography is a dynamic process of giving form to ideas and explaining man to man.” -Edward Steichen (the very first photographer I ever fell in love with). I just read and looked through a book I got this January: The Family of Man. It was created by Mr. Steichen, and was at the time (printed in 1955) considered to be “the greatest photographic exhibition of all time-503 pictures from 68 countries.” After slowly diving in to this book, which from the cover looks like a children’s book, I cannot help but feel the need to document, travel, explore, and meet. This desire is unexplainable. Something I always have. Its intensity comes and goes, but the urge never leaves me. The black and white photographs contained in this book’s pages blow my mind. What it took to get the images…the stories behind them…the significance of them…the value and impact they have had a continue to possess…
I will leave you with a quote from Bill Bangham, photojournalist and current director of photography for the IMB. He once said to me….
“If you want the people to care about the people in your photos, you have to see them. Its the way we do that that matters. Let them know from your body language that you care about them.” Then, after telling me about how he got the privilege of photographing a Muslim woman in her home, after building a deep relationship with the family, he said, “I was no longer a stranger.”
[Photo taken at a medical clinic in a Vietnamese village outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Summer 2009.]