Monday, October 1, 2012

Dreams of a Photo Essay

I was handed boxes of films and photos like the one pictured here, while working on Abandoned Allies.
Now that the film is finished, I'd like to share these photos and the stories that go with them.
During the making of Abandoned Allies I collected more than 2,000 images. Most of them are taken by Americans living in the central highlands of Vietnam, from the 1950s to the 1970s. The subject matter is pretty similar: Montagnard life, Green Berets, and the two groups spending time together.

Now that the film is finished, I'd like to continue sharing these images. There are so many of them, and keeping them on my personal hard drive seems like a waste. I feel like the photos, and the stories that go with them, should be shared. They are not mine to keep, as it were.

There are many obstacles to turning photos into a book.

Lack of resources is the primary hurdle. Capturing the stories accurately would time, money, and energy. None of the photos belong to me, so putting them all in a book presents a challenge. I would need new permission from the photographers to publish them--and that would take more resources. Finally, putting all of them together--in some order that makes sense to a reader--likely requires the help of an editor, and I don't have one. So, there are some challenges.

I think a photo essay, in the form of a book or even a traveling art exhibition, would be really wonderful. Another way to keep sharing this story, with whomever is willing to listen. I'd need a bit of help with it, though. Perhaps that dream will become a reality one day.

Until then ... stay tuned. Thanks for the continued encouragement, y'all!

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