Dutch photographer Jan Banning and Dutch filmmaker Frank van Osch
During the past two and a half years I’ve had the incredible opportunity to mentor under the direction of award winning Dutch photographer, Mr. Jan Banning. Mr. Banning won a 2004 World Press Photo Award for the India chapter from his wildly successful photo series Bureaucratics. His work has been published and exhibited all over the globe and in many print and online publications. Several photos of his reside in the famous Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum where Rembrandt’s paintings are as well! One of his most recent projects, Down and Out in the South was a portrait project of homeless men and women in the southern USA in which I was Mr. Banning’s assistant. I was responsible for not only helping with interviewing homeless men and women but organizing the project in Atlanta and in the Mississippi Delta, logistics, and securing permissions from the homeless organizations that we worked with during the project in 2011. It was a humbling and challenging project where we interviewed and photographed over 60 (of the 100+ total) men and women from Atlanta, GA and the Mississippi Delta. Mr. Banning began the project in 2010 in Columbia, SC and is producing a Down and Out in the South photobook which will be available sometime in 2013. I was also asked to make a new headshot portrait of him, which he uses on his website. Additionally, my photo of Mr. Banning was published in the article about him in Photo District News’ (PDN) magazine which you can read/see here: http://www.janbanning.com/national-identities-in-pdn-january-2012/pdn-01-2012-low-2/
In October 2012, Down and Out in the South was exhibited in public space at the Georgia State University’s D.A.E.L. building, projecting the images onto the outside of the building on the corner of a busy intersection near Woodruff Park. It was also exhibited at a gallery in Atlanta during the 2012 Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) photo festival.
Here are some photos from the Down and Out in the South exhibition opening:
This past October and November, Jan came back to the USA for those exhibitions and for two other photographic projects he was working on, the first called Law and Order. And the second because he was commissioned by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange to photographically illustrate a story by one of their reporters, James Swift, on the economic impact in rural NW Georgia. I was asked to assist Mr Banning again during these two projects. I spent 6 weeks traveling throughout the state of Georgia first working in rural NW Georgia trailer parks, and then venturing into police stations, courtrooms, maximum security prisons, and city and county jails. This was the first time I was ever on the “wrong side” of the law and it was an interesting and exciting adventure. Being in the actual cell area, on death row, at the Georgia Department of Correction’s prison in Jackson, GA was very humbling.
Butts County, GA jail
In addition to all of this fun and excitement of going to jails and prison, award winning, Dutch documentary filmmaker, Frank van Osch of VanOsch Film Produkties came to the USA at the same time with his sound producer Reg Gruson, and they filmed Jan and I working in northwest Georgia and in Atlanta. Frank van Osch is producing a documentary film about Jan Banning and I had fun watching them film several hours of footage and interviews with Jan. Frank even turned the camera to me and asked me questions about working with Jan!
Rural NW Georgia, near the Cartersville area
And last but not least, headshots for all the Dutch boys!