“It’s My Job”: Reflections on a Photojournalist’s Life

I never set out to be a photographer of conflict and tragedy—famines in Bangladesh and Ethiopia and wars on five continents at last count. In my early twenties, I saw enough blood, heard enough lies from military and civilian officials, and lost close friends while serving as an officer in the United States Army in Vietnam. Back home and finishing graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971, I turned down a desk job in Saigon, capital of the former South Vietnam, as a picture editor with the Associated Press, the world’s largest news gathering agency. To my mind, if I was to ever again experience the constant fear of being killed, at least it would be looking through the lens of my Nikon cameras.

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Alona Frankel was just two years old when Germany invaded Poland…. READ MORE