WWII Memorial Project Retrospective

publicity photospublicity photosThese images can be used for sale of book.    

The Project

RAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTRAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTNo usage w/o written permission of Stephen R. Brown, 3715 T Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007, 202-667-1965, <srb@srbphoto.com>   RAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTRAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTNo usage w/o written permission of Stephen R. Brown, 3715 T Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007, 202-667-1965, <srb@srbphoto.com>

In 2002, I noticed the WWII Memorial underway (top left).  I knew that Ray Kaskey the sculptor had been waiting for twelve years to start the project and that the project was going to be the largest bronze project in history,  I asked his permission to photograph the "lost wax" process used to create the sculptures.  At the time I planned on spending "no more" than a week photographing for a file I keep on sculptors and their work.  Like my Chesapeake photography, it was more of a hobby than a  professional goal but I have a long standing interest in construction and artistic process .  This would be an opportunity to photograph the process in very large scale and deepen my portfolio of portraits of sculptors and crafts people (see picture top right).

The eagles were being forged and assembled in a foundry in Chester, Pennsylvania.  I found out they were going to do a trial installation and took a hotel for a couple of weeks. ... and so began my journey with the WWII Memorial.  During that period, I was able to photograph the entire lost wax process  and the trial installation.  Later I visited Ray's Brentwood studio where the twenty four bas reliefs with 255 characters were being carved.  Soon after that,  I was then asked if I'd like to photograph the installation of the eagles on the Mall.  I soon forged a great relationship with the crane operators and made sure they had photographs of themselves with the project in the background.  They would call and tell me when they were positioned for a great photo!  The head of the American Battle and Monuments Commission asked me one day how I knew everything was going to happen and always seemed to be in the right place?   I made sure all of the workers had photographs of themselves as the enormous pride they took in the project was inspiring.

WWIIMemorialWWIIMemorialNo usage w/o written permission of Stephen R. Brown, 3715 T Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007, 202-667-1965, <srb@srbphoto.com>

RAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTRAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTNo usage w/o written permission of Stephen R. Brown, 3715 T Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007, 202-667-1965, <srb@srbphoto.com>   No usage w/o written permission of Stephen R. Brown, 3715 T Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007, 202-667-1965, <srb@srbphoto.com>   RAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTRAY KASKEY/WWII MONUMENTRay Kaskey, Sculptor for WWII Memorial©Stephen R. Brown 20033715 T Street NWWashington, DC 20007202-667-1965All rights reserved. Any usage must be agreed upon in writing before hand with Stephen R. Brown.

WWII MemorialWWII MemorialJewel of the Mall Book
WWII Memorial: Jewel of the Mall is a 90 page full-color photographic book on the WWII Memorial with an introduction by Senator Robert Dole and photographs by renowned photographer Stephen R. Brown. These photographs are exclusive never-to-be duplicated images as Stephen R. Brown had access to the site and cranes as the Memorial was built. Panoramic scenes of the new face of the Mall comprise seventy-five pages of the book while the other fifteen are a documentary of the creation and installation of the sculpture and Marble ornamentation that is part of this new memorial.

Caption:  While the eagles were on the ground, and the internal structure exposed,  many of us wrote our father's names on the internal structure(top).   This picture is in the introduction to the book.

As always one thing lead to another, The installation of the eagles which appeared in Smithsonian as a two page spread and The Washington Post saw my portfolio and commissioned me to do the photography for a thirty-nine page advertorial in the magazine to celebrate the opening of the Memorial.  And just before the Memorial was turned over to the Park Service,  I was allowed the use of the crane one morning and made this image which became the cover of the second edition of the book (below).

WWII MemorialWWII MemorialJewel of the Mall Book
WWII Memorial: Jewel of the Mall is a 90 page full-color photographic book on the WWII Memorial with an introduction by Senator Robert Dole and photographs by renowned photographer Stephen R. Brown. These photographs are exclusive never-to-be duplicated images as Stephen R. Brown had access to the site and cranes as the Memorial was built. Panoramic scenes of the new face of the Mall comprise seventy-five pages of the book while the other fifteen are a documentary of the creation and installation of the sculpture and Marble ornamentation that is part of this new memorial.

The Book

In 2005, I had about 35,000 frames on the WWII Memorial and  had no intention of doing a book. About that time I was asked by "Photo Technique" Magazine to review the Photoshop part of the new Adobe Creative Suite.  What could me more serendipitous in that the Creative Suite included a copy of InDesign.  When I realized how easy it was to put a book together, I had the first draft done in forty eight hours and the rest of the book took shape quickly. Senator Dole agreed to write the introduction and was very agreeable about my photographing him for that reason. I originally used a US printer but that was a disaster technically so I switched to Asia Pacific with offices in DC and have been selling books ever since. 

To get the book done, I mortgaged the house and as the book went to its first printing in 2005 and that's when I I found that the "bookstore" at the Memorial was going to be a "ranger station".  GASP.... so what to do with ten thousand books in your studio but throw a couple of boxes in the trunk and get selling. I am currently in every bookstore in Washington, online at Amazon and the books are also available as Ebooks on on Apple and Amazon.  But at that time, I was at sea as to how I was going to reach my core audience that I had designed the book for:--WWII VETERANS!

MORE SERENDIPITY:  Along came these two fellow Earl Morse and Jeff Miller who had decided that since the WWII Memorial was so late in the building, they were going to fly "for free" every WWII veteran they could find.  And so began an amazing relationship with the thousands of volunteers who have risen to this task. To date, 130,000 veterans have been flown to Washington, DC to see the Memorial and probably fifty percent of them get my book for free through the  Honor Flight to whom I offer an enormous discount.  The White House News Photographers were good enough to feature the book at the 2006 dinner and Heidi and John Elswick set it up so that two WWII veterans in tuxedos gave two lovely military photographers of the year their awards. What a picture!  And what press they have gotten through the WHNPA members who have photographed Honor Flights. 

add this pix...

As Honor Flight was growing, they needed a television commercial for fund raising and Doug Mills and WTTG volunteered their studio and services and Senator Dole did the spot.  He also did an interview for WTTG on the presidential race which was going on at the time.  Richard LoPinto, VP of Nikon provided all the cameras for this project.  Nikon supports the WHNPA and I in turn use Nikon.  

Honor Flight Volunteering

I do a good bit of volunteer photography and advise Honor Flight on public relations  and website development.  I have even written a couple of posts on photographing at the WWII Memorial".  My reputation for insisting on the rights to my photographs is consistent and while I am generous with those rights to Honor Flights, we write up a licenses for every use. I have helped Honor Flight raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through my photography and have educated everyone in its fund raising value.   The rewards of this kind of a project are a fellowship with thousands of people whom I have to say are among the finest  folks I have ever met.  Who could be nicer than people who greet elderly veterans and raise millions of dollars to fly them for free to Washington?  I don't get immediate feedback from veterans on my books as they are given to the WWII veterans when they arrive home.  I have heard that it quite a popular item and that they carry it around town and have their buddies sign it.  Two fellows from Alabama asked that the book be buried with them and it is used by many Honor Flights as a gift for veterans who can't fly.  I am overwhelmed by the fellowship and attention I have gotten for this project and feel lucky to have stumbled upon it.  

In 2005, Senator Dole and I had an informal contest about who could greet the most Honor Flights but as there are now 161 Honor Flight hubs across the country each of whom flying their veterans twice a year, we meet there on Saturdays.  Eight years ago, probably forty percent of the veterans needed wheelchairs.  Today, that percentage is running closer to eighty percent.

IMG_1387IMG_1387These images can be downloaded by Honor Flight Volunteers and Veterans for personal use only. Thank you for respecting my copyright and feel free to print away.  

Caption:  

Honor Flight Chicago sets up for a group picture 

Senator Dole and I at the South Entrance to the WWII Memorial.s

My Readership

Pictured below are some images of veterans and volunteers at the WWII Memorial from the last ten years 

a_celebratea_celebrateWWII Memorial and Honor Flight Veterans are featured in Hoffman Media's new Celebrate Magazine.   b_celebrateb_celebrateWWII Memorial and Honor Flight Veterans are featured in Hoffman Media's new Celebrate Magazine.

 Caption:  Celebrate Magazine did a story on Honor Flight using my photos.

IMG_8517IMG_8517These are images taken for Home Box Office on Thursday March 11, 2010 and they can be downloaded for "personal use only" by relatives, friends and participants of the Honor Flight/HBO production. The copyright to the images is "Stephen R. Brown ©2010" and any usages outside the above must be negotiated in writing with Stephen R. Brown at srb@srbphoto.com. wwii memorial, Home Box Office, Civic Entertainment, Honor Flight, wwiimemorialbook.com, Spielberg, Hanks, srbphoto.com, Washington, DC, veteran, "The Pacific"   IMG_8529IMG_8529These are images taken for Home Box Office on Thursday March 11, 2010 and they can be downloaded for "personal use only" by relatives, friends and participants of the Honor Flight/HBO production. The copyright to the images is "Stephen R. Brown ©2010" and any usages outside the above must be negotiated in writing with Stephen R. Brown at srb@srbphoto.com. wwii memorial, Home Box Office, Civic Entertainment, Honor Flight, wwiimemorialbook.com, Spielberg, Hanks, srbphoto.com, Washington, DC, veteran, "The Pacific"   _DSC2764_DSC2764These are images taken for Home Box Office on Thursday March 11, 2010 and they can be downloaded for "personal use only" by relatives, friends and participants of the Honor Flight/HBO production. The copyright to the images is "Stephen R. Brown ©2010" and any usages outside the above must be negotiated in writing with Stephen R. Brown at srb@srbphoto.com. wwii memorial, Home Box Office, Civic Entertainment, Honor Flight, wwiimemorialbook.com, Spielberg, Hanks, srbphoto.com, Washington, DC, veteran, "The Pacific"

 

  TBS_4089TBS_4089These are images taken for Home Box Office on Thursday March 11, 2010 and they can be downloaded for "personal use only" by relatives, friends and participants of the Honor Flight/HBO production. The copyright to the images is "Stephen R. Brown ©2010" and any usages outside the above must be negotiated in writing with Stephen R. Brown at srb@srbphoto.com. wwii memorial, Home Box Office, Civic Entertainment, Honor Flight, wwiimemorialbook.com, Spielberg, Hanks, srbphoto.com, Washington, DC, veteran, "The Pacific"

Caption
Breitling Watches is a contributor to Honor Flight
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg flew 450 veterans and their guardians to DC to celebrate the production of the "Pacific" series for HB 

Last year the WWII Memorial became the focal point of National Debate on Health Care and so I was "first in line" photographically.  I work with various dignitaries as they come and go and am part of the team of "usual suspects" found at the Memorial.  DC has stepped up to the plate and probably four to five thousand local volunteers greet the veterans at the airports and the Memorial.  It is inspiring to see DC step up to the plate.  
 
Dennis.... Let me mention here that Richard LoPinto, VP of Nikon provided all the cameras for this project.  Nikon supports the WHNPA and I in turn use Nikon.  I also want to do a shout out to Elinchrome strobes which provided the battery operated lighting so necessary to working in the confines of the foundry.  It may also be that our airline carries WWII veterans?

publicity photospublicity photosThese images can be used for sale of book.    

 

PPS   I have sold over 130,000 WWII Memorial books and went on to publish DC PHOTO BOOK:  An Insider's View" and "TIDEWATER:  The Chesapeake Bay in Photographs" which have also sold quite well.  I have been photographing veterans visiting the Memorial and in the second edition of the book, added a chapter on Honor Flight and other happenings on the Memorial grounds and so the book has grown in sophistication and size.