Photographing the American Dreamers

As part of The Atlantic’s “American Dreams: Visions of a successful life in the U.S. and abroad” special report, I asked readers to share their photos with the hashtag #AtlanticAmericanDream. Over the course of the summer, The Atlantic’s social media accounts engaged with readers’ images, creating a live discourse about the elusive dream. I then commissioned EchoSight to mash select images together to highlight how American cultures intersect and contradict one another, and edited a short essay by each of the photographers to accompany the montages. The project was covered by Christa Olson at Reading The Pictures.

(EchoSight / The Atlantic)

Americans at Work

Inspired by the Farm Security Administration’s imagery of the Great Depression, I commissioned original photographic essays across the country exploring what the workplace looks like today. In collaboration with The Atlantic‘s photo channel editor Alan Taylor, I crafted a call for pitches, drawing on my network of photography professionals to gather more than 200 ideas, reviewed applicants, negotiated contracts, secured releases and access for the photographers, and edited the final essays that were rolled out on a weekly basis.

(Cassandra Zampini)

Inside Jobs

For this interactive project, I produced illustrations of 103 working Americans over the course of six months. With sourced portraits from interviewees, ranging from CEOs to ice cream scoopers, I hired a freelance illustrator, directed the visual style, and coordinated with writers, developers, and top editors for the execution. The illustrations were made into animated gifs for distribution on social media. It lead Digg the day it was published and was covered by numerous outlets, including AdWeek.

(Rebecca Clarke)

When Is America at Its Best?

In the immediate wake of November’s election, I interviewed dozens of people out and about in Manhattan to learn how they defined America. What are the country’s strengths? When is America at its best? Tourists, natives, and immigrants, from the High Line to Harlem—everyone had a different answer. I pitched the project and produced it from start to finish: performing interviews, securing releases, and hiring the Gifriends to create custom portrait animations for the site and social media.


The Actual Worst

For this month-long interactive project meant to mimic March Madness basketball brackets (currently offline), I sourced imagery of the “worst” characters on television today with dozens of studios, collaborated with a designer to create a coherent visual style for the piece, and worked with our social media team to create a conversational campaign around the project. The result was a slideshow that was one of our most popular stories for the year.

(Paul Spella / The Atlantic)

Photo and Art Direction

How America Outlawed Adolescence (André Chung)

How Will Trump Use Science to Further His Political Agenda? (Katie Martin / The Atlantic)

The Hardest Job: Could you raise four children in a homeless shelter without spanking? (Noah Scialom)

The Triumph of Email (Mike Reddy)

Who Decides Where Autistic Adults Live? (Neal Santos)

Trump’s Interests vs. America’s (Pete Ryan)

Mantras Before Math Class (Laura Morton)

Why Black Americans Are Not Nostalgic for Route 66 (Paul Spella / The Atlantic)

Beyond the Cloud: Satellites, balloons, lasers — the coming information age in space. (Paul Spella / The Atlantic)

Inside LAX’s New Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Unit (Alex Petrowsky)

2016 Holiday Gift Guide (eBoy)

All Content © Emily Anne Epstein