Bruce Allen by Robert Gumpert

Photographer Robert Gumpert’s portrait of Bruce Allen

Bruce Allen

Sometimes it feels as portraiture is the only relevant form of photography. Of course, this is an overstatement but there is always something unique and captivating about the human face; and I don’t think that will ever change.

Please visit Robert Gumpert’s project, “Take a Picture, Tell a Story”. I pasted his artist statement below.


I’ve always loved the interplay between words and photos. Together they can be more than the sum of their parts.

In a sense I’ve been working on “Take A Picture, Tell A Story” my whole career. During the summer of 1974, I went to Appalachia on my first photo project, spending three months documenting the coal miners’ strike in Harlan County, Kentucky. Along with a meagre amount of photo gear, I took a tape recorder and mic.

In 1996, two years into “Lost Promise: the Criminal Justice System,” I recorded stories for the text for the project. Since then I have done extensive audio recording for projects on emergency health care and the Pacific Exchange.

“Take a Picture, Tell A Story” is a continuation of “Lost Promise.” While working on a short project documenting the closing of San Francisco County Jail 3, then the state’s oldest county jail, a simple idea and phrase kept nagging at me. The phrase, “I take your photo, you tell me a story” sums up the idea. It was 2006 and San Francisco Sheriff Hennessey said yes.

Now this ongoing project has a name and a place to be seen and heard.

Robert Gumpert, November 2009

This entry was published on November 10, 2013 at 3:19 am and is filed under PHOTOGRAPHY. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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