With a look at America’s fly-over states unlike any before, Danny Wilcox Frazier truly immerses himself in the rural midwest. In finishing up his most recent photo-book “Lost Nation”, he allowed Adobe to tag along as he combed South Dakota, hoping to shed light on the most ignored parts of our country.
As the political climate in America heightens, there is no better time to illuminate this often misunderstood sector of our country’s people—this is exactly what Frazier aims to do.
“The project is about this region, the rural midwest and the great plains, this massive expanse at the center of the country that for so long has produced so much. And now the value of that has diminished to the point that people can no longer survive,” Frazier tells Adobe. These small towns that cover the Midwest are evaporating at an alarming rate, and the photographer wishes to record the communities and the people who live there before this culture and lifestyle disappears altogether.
Frazier blends in seamlessly as he captures life in its most candid moments—”My job is to get people so comfortable that they just carry on. I think if that comes from a genuine place, people want to be a part of it.” That is exactly what Frazier does; he is able to capture life in the midwest so that it feels organic and full of heart. “There is an insecurity within me and I think that’s where my desire to get very close with my subjects comes from. Without the camera I don’t interact with people,” Frazier says. But this is very true, as it only takes one watch to recognize the ease that flows between Frazier and his subjects as he handles their lifestyle with respect and a genuine interest in illuminating the heartbeat of this place.
“I don’t want to tell you how things are. What I want to do is make sure that the feelings that I had at the time and the emotions that I witnessed, the experiences I had the privilege of seeing and being a part, that I bring that emotionally out in the work.”
Frazier succeeds, as his work exudes the emotion that only true humanity in its rawest form can produce.
“My statement is the photographs. It’s all in there. It’s all in the images.”
To take a more in-depth look at Frazier and his approach in capturing this overlooked demographic of the American people with Adobe’s feature video, here: