Blog

Border Wall for Vanity Fair

Back in 2008, the good folks at Vanity Fair sent me off on assignment to Arizona and Texas to photograph the building of the wall – from the air and on the ground.

The story focused on the massive environmental and financial implications of the wall.  Vanity Fair shelved the story when President Obama was elected.

As you can imagine, the pre-production on the story was critically important.  For the Arizona section of the piece, I flew in a Bell Long Ranger with a pilot I’ve flown with for many years.  He knows the border, the agents and took care of permissions for us to overfly the border in US and Mexican airspace.

When we were flying toward the border from Central Arizona, I joked to the pilot that I hope we see some people crossing the border.  He said it was doubtful.  As soon as we hit Nogales, I shot images of people squirming through a hole underneath the fence that was less than 500 yards over a hill from a Border Patrol agent in his truck.  The pilot called the sighting in and within a few hours the hole was closed and patched.