PHOENIX, Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Cunningham has photographed the five living American presidents and nine heads of state, 12 prime ministers, numerous astronauts, celebrities, and Fortune 500 CEOs. But his proudest moment in a 10-year photography career came when he photographed U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. He took 55,000 photographs and had a selection of the best published in his new book, Afghanistan: On the Bounce (Insight Editions).
Cunningham, whose work hangs on the walls of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, spent four months as an embedded photo journalist with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He documents what he witnessed during 132 missions, brilliantly capturing and conveying the full spectrum of the troops' experiences -- on patrol, in combat, in the chow line, at night, and in religious services -- through photographs, stories, diagrams, and stunning images.
Cunningham's work has taken him aboard US Navy submarines, into zero-gravity in low Earth orbit, and to more than 450 cities in 25 countries, but his most unique experience was to be joined with the service members that he desperately wanted to serve with. Due to a medical issue, he wasn't deemed qualified to serve in the Army and to join a long-held family tradition of military service. His family has been in the defense industry for decades. His grandfather invented a life-saving fuel system that the Army says has saved thousands of lives. He was devastated he couldn't honor those who lay down their lives for our country by serving, so he sought the next best way to support the troops: He brought a camera to a gunfight.
But his photographs serve to inform and enlighten what American service members experience today in the war zone. We learn -- as he did -- through the lens of a searching camera. We are sure to be surprised at what he has to share with us.
"I am the luckiest man alive," writes Cunningham. "I am not a soldier, but I've had the privilege of living with our men and women at arms and witnessing their courage and dedication. I have been welcomed by those heroes as a brother, though I've sometimes been thought of as crazy for [doing this]."
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SOURCE Robert Cunningham