What is the evolving relationship between words and images in the photographic essay? How do the purpose and form of the photographic essay change over time? And how are relationships between the contributors, subject, and readers communicated explicitly and implicitly in both content and form? Klingensmith explores these questions in In Appropriate Distance as she traces the development of the photographic essay from the 1890s to the 1990s and beyond.
By examining classic examples such as How the Other Half Lives, American Exodus, and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, as well as more contemporary projects including work by John Berger, Jean Mohr, Wendy Ewald, and Zana Briski, Klingensmith examines the codependence of words and images and the long-standing collaboration required of creator and subject in this exploration of the ethics of representation.