A photographer's life: Carol Highsmith is documenting America for posterity

Documentation America
Siegfried & Roy, Las Vegas (Image credit: Carol Highsmith)
Documentation America
Carol Highsmith

Carol Highsmith is a US-based photographer with a clear mission: to document America and Americans for posterity. After attending the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in Washington DC, she travelled across the USA with her husband Ted, photographing every state. She has shared this historical treasure with the world, donating thousands of her pictures to the national library.

When did you realise that documenting America was your purpose in life?

The visit to the Library of Congress and the work of Frances Benjamin Johnston made me realize the importance of visual documentation for posterity – and changed my life. By chance, just a day after that fateful visit, Random House books called to see if I would be interested in working on a photographic book series about cities, states, and regions across the USA. Interested? You bet I was interested. My husband Ted and I crisscrossed America, capturing what we saw. Not just tourist attractions or grand monuments, but everyday America in all of its facets. It would be the turning point of my career.


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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.