This beautiful 9x11 full color hardcover coffee table book features photographs taken by Dan Beckmann while traveling to each of the fifty states (and Washington D.C.) between January 27th and May 29th, 2023.
"The photo journey fell alongside what was officially the nationwide tour of a USO-Inspired performance duo called “Letters From Home,” of which I am one-half. Our mission was to entertain and inspire veterans, active military, and their families by uniting the nation through music.
Which I believe we did.
When we set out on this journey, I made it my personal goal to capture a photograph of each state that I believed was not only beautiful but representative of that specific region of our nation. There is something to be said about observing all fifty American states in such a compressed timeframe — if nothing else, it will certainly grant satisfaction to those who venture in search of variety.
Fifty-one performances in just four months necessitated a rather hectic travel-and-work schedule, and so the initial challenge was finding pockets of time in which to steal away and photograph the world around me. What I quickly discovered was that while there were indeed opportunities to capture true national icons such as Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, and Central Park, the true challenge arose when it came time to find subjects to feature in the lesser-known and often seemingly unremarkable stops along the way. There was the odd glorious sunset against the picturesque coastal lighthouse, sure — but just as often I would find myself in, say, a small roadside industrial town in the blazing, cloudless midday with nothing around me but scrub brush and maybe a stoplight or two.
This stretched me as an artist. It forced me to think outside the box. Many of the resulting photographs may not be familiar, or iconic — they may not reflect your experience of the state they were taken in. But they are honest. And to somebody, somewhere, they represent home.
For the duration of this often-grueling journey, this project served as my journal. I used it to keep track of the places I’d been and the experiences I’d collected. I have included excerpts from these journal entries in this book, in hopes that they might grant a bit of context to the photographs. After all, each image is but a tiny fragment of a much grander moment.
You don’t have to read them — they are optional.
Think of them as a pretentious side dish.
Thank you for opening this book. And on behalf of our little band of touring companions — Erinn, Myra, Tyler, Grace, Jack, and Myself — please enjoy this journey across the United States of America.
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