The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) turned to Alan to create a custom action photo. The DEA was renovating its museum in Arlington, VA., and wanted to show how the agency has changed with the times.
In planning the project with the museum director, Alan was given a photo from the 1920’s and was assigned the task of creating a modern day image. This took Alan to the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, N.Y., where the DEA assembled 25 agents and supervisors for the photo session.
During the course of the day Alan, and the agents, staged a series of building entries and car stops to create the new image. In contrast to his normal work as a photojournalist, where he would let an event unfold and capture what was happening, Alan functioned as producer, director and photographer.
When the shoot was finished, the image Alan created was paired with the photo from the 1920’s on alternating panels on a larger-than-life display board in the lobby of the DEA museum. As you walk into the museum, you see the old photo. When you exit, you see Alan’s new photo depicting the modern DEA.
The images below, l-r, show the original photo that the DEA wanted to update, Alan at work creating one of the images to be considered, and the finished project in the lobby of DEA Headquarters.