For many serious minded fine art and documentary photographers, building a following on Flickr sounds more insulting than something to be proud of. But for Don and many others who now have the opportunity to share their work with an audience, the internet has been their big break so to speak, not that they're necessarily seeking recognition for their work, but finally finding an audience that appreciates it after all these years, must be a great feeling.
Where does work like Don's fit in the great history of photography? I'm not sure and I'm not sure you'd find any consensus amongst experts. It's mostly a state of perpetual confusion these days. Don has spent years documenting his community of South Lyon, Michigan which is a suburb of Detroit. The majority of the photographs were made from the early 1970's to the mid 1980's. From Don's perpective Middle America life is rather leisurely. You spend your free time going to parades, the friday night football game, fairs, carnivals, rodeos and the family vacation.
Through Don's wry wit and freewheeling compositions these events and moments come alive in a way that illuminates life's absurd little moments. In Don's photographs the order and calmness of life in Middle America starts to unravel, providing a small glimpse of the chaos beneath. In these photographs we live on the edge that exists between the order we create for ourselves and the chaos that always threathens to undermine our tranquil lives. - excerpts from Bryan Formhals essay The Patient Photographer