Excerpted from The Image, Deconstructed (TID):
TID: You mentioned before that you went you through a bit of culture shock and sleep deprivation? Can you more talk about that? I imagine at times it was if you were going through boot camp as well.
CRAIG: To make the best images, I needed to live my life as Ian was living his, which involved culture shock and sleep deprivation. The first week of processing and basic training were the worst. With the drill sergeants yelling through the constant marching, exercise and 30 seconds to eat, I understood why some recruits questioned their decision to join the army.
TID: Were there any moments of conflict while shooting, and if so, how did you handle it?
CRAIG: In Iraq, Ian was assigned to the Quick Reaction Force, which responded to emergencies on and off the base 24/7. So when there was an attack, instead of taking shelter in the bunkers, we jumped in the vehicles and sped toward it.This could be stressful but my moments of conflict had little to do with photographing soldiers on the front lines or working in a hostile environment. Instead, my difficulties were with people who didn’t trust “the media” or understand what I was doing. There were a number of people who told me they didn’t want to be photographed. If those people were important to the story, I would take the time to explain to them the story’s mission and why their role in it was necessary.Those moments, though, were few and far between, and I always found that an honest conversation was the best remedy for potential obstacles. Ultimately, the people who were most important to the story understood it and were okay with being part of it.