Vaughn Wallace is a Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic Magazine. He was previously the Deputy Photo Editor at Al Jazeera America, overseeing long-term features, projects and international commissions on the web. Prior to that, he was on staff at TIME as the producer of LightBox, the magazine's photography site. There, he contributed to TIME's award-winning coverage of the Syrian Civil War, Hurricane Sandy and Obama's 2012 campaign, among other international breaking stories. He oversaw the production of more than 1100 features at LightBox, spearheading the site's ongoing Images That Moved Them Most series and contributing written features to LightBox, LIFE.com and TIME's Newsfeed section. Wallace's work has also appeared in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, NPR.org, The Los Angeles Times and Talking Points Memo, among others.
My interest isn't limited to photography or journalism, for I am not able to view either without consciousness to the burdens and responsibilities of history. As an editor, I am drawn to images that enhance the spectrum of the world's primary documents; it isn't enough to produce unique photography with no eye to the visual historical record. The context that history provides for modernity is as important as any photo work being produced today.
"If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't reading enough," says Tod Papageorge, a sentiment I could not agree with more.
For several years, I have focused my attention on Past Pittsburgh, a project looking at one of Roy Stryker's most ambitious (and never fully realized) photographic documentary efforts.