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Following his BA in History and Literature from Harvard in 1999, Halpern released the 2003 book Harvard Works Because We Do. Shot while Halpern was an undergraduate, the series depicts the lives of people who work at Harvard, and contributed to a campaign that succeeded in raising the minimum wage for janitors and security guards at the university.
This photograph is taken from the 2016 book ZZYZX, a blend of landscape photography and street portraits taken in and around Los Angeles, which won PhotoBook of the Year at the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. Initially drawn to the city by “the light, the colours [and] the extremes”, Halpern wanted to focus on a location for his next body of material and chose LA, he has said, because “it felt like it defied description”.