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Soldier Portraits Before, During and After War

Many times pictures speak louder than stories: by creating a time-lapse portrait series of soldiers before, during and after the war, Lalage Snow reveals more about their psychological drama then their own words could. Titled “We are the not dead”, the portraits show an 8 month span in the lives of the British soldiers that were deployed in Afghanistan, and the changes in their eventually weary faces are striking.

The British journalist, photographer and film maker, Currently based in Afghanistan, explains that this project was aimed at drawing the attention away from the politics of war and from the growing body count of British soldiers that were killed or wounded. Besides acknowledging their bravery, Lalage also wanted to give them a chance to make themselves heard: “‘We Are The Not Dead’ is an attempt at giving the brave young men and women the chance to explain how it really is.”


Private Chris MacGregor, 24

Second Lieutenant Adam Petzsch, 25

Private Steven Anderson, 31

Lance Corporal David McLean, 27

Private Fraiser Pairman, 21

Corporal Steven Gibson, 29

Private Matthew Hodgson, 18

Private Jo Yavala, 28

Private Sean Patterson, 19

Lance Corporal Sean Tennant, 29

Sergeant Alexander McBroom, 24

Lance Corporal Martyn Rankin, 23

Second Lieutenant Struan Cunningham, 24

Private Ben Frater, 21

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What do you think?

  • Agnė Svetnickaitė via Facebook

    eyes, wrinkles…

  • Katarzyna Gieroń via Facebook

    in 90% its different light source

  • Pasqualito Revolución Sonora via Facebook

    How to break a man

  • Metaphora Mitkova via Facebook

    just different types of lighting..

  • המתרגמים שירותי תרגום via Facebook

    and??? sorry but they look at their best during the war……it’s good 4 their complexion!!!

  • Bexie Wolstenholme via Facebook

    its all in the eyes! :( 1st ones are scared/nervous second ones are sad/hopless/anger third ones are mostly tired.

  • Cindy Chandler Fountain via Facebook

    People see what they want to see in these pics…only the guys and probably the photographer know exactly what was going on. Fascinating photos though.

  • Milli Perez via Facebook

    Their eyes in the last pictures look really cold.

  • Karen Domingo via Facebook

    The only thing the I saw was the difference is the light. look how their pupils are dilated at last picture, It seems that the picture in the middle was taken in a light place and the last one in a dark place (sorry about the english I’m brasilian).

  • Marla Osgood via Facebook

    Unfortunately, photography is all about what the photographer is trying to convey. Only the photographer & the subject really knows what’s going on in front of & behind the lens.

  • Dustin Masafret via Facebook

    soldiers don’t smile, that’s all i noticed

  • Christian Ruiz via Facebook

    Great photos

  • Apryl Zarfos Anderson via Facebook

    The eyes have it. God bless ‘em.

  • Artem Iashin via Facebook

    During the war they are the best

  • Prawpun Samapongmit via Facebook

    based on personal opinions or feelings.
    You usually judge people because of race, social class, gender, age, political beliefs, religion and many personal characteristics.My opinion ” They are looking Good”

  • Sebastian Unterreitmeier via Facebook

    Different light settings. You cant tell nothing by watching only these photos. Just try to exchange the before and after picture. See?

  • Hoan Nam Hoang via Facebook

    Dat eyez …

  • Chel Jump-Woodford

    been there done that….there are major differences and it just goes to show what stress does to the body…and the not only physical but mental fatigue our young men (and women) in uniform go through. the innocence in the eyes before and the plumpness of the face giving way to chiseled bone structures and intensity in the eyes…then to the aged and experienced face and the near vacant stares….
    yes the lighting could give to the energy of the photo but thats [art]….you dont need lighting to see what changes their challenges bestow

  • Jae Shin via Facebook


  • Kimberly Larsen via Facebook

    Breaks my heart.

  • Bianca Manihera via Facebook

    The difference is they are skinner.

  • Terri-Lynn Dempsey via Facebook

    SMDH. Did someone really just say war is good for the complexion?

  • Jayne Wilson via Facebook

    Think i saw that at the Herbert Gallery in Coventry. Took me a while to realise they were the same people. Did not appear to be any tampering going on and anyone who’s focussing on that alone is possibly missing the point. Whatever your views on the conflicts these people went with one set of beliefs and came back very much changed and affected.

  • Alexey Lushanin via Facebook

    After war they look younger, more conscious and focused. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

  • Don Aitken via Facebook

    interesting photos but people will see what they want to see. generally they’ve all lost a bit of weight and gained a suntan. the subject is too emotive to judge anything else.

  • Eva

    glance becomes more alert in the end; almost for all of them

  • Kat Rogers via Facebook

    Yes, it does appear that being in a war is a good way to loose weight. However, I am hyper-empathetic and can definitely see the changes in their faces… in their eyes! It’s actually kind of scary. Perhaps some saw more hideousness than others, at least that’s what I think I see in their eyes. I don’t know… the WHOLE THING SUCKS!! Sure, I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to kill some people, but what if I actually had to…?

  • Ricky C Moore via Facebook

    It’s one thing to want to kill someone You hate (misguided or not, Your mind came up with a reason) and something else entirely to kill someone You don’t hate, because You were told to (the excuses in Your head aren’t Your own and can’t hold any weight with Your psyche)
    That’s my theory.

  • Rachel

    Like I give a shit. Nobody forced them to take part in an illegal invasion.

  • Akos

    This is pointless. Group of 3 almost same picture about one strange man. Not funny, not inetresting, does not make me for thought… so this is spam.

  • HallunX PsicodeliX

    Lance Corporal Sean Tennant, 29

    Staring at him self :D

  • IamtheLAW

    What you can see a real difference in is their eyes. In each final portrait each person’s eyes took on a much deeper and thoughtful expression. They went from dull in the first portrait to a very grim or aggressive look in the 2nd portrait to a softness and clarity in the final portrait. They are completely changed people who have gained a much deeper and genuine picture of civilian life than any of us could hold.