BLUE– A Portrait of the American Worker: Six questions with photographer Carl Corey

Carl Corey is the accomplished documentary fine art photographer behind BLUE– A Portrait of the American Worker, a collection of images celebrating the essence of American industriousness.

For his subjects, Corey selected members of the American workforce, mostly from manufacturing communities scattered throughout the midwest and northeast, and shot their portraits in their unique professional settings. Many of the fine folks employed here at the iconic Woolrich woolen mill posed as subjects, showcasing the spirit of America’s oldest continually operating woolen mill.

While his latest project isn’t yet completed, Carl took time out to share his thoughts on the state of the American Worker with the Wooly Pulpit.

What drew you to Woolrich, Pennsylvania?

CC: The grand history of the mill plus the fact that the Woolrich name has always been so synonymous with American culture. It is important for me to include in BLUE as many industries as possible and the artisan/craft industry of Woolrich was very attractive.

What are your goals, as an artist, with the BLUE project?

CC: I’m not so sure I’m an artist…maybe more of a documentarian. The only goal I have is to make the public aware of what we had and still do have in the American Worker. Obviously this can not be separated from the MADE IN AMERICA issue, economic concerns, and the social mayhem unemployment causes. My hope is awareness will breed support for the American Worker.

What role does a sense of history play in your selection of subjects?

History is so intertwined in BLUE…there is a sense of skilled labor loss which can only come from a grand history, and also the exemplary subjects such as Woolrich not only portray that grand history but also a present a sense of hope for the tradesmen and tradeswomen, laborers and the American Manufacturer who employs them.

By “BLUE,” do you mean, “Blue Collar?”

CC: Yes, I do.

What is one lasting impression you hope to covey with this collection?

CC: Respect for the American worker and those companies which support them.

What did you take away from your Woolen Mill experience?

CC: A bunch of new friends.

We’re proud to be included in BLUE– A Portrait of the American Worker.  BLUE is self-funded, but if you would like to support Carl’s project you can do so here.

View additional portraits and keep up to date on Carl’s progress on the BLUE Facebook page.  For more information about Carl, visit


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