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Monday, 17 November 2008

Magnum Advice for Photographers

Some great advice from the Magnum Blog. In some respects, you can take what you like from it (don't study/do study, don't look at other work/do look at other work), but the general gist is look outside yourself, be honest and take photographs. Oh, and don't expect any reward.

Alex Webb:
Photograph because you love doing it, because you absolutely have to do it, because the chief reward is going to be the process of doing it. Other rewards -- recognition, financial remuneration -- come to so few and are so fleeting.

Christopher Anderson: Forget about the profession of being a photographer.

Chris Steele-Perkins: Photograph things you really care about, things that really interest you, not things you feel you ought to do.

Donovan Wylie: Try and not "look" for pictures but keep yourself always open and allow yourself to be stimulated by whatever hits you. Always try and be honest with yourself.

Lise Sarfati: Read a lot and create your own universe.

Harry Gruyaert: Be yourself, Don't copy anybody.

John Vink: Don't stop questioning yourself (it'll make you less arrogant).

Paolo Pellegrin: I would recommend working to become a more developed and informed individual, a more knowledgeable and engaged citizen.

My own tips, which verge on the incomprehensible, are as much for myself as anybody else:

It has to be perfect, but it will never be perfect.
Stay open and leave some things outside your control.
Photography doesn't help people. Don't pretend it does. But then again, why not?
It hasn't all been done before. Nothing's been done before.
If you want to make money, be an insider. If you want to make great work, be an outsider .
Don't pay for people to look at your work.
Don't waste time on the internet. There's a real world out there.

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