So what’s your secret?


General Photography




Last night, I looked through the many conversations that can be found on Conscientious Extended, and certain lines would strike a chord with me. I ended up compiling them, to present them here and link back to the original interviews. Just like I did you might re-discover something, or maybe you haven’t even seen some of the “older” conversations, yet. They’re listed in the order I found them. (more)

“It’s a hard thing to take a picture of something we look at and do every day and do it in a way that will ask to be scrutinized. So for me this is where the fine art and document come together, that I am creating something based on a social and political idea and making it into ‘art’.” - Brian Ulrich

“I drive around. I sit in donut shops. Walk malls. I look at people. Once in awhile someone catches my eye. Why? It is a hard thing to describe, but I think it is similar to the feeling you get when you see, you know, the attractive person across a crowded bar.” - Alec Soth

“There’s a small window where things get very concentrated. That’s when I make my favorite photographs” - Amy Elkins

“[A] kind of wandering curiosity seems to be embedded in the medium in some way. It is part of the DNA of photography. For me, making pictures is a little bit like gathering research data. Editing is the part where the analysis and interpretation occurs. That is also the part that gives me an ulcer.” - Todd Deutsch

“What I love the most about photography is the act of collaboration in portraiture. The people I photograph always have better ideas for picture making than I do.” - Sarah Martin

“Photographs are open to multiple meanings and you have to allow enough space for that multi-dimensionality to have room to breathe, that’s true. But photographs sometimes need words to unlock their deeper meaning, or words help bolster the artists intent too.” - Jeff Brouws

“The issue of why one chooses to photograph a particular individual over another individual is a very complex issue one I find difficult to answer. Ultimately the choice involves a whole host of subconscious and conscious decisions. It is almost as problematic as the question of why one colour or taste is more appealing than another.” - Roger Ballen

“In all my pictures of people or places I see something of myself. I see the same qualities or troubles that I faced growing up.” - Todd Hido

“I think we retain that flame of idealism that I spoke of earlier, but it must be tempered with realism - we’re not going to change the world, but occasionally we can have a small impact, or short-term impact.” - Bruce Haley

“I never try to be objective when taking photographs - which is ironic because I believe the finished edited series are much more objective and straight forward than I am” - Misty Keasler

“I don’t think in terms of having a ‘role’ as a photographer, nor do I consider my purpose to ‘record.’ I am compelled to interpret, not record the world around me.” - Mitch Epstein

“When else in life do you get to invite any person you wish to willingly engage with you in a space of entirely rapt and reciprocal attention?” - Rachael Dunville

“I don’t try to make pictures that refer directly to anything I have in mind, except in the way of self-editing a group already begun - or deciding where to go. When I’m photographing, I’m responding to what things look like, which is always different than what’s already in your head, even if you’ve managed to find what you were looking for.” - Adam Bartos

“The lucky thing about being a photographer is that you usually have the photographic evidence of your worst memories. It took me a long time to look at some of my pictures, especially of the Baghdad ER, but I’m making peace with my experiences. It helps hugely that I genuinely believe in the power of photojournalism, even if its effects are completely abstract.” - Peter van Agtmael

“I think that if they are beautiful images, that defy what we expect is a beautiful image of a women, that starts the conversation I am looking for” - Cara Phillips

“Ever since I was a child, I remember wanting to create things that might move people, or show them something new. I’ve always wanted to SAY something with the things I create. I’m just lucky that occasionally people seem to be interested.” - Phil Toledano

“I am not sure if I believe that photographers can effectively take responsibility for such things. I do believe in the power of bearing witness, but I see it more as responsibility to ourselves - that we each have a responsibility to try and make ourselves as conscious as possible.” - Mikhael Subotzky

“When you take photos it always feels like butterflies in your stomach when you have a good photo.” - Hellen van Meene

“The physical space I inhabit with people has always been interesting. There’s a reason I like to work in this space, it is very intimate, but on the whole people react well to it. Sometimes, they show amusement, which may be a foil. It’s the space where usually we only allow loved ones. It’s a place to respect.” - Steve Pyke

“You can’t eliminate chance from cards but there are different ways of dealing with it. I think it’s the same for artists.” - Bradley Peters

“My job has always been to comment on what I witness as opposed to the reporting of an event. I am subjective. I have a point of view. There is no such thing as objectivity in photography. I don’t believe in facts, but I AM obsessed with truth.” - Chris Anderson

“I choose people by how I feel about them, and whose faces I am drawn to. I usually want to photograph someone whom I feel I understand in some way. I don’t ask them to do anything, except stand there and be.” - Lydia Panas

“I want to show something of people’s inner lives. I think for portraiture you have to be completely certain that you are interested in photographing this or that person. You can’t be wishy-washy in your motivation.” - Mark Steinmetz