Dear Aspiring Photographers,
My second advice to you is to READ.
To read the history of the medium, of course (Geoff Dyer, John Szakowski, Sontag, Barthes…) but also fiction, poetry, non fiction, shayari, biography: what ever your interests are, but do read. Read to gather that immense life experience to bring to your work. The kind of experience decades of travel might bring. Then it might be possible to find a voice of your own. Read also to study form, to understand editing, sequencing, and withholding. All key words for me in my work.
Many of you write to ask me to look at your work, you write to ask if you can intern with me (I am sorry I do not reply to each one of you, so this is my reply). I would say to you: choose very carefully the people you show your work to because once you decide who your mentors are, you have to listen equally to their criticism as their praise. Many of my most formative conversations have been with writers, thinkers, publishers, very few photographers.
Reading and conversation are my two keys, for those of you who ask me for my advice on how to be a photographer.
Submitted by dayanita on Thu, 07/16/2015 – 18:05