What do you look for in a single image? I don’t know that I am looking for something specific in an image, but the images that I remember and that grab my eye are the ones I do not have the words to describe. And when I look at them, I stare. I’d also say this: I want to know that the photographer captured the photo, and that it was not just the camera or the light doing the work.
What do you look for in a series (4-6 images)? Cohesion and evidence that the photographer made choices with each frame.
What do you look for in a long term project? While I want to see the project evolve and become smartly layered, I also want to keep seeing the original idea or feeling that drove the piece and got the photographer to want to work on it in the first place.
What do you look for in a photographer? Care. Across the board, from the way he/she treats people to the way he/she photographs.
What would you like photographers to take into account when putting together a project? Organize, be clear, have a vision and a plan. If you’re pitching the project, highlight what you’re bringing to the table, aside from the idea, which, although arguably the most important thing, needs someone to own it and be ready and able to make it work. And never behave as though someone owes you this project.
What would you like to change about this industry? Business acumen. I wish all of us were better businesspeople. I also wish we were all a little more able to have honest discussions about the industry without being afraid of their repercussions.
Ultimately, how would you like to contribute to the photo industry? Ask me in another 10 years. For now, what I want is to help other people succeed by getting their work seen. And, I suppose I always want to know that I took the risk when other people weren’t sure if the work would be worth it.
What advice would you give to photographers interested in submitting to the Invitational? Edit, edit, edit. When you think you’re finished editing, edit again. Give the project and the work a chance to be really impactful by un-cluttering it.
What advice would you give to student, alumni and emerging photographers today? For students: consider this profession wisely and know what you’re getting into if you choose to go into it and find a mentor. For alumni, remember to help the students succeed. Always offer a hand up to the kind ones who are struggling or who need guidance. For emerging photographers, emerge already! The day is getting late.
Photography is the quietest way to change the world in an instant.