Monday, November 19, 2012

On photography.

"But seeing – really seeing – has nothing to do with photography. And it rewards you with pleasure. The most important thing – and if any photographer wants to disagree with me, they can go off into oblivion – is your emotional approach. 
Some people say that truthfulness is impossible in photography. But if you're in a battle in Vietnam, watching young men dying and trying to kill other men, and there's no truth in that, where is there truth? When you see Eddie Adams' picture of the police chief shooting a man in Saigon, there is absolutely no doubt in your mind that you are looking at the ultimate disgusting truth of what happened that day. 
This is why I really believe photography is about making an emotional commitment to where you are and what you're doing. I try to cut out the technical side as much as possible. If you're in a refugee camp, the knapsack you carry on your back is the weight of moral obligation, and the fear of failing. 
Even now, when I stand on the edge of a field here in Somerset to take a landscape picture, it's not about getting the photograph, it's about being there. Don't waste time. Look at what's in front of you." 
Don McCullin, on photography. 

I'm not going to be pretentious enough to compare war photography to taking pictures of kids and weddings. Except, well, that's kind of exactly what I'm doing. Forgive me. 


  1. i think his point about the distinction between taking in a picture and simply taking a picture can apply quite reasonably to wedding photography; part of why you do what you do so beautifully is that you make an emotional commitment to your subjects. i think that's part of why things like instagram and people snapping a million pictures at concerts drive me so crazy - that reads to me as specimen collection rather than as the development of a relationship between photographer and subject.

    1. Thank you so much, that's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about our work.

  2. Which is why your work is so enthralling.

  3. I love your stuff because it comes across that you see each couple and each wedding individually for what it is, and not just another one on the conveyor belt. It comes through in both the photos and the wee introductions that you write.

  4. two sides of the same coin. death and life dear.


play nice.