At its best, photography can connect people, breaking through the veneers of daily life to reveal the authentic threads of humanity that bind us all. No one photographer knows this better than award-winning Brooklyn-based portraitist Steven Laxton, who has throughout his prolific career has provided intimate glimpses into the lives of everyone from Holocaust survivors to the nomadic circus performers of El Salvador. Through his photo essays, Laxton is able to bridge the gaps of time and space, generations and geography, to capture honest moments shared between his sitters and himself.
Laxton’s unbounded sense of compassion and unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding reaches from the field and into the classroom. At Maine Media Workshops + College, he inspires students to take the pictures they have always wanted to take while helping them to master the technical tools they need to get there. Located on the scenic coast of Maine, Maine Media Workshops + College offers an encouraging environment for students to learn and grow, to hone their craft while connecting with like-minded artists.
In this insightful interview with Maine Media Workshops + College, directed by Skylar Thorne Kelly, Laxton shares invaluable wisdom garnered from years of travel and photo shoots. Watch the video above to hear his thoughts on the transformative power of the photograph, the importance of chemistry between subject and photographer, and what it takes to break free from your comfort zone.