Menu

Posts tagged: Rania Matar

We Asked 17 Photographers: What’s the Biggest Lesson You’ve Learned in Your Photography Career?

Michael_Lewis

© Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis: To be confident. I’ve been shooting long enough to see current trends in our industry come and go. Although aware of these changing tides; I’ve always tried to continue to refine (and further define) my unique point of view. I’ve seen other photographers try to bend their aesthetic to fit in the mold of the current flavor of the week. For me, part of staying confident (and true to your vision) is standing your ground and doing what feels true to yourself.

Jamie Diamond: Don’t be afraid to take risks or to get it wrong sometimes, your successes and your failures are equally valuable.

Ricky Rhodes: I’m learning more and more to just stay true to yourself. This might sound like common sense, but I think being a good person goes a long way in this industry. Photography is based around relationships, it’s all about who you know and who knows you. People want to work with people they enjoy being around.

Thomas Alleman: As I consider not only my own career, but the successful careers of my friends and colleagues in this field, I find that the greatest resource one has is his or her own character, and the biggest lesson one learns is that that character is the only constant advantage you can wield.

Are you persistent? Are you driven? Do you read novels? Are you a gearhead? Are you empathic? Are you generous? Can you take a punch?

How are you communication skills? Can you write a compelling paragraph about your work for a grant application or a gallery submission? Can you explain yourself to people on the street? Can you persuade someone to let you photograph them, if they’re initially wary?

Can you get on an off a plane with competence, and find a location in a strange town and wrestle a shoot into shape? Can you transmit pictures on deadline? Can you deal with asshole editors? Are you a hothead? Are you a wimp? When the job goes bad, will you blame your assistant? Will you stay up all night for two straight days, to finish a project?

Can you weather the hard times that beset all creative entrepreneurs? Do you have backbone? Are you flexible? Can you make short-term sacrifices for long-term goals? Can you diversify? Can you teach? Can you take assignments? What’s your feeling about money and material possessions? At what point will you begin choosing convenience over excellence, and comfort over accomplishment?

These are character issues. They’re about your skill-set as a grown-up person. The greatest lesson I ever learned was that these are where your power and advantage and success will come from, over time.

Don’t Say Cheese: Why Do the People in Contemporary Art Photographs Look So Blank?

Rineke DijkstraBeth, Liverpool, England, December 22, 2008 by Rineke Dijkstra, courtesy of the Marian Goodman Gallery

The A Smith Gallery isn’t in New York, London or Berlin. The town of Johnson City, Texas, where the gallery is located, is an hour’s drive from Houston and has a population of under 1,500. It’s a homespun place where people greet each other by name, and the art community there—three galleries, one of which opens sporadically—is modest. Yet last March, gallerist Amanda Smith did something fairly radical by contemporary-art standards. She mounted a photography exhibition called Smile.

Top 15 Photo Books of 2012

New York NightsNew York Nights / James and Karla Murray. The best selling authors of the popular photo book Store Fronts offer a stunning look at New York’s vivid nightlife as they visit a unique selection of bars, restaurants, music venues, and shops, all complete with historical significance and after-dark aesthetics. Published by Ginko Press. Available through Amazon, $38.50.

Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective. This is the first comprehensive monograph on Rineke Dijkstra published in the U.S. Included is her early work of new mothers and bullfighters, a selection from Beach Portraits, and works from her long-going series Almerisa, which documents a young immigrant girl as she grows up and adapts to her new environment. Published by Guggenheim Museum. Available through Amazon, $34.65.

Teenage Girls Photographed in Their Decorative Bedrooms

rania_matar_photography

Rania Matar currently works full-time as a photographer and teaches documentary photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Of her series, A Girl and Her Room, she writes:

‘As a mother of a teenage daughter, I watch her passage from girlhood into adulthood, fascinated with the transformation taking place, the adult personality shaping up and a self-consciousness now replacing the carefree world she had known and lived in so far. I started photographing her and her girlfriends, and quickly realized that they were very aware of each other’s presence, and that their being in a group affected very much whom they were portraying to the world. From there, emerged the idea of photographing each girl alone in her personal space.’