q: Introduce yourself:
a: Tex Crick, I am from Sydney Australia, I am a twin and I don’t go to school, I’m an autodidact and love to make pictures more than anything in the world.
q: Your works give off a “sanitized” vibe. Is this intentional?
a: I like things to be clean and thats how I like my photographs. Finding a space to photograph is as therapeutic as making the picture, I like to take my time making a picture, thinking about colour, shapes, the absence of subjects, spaces and relationships of objects before photographing them. so in order to find these spaces you need to get into a very ‘sanitized’ mindset which can really get you into some weird situations, I find myself walking for hours with my camera through corporate buildings pretending I am meant to be in these places.
q: Do you like going to the dentist?
a: I have a really beautiful japanese woman as my dentist and it’s quite pleasant with her fingers in my mouth, I’d love to take pictures there.
q: Photographic equipement?
a: Pentax 67, 105mm f/2.4
q: Upcoming projects or ideas?
a: Currently throwing up ideas for new projects which are starting to seem impossible, working on a few music videos as well as photographing spaces. I’d like to work on more portraits, collaborations would be wonderful.
q: Any music to recommend?
a: Anything by John Maus
q: Introduce yourself:
a: I am Alinne Rezende, brazilian photographer, besides lately I’ve been in Europe mainly in Paris, where I joined an photojournalism course for one year (2011-2012), I’ve got my first camera, that used to belong to my dad, a Zenith, when I was fifteen. In the beginning it was something that I did just for fun. In 2002, officially, my hobby became my profession, I started as an assistant and in 2007 I joined a brazilian news agency – Futura, after a year I was working at Gazeta Press, and then Lance a sport newspaper. Until nowadays, photography is mainly what is my life all about.
q: What does photography mean to you?
a: In the beginning, it was all about my memories, but while I was discovering the photograph’s world, I realized how involved I was, and I found it, not only as a way to talk about my memories and my story, but all the stories around me, to communicate, to inform, to understand life and why things are as they are right now.
q: You’ve shot everything from sports, political to cultural events. How did you get into photojournalism and any advice for people who want to get into photojournalism?
a: What fascinates me in photography I could find in the photojournalism’s universe, and this is the main reason I get into to it. As a photojournalist I’ve been shooting many different aspect from it (sports, political, cultural) and you should be ready to walking through it and try to keep the consist work, is a challenge. If I should give any advice for someone, to be a photographer is already tough, to be a photojournalist is not different, it needs a lot of work, but the motivation is the soul, if you love it than it is worth it, well at least for me it is.
q: Photographic equipement?
a: I use Canon.
q: Upcoming projects or ideas?
a: As a photographer, you always got some idea in mind, right now, I’m in Brazil for a season and I wanna try to do something about it, right now, there is so many things going on around here.
q: Any music to recommend?
a: Lately, I am listening Guts a lot.
tumblr and website.
q: What got you into photography?
a: I got into photography - say - by chance. I bought ny first reflex in NYC two years because I wanted to capture the beauty of that city. I have been taking photos ever since that moment.
q: Why shoot undergrounds and subways?
a: I like photos of dark locations and I believe undergrounds are a perfect match.
q: Favorite snack?
a: I don’t have preferences, I like everything.
q: Any music to recommend?
a: The new album by The Knife or any Mogwai record.
flickr and website.
ELIZABETH SHEAR, 1990, USA
YCS: Your work deals with some intriguing cultural themes, concerning the constructed forms and representations that shape our present identities. Would you outline what they are, and how they came to be of interest to you? Has it been an easy process to isolate your main themes?
ES: My work at large has dealt with the way in which we construct the world around us. My interests often lie in the psychology behind why we make these choices in design, and this motivation has remained at the core of my work. This idea began in my project, Designed Encounters, and became more fully realized when I began work on The Shape of Things, which deals a bit more heavily with the subject of cultural influences. This theme in my work progressed pretty naturally. I was interested in shooting interiors, and so the question came up, why do things look this way? First semester of my senior year I made a picture of a pool painted to look like it was in a forest, and since, unpacking the motivation behind making this sort of simulation has become my main focus. The entire idea really behind The Shape of Things is that we learn something about our desires and our interests through examining what we chose to preserve, recreate, and simulate. Now, how those events are represented has become very important to the project. The fact that certain cultural themes are at times reoccurring is mostly coincidence, but is certainly not unnoticed. The desire to be a part of something historical, or infamous, or fanciful is definitely a prevailing part of our present culture.
YCS: I enjoy the way your images build upon each other and result in a softly compiled underlying statement. How did this come to be your visual style, and what response are you seeking to achieve with it? Is the openness of context created by your minimal use of text a related choice?
ES: I’ve always wanted my viewers’ experience with my work to be strongly psychological. This requires a delicate balance between what parts of my process I let my viewer know and what I leave out. In the past I have included lengthy statements and no details about the location of the pictures, but when I was making The Shape of Things, it was suggested that I try the opposite, and it worked. The details about the photographs location become important to know what sorts of things a particular place wishes to put emphasis on—the connection between the place and the audience of that place. My hope is that when you stand in front of my work that you are confronted with this space, that you may have been to or seen something similar, and now you see something that you hadn’t noticed before. That is what dictates my visual style. Although I don’t really believe a photograph can be truly objective, I do try to give my viewer enough space and information for them to make their own observations. I hope to offer a perspective that allows you to have a different, more reflective experience with the space I’m photographing then may the one that you have when you are actually there.
YCS: Do you remember the first picture you made that you valued? What initially drew you to photography, and what led you to continue it as a long-term process?
ES: I can’t really think of an image early on that could be considered the first picture I really valued it was probably a very long time ago. I do however remember a picture I took my freshman year at The Art Institute of Boston of my kitchen that was sort of a turning point. I had been working on portraiture all semester and when I put that picture up on the wall for our final crit, the TA turned to me and said, “You should shoot interiors” and I sort of never looked back. I remember being really enthralled with taking pictures even when I was very little. As soon as I understood that with the click of a button I could freeze a moment and keep it forever, I was hooked. When I was looking at colleges for business or liberal arts where I could minor in photography, my dad suggested I look into schools where I could make it my major and again, I sort of never looked back.
YCS: Having recently completed your degree, would you reflect on the experience and how valuable it proved? Why was an academic theorised path to photography the one you chose? How does the cost of graduate education reverberate with you in terms of how challenging it can be to achieve related employment afterwards?
ES: This question sort of comes up a lot when you tell someone you’re going to school for photography. To be brief, I never regretted it for a second. I completely understand the fear of going to school for something so specialized where the world can only employ so many photographers. I do think however, that my choice to go into a BFA program where I not only learned the technical aspects of photography but also theory, history, and business has made me eligible for positions outside of making a living with photography alone. It has also put me on the path to grad school which has been a serious consideration of mine. It sounds cliche and maybe a bit naïve, but the degree has given me all of the tools for me to be able pursue something I really love doing, and that is very important to me. It might be challenging to find work but I’m glad I have passion driving me.
YCS: The first year post graduation is often hard for practitioners transitioning to supporting themselves; how do you plan to do this? Where do you aim to position your career, and is achieving an income from photography an ambition? How do you plan to keep motivated and avoid putting down the camera?
ES: It has been weird not returning to school this September. I think my approach thus far has just been taking things slowly, and accessing opportunities and issues as they come. I have a lot of aspirations as to what I want to do with photography, a key in deciding how to spend my time wisely is determining what is most important. I would say one of my biggest goals is getting into a graduate program. I’m interested in the furthering of my education and development of my art, but this is also a necessity for me to teach at the collegiate level, which is an aspiration of mine. This means that right now my priorities are saving money and building my portfolio. I have a lovely job at my alma mater, which the schedule has worked in a way that has allowed me enough time to keep shooting, reading, writing, and producing.
YCS: You have achieved some key professional experiences by volunteering your time – including assisting Irina Rozovsky – how did you achieve these opportunities and what professional insights did they provide? How beneficial has interning been and would you recommend it for others?
ES: The biggest piece of advice I have as far as attaining jobs and internships is to make contacts and keep them - essentially networking. I was asked to TA a class for Irina after my portfolio caught the eye of the chair of the department at our end of the year crits. The assisting position turned into an internship when she asked me to help her with a showing of “This Russia” which coincided with her book release of “One to Nothing”. Working on putting this show together gave me great insight into organizing my own exhibition the following year in terms of what needed to be done and the timeline it needed to be completed within. The other main internship on my resume was achieved through a connection I have maintained at Whole Foods since some shooting I did in their stores junior year. She has also been a great resource as to gaining more work with the company post grad. These experiences have been huge and I really can’t advocate them enough. Real world experience is really important during your undergrad so that you don’t end up floundering post grad. They have given me direction and confidence.
YCS: For your series The Shape of Things you produced a publication; what did you learn from the process? How does bookwork as a final presentation hold value for you over wall display? Is it a feature of your practice that you will continue to use, or how do you foresee your final outcomes taking shape in the future?
ES: The book making process was really rewarding. The exhibit for The Shape of Things was actually a series of projections. The images were projected onto 6’x7’ screens in a dark empty room. I see the book as a documentation of the show. They are all the images that were projected, in generally the same sequence. The book also became an important companion to the exhibit because it enabled me to add captions to the images. I don’t necessarily think one holds more value than the other. For young artists like myself books have become an important mode of exposure because they have become so easy to produce and market with sites such as Blurb and Lulu. Presenting in the manner that I did requires a lot of space and resources. I would love to use projections again, it’s how I believe my work should be viewed, but realistically I’m not sure when that will happen again. As for the book, I’m currently revising it and hopefully finding a more affordable publishing outlet so that it can be more widely distributed.
YCS: You were recently featured as part of the All Visual Boston slideshow, alongside some recognisable names – how did that come about and what was the experience like? Do you see the value in submitting or promoting yourself; how do you plan to expose your work going forward?
ES: I was so thrilled to be a part of All Visual Boston. I got involved through a friend of mine, Kelly Burgess, who was guest judging the show. She advertised the call for entry on Facebook. The most immediate value I can see in submitting to these sort of group shows is being able to meet other young people trying to make it in the same way. It’s also really great to see your pictures up there with other individuals who you have known about and have a lot of respect for. It’s these sort of events where lots of photographers come together that you are able to meet people to build a support system that will keep you motivated and thinking. Ultimately that’s really the most important thing, to not stop.
Image Copyright belongs to Elizabeth Shear.
ALICE MYERS, 1986, UK
YCS: There are varied sociological concerns featured in your subject matter, from population movement to modernisation – all symptoms of humanity attempting to control (or cope) with their environment. Can you isolate why this core theme is of interest to you? How challenging was the process of realising your main motivation?
AM: I haven’t fully figured out my motivations for making work. That’s part of the puzzle that I’m in the process of piecing together. Also, motivations develop and change shape over time. So at the moment I’m particularly interested in the invisible tensions and histories that reside in a landscape and the ability or inability of photography to explore something so un-visual. But that interest grew out of the work I was making in Ireland, it wasn’t an initial motivator.
YCS: You use beauty and mixed image placement to explore complex subjects involving inherent chaos; I like this idea that you make chaos quite aesthetically appealing and visually simplified. How did this come to be your approach, and what is the theorisation or concept behind it?
AM: Your question brought up two issues for me:
1. I think instead of tackling chaos directly I’m more interested in what we can and can’t control, and in what we think we can control in the world around us. This does involve an interest in chaos, but I wouldn’t say I’m aiming to make chaos aesthetically appealing.
2. I’m not sure about the idea of ‘visual simplification’. I don’t think photographs are ever really that simple, and I tend to be more drawn to visual complexity. But I do want my work to be easy to connect with in an immediate way- I want to communicate clearly- and I suppose selecting images that do this is a reduction or distillation of sorts.
My visual approach always grows out of the subject matter, and out of the ideas I’m working with. In a way it’s a conversation between these elements.
YCS: Do you have a single favourite picture from all that you have taken, and what determines its value for you? What first drew you to photography, and what led you to pursue it as a career practice?
AM: I don’t have a single favorite picture. The way I feel about my work changes all the time. I tend to like my most recent work best, which I hope shows I’m progressing.
When I was a child I looked at photography books at home and I started taking photographs around the age of 14. I found the work of street photographers particularly exciting then, and I loved the idea of sharing the things I found beautiful with other people.
I’m probably pursuing it because it’s always very difficult and challenging, and it requires so many different skills and opens up so many varied experiences and interactions. There are always unanswered questions. My love of sharing things with other people has continued.
YCS: Making a living is always a challenging element of creative work - you’ve received a few grants; how has this type of funding been useful to you? Do you find there are a lot of financial options available, or have you had to take commercial work or non-photographic jobs? How do you balance earning with maintaining your practice?
AM: The grants I’ve received have been helpful financially and have really motivated me to keep going. But there aren’t a lot of financial options available. I’m also a swimming teacher, so that’s my main income, and I’ve been really enjoying doing some weddings recently. I figured if I’m going to put so much work into being a photographer I may as well make exactly the work I want to make and not be restricted by having to make money from it.
YCS: Your series’ express an assured sophistication stemming from the images’ quiet ease. Does this (conversely) take a lot of effort? By what process do you access subjects? Do you see them this way as you’re working, or does the composition evolve from surrounding research or subsequent editing?
AM: Yes. I tend to spend a lot of time shooting spontaneously and a lot of time researching. If the work is about a specific place I spend a lot of time in that place. My ideas develop through this process but particularly through shooting. I balance this very open approach with a long process of editing but usually by the time I’m editing I’ve firmed up my ideas about what I’m aiming for. I experiment putting images together and seeing how it works. I tend to put them up on the wall for a long time. I’ve always been very intuitive about this but recently i’m trying to be more considered about the intricacies of juxtapositions. It varies a lot. As I do more work the projects take longer because they are more complex.
AM: I’m definitely a regular submitter. I’m getting a bit better at judging what it’s worth submitting to. You can waste a lot of energy on applications otherwise.
The Jerwood Award was the best possible thing that could have happened in the year after graduating. Many other opportunities sprang from that. Troika have also been a fantastic support.
YCS: Which of the final platforms for your work interests you the most – wall display, book publications, or online – and why? How do you see this element evolving in the future?
AM: I guess the final output depends on what’s best for each individual project. I’m working on a book for the first time now. I’m starting a project that will involve bringing lots of different elements together so I’ll eventually have to find some clever way to do that. I guess it’s also worth bearing in mind that most people are going to see my work online, even if I’ve designed it to be printed huge and hung on the wall.
YCS: You’re currently studying for an MA in Photography at London College of Communication. What is it about a Post Graduate degree that makes it a useful step for you, and why did you select that institution? What do you intend for it to bring to your practice longer term? What further strategies do you use to develop your work?
AM: I think i’d just been working away for four years without questioning deeply what I was doing and why, and without an extensive awareness of where I fit in to current photography practice. It’s good to be in a critical environment where you constantly have to explain yourself to other people. I probably didn’t give the selection of the institution enough thought, I just thought their approach would suit me and the tutors were good and I wanted to be in London.
To develop my work I just do a lot of it. I tend to make progress while actually taking photographs. I also research a lot and make a lot of notes. I particularly find it useful to write down my thinking as I go along. I show my work to a lot of people. But mostly it’s just about putting time aside to work and to think.
Image Copyright belongs to Alice Myers.
INTERVIEW: PHOTOGRAPHER LINDSAY GRAY
LINDSAY GRAY IS AN 18 YEAR OLD PHOTOGRAPHER FROM ARLINGTON, TEXAS. WE THINK YOU SHOULD KNOW HER BECAUSE HER DRAMATIC BLEND OF DREAMY AND EDITORIAL STYLE PHOTOGRAPHS LEAVES US WANTING MORE.
Legendary Photographer Terry O'Neill on Why Lady Gaga Sucks
We speak to him about the heyday of the sixties and why he’s running out of interesting icons to shoot now.
Click here for the piece.