Magnum Photos Blog


Advice for Young Photographers part 3 

September 19, 2012 
Martin Parr

Find something you are passionate about, and shoot your way through this obsession with elegance and you will have potential great project.

Eli Reed

Stop talking theory... and do not over-think the image. Lose the ego and let the photograph find you. Observe the life moving like a river around you and realise that the images you make may become part of the collective history of the time that you are living in.

Elliott Erwitt

Learn the craft (which is not very hard). Carefully study past work of photographers and classic painters. Look and learn from movies. See where you can fit in as a “commercial” photographer. Commercial: meaning working for others and delivering a product on command. But most of all keep your personal photography as your separate hobby. If you are very good and diligent it just may pay off.

Martine Franck

My advice to photographers is to get out there in the field and take photographs but also if they are students to finish their course, learn as many languages as possible, go to movies, read books visit museums, broaden your mind.

Hiroji Kubota

Study the works of the greatest photographers, like Henri Cartier-Bresson and André Kertész. Try to travel to many parts of the world and understand what a diverse world we live in.

John Vink

Don’t stop questioning yourself (it’ll make you less arrogant). Push. Push, scratch, dig. Push further. And stop when you don’t enjoy it any more. But most of all, respect those you photograph.

Jonas Bendiksen

Throw yourself off a cliff. Figuratively speaking, I mean. Photography is a language. Think about what you want to use it to talk about. What are you interested in? What questions do you want to ask? Then, go for it, and throw yourself into talking about that topic, using photography. Make a body of work about that.

Mark Power

If you have something to say and, even better, you have an innovative way of saying it, then opportunities are out there. I sense that photography is concerning itself with real issues again. For some time much of photography seemed to be about itself, and while this was fine, and interesting in some cases, it’s not what photography is really good at. Understand this by familiarising yourself with the rich and wonderful history of our medium. Be proud of it – what it has and what it can achieve. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Be inspired. Try and copy, if you like (because no one can). Find a subject you care about. Something that moves you. Something which stirs your rawest emotions. And then have patience.

Mikhael Subotzky

Stick to one project for a long time. And keep working on it through many stages of learning, even if it might feel finished. Its the only way to break through what I think are some vital lessons that need to be learnt about storytelling and how to combine images.