In-depth interviews with documentary photographers from around the world who have documented stories local to them
Laurence Watts - Visual Content Manager for Action Aid UK
In this episode of the Documentary Photography Review podcast I'm speaking to Laurence Watts – Visual Content Manager at the NGO Action Aid UK, responsible for commissioning stills imagery and video content for the organisation.
This is the first time I’ve interviewed someone who is not a photographer, and my intention is to explore more of what’s involved in being a current-day documentary photographer, beyond exploring stories and taking images – things like engaging with picture editors, getting funding, working with audio, and much more.
With Laurence I speak about what he looks for in a photographer when commissioning someone, the need to diversify your skills, how to get seen, and much more.
An Interview with Agata Skowronek
In this episode I speak to Agata Skowronek – a photojournalist and video journalist from Germany, now based in Berlin having recently moved back there after spending the past 8 years based in Turkey, and working throughout the Middle East.
The interview is pretty long, but assure you it’s worth sticking it out, as Agata has a wealth of experience to share – from her recent collaboration and successful crowdfunding campaign with Simon Hipkins, who I interviewed in the last podcast, to her thoughts on the evolving landscape of photojournalism and how and why she intends to focus more time and energy on personal projects, and less on assignments – with a particular focus on the experiences of refugees and asylum-seekers from Syria and Iraq in Germany.
This is the first attempt to use Skype in a long time, but I learnt from my previous mistakes and instead of recording the Skype conversation itself, we both wore headphones and recorded our own voices. Agata then forwarded me on her recording, and I merged it with my own during post-processing. The result is good quality audio throughout the interview, which is great!
Now that I know this is a viable and effective method of conducting an interview, I will be reaching out to more photographers outside of the UK, which I’m really looking forward to doing, and have wanted to do for some time.
On top this, as of the next episode I will also start interviewing people other than photographers – such as picture editors, sound recordists and funders - more information on this at the end of the podcast, and be sure to subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud so you don’t miss out.
Show notes as always are available on the Documentary Photography Review website at documentaryphotoreview.com/interviews and navigate to the page for this episode.
Simon Hipkins and The Circle
In this episode I’m speaking to documentary photographer and filmmaker Simon Hipkins.
Simon has worked professionally in photography and film for 15 years, and has worked as a director/producer, cameraman and editor for documentaries for the BBC and Channel Four.
In 2013 Simon was named as one of the winners of the Magenta Foundation’s Emerging Photographer Awards for his photostory on the town of Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
His recent multimedia project, The Circle, created in collaboration with another photographer and a sound artist on internally displaced people in Iraq was a finalist for the prestigious Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize.
In our conversation we talk about Simon’s experiences in creating the Circle – how they went about creating and presenting the work, as well as discussing how they are obtaining funding to sustain the project.
Simon and his collaborators have recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign, and so we talk a bit about the strengths of this form of funding, and its role and benefits in getting unreported and under-reported stories a greater audience.
We cover a lot of topics, so there’s plenty for everyone, and show notes with more information on Simon, and links to the people and organisations we mention can be found at documentaryphotoreview.com/interviews.
Freya Najade and Strawberries in Winter
In this episode of the Documentary Photography Review podcast I speak to photographer Freya Najade.
We talk about Freya’s work with a particular focus on her Strawberries in Winter project, which explores modern farming practices that ensure seasonal produce is available in European supermarkets all year round.
We also talk about the value of portfolio reviews and competitions when starting out as a documentary photographer, and doing so throughout your career in a strategic fashion.
I personally have never paid for a portfolio review myself, but I have to say Freya’s words have convinced me they are of real benefit, but agree that there is a real need to choose carefully and strategically when deciding who you obtain a review from, and to maximise the benefit gained for the money spent.
We also discuss the need to build a network to promote and support your evolution as a photographer – both offline and online, and benefits of doing so – from gaining feedback to helping to make a crowdfunding campaign a success.
Shownotes as always can be found at documentaryphotoreview.com/interviews and then navigate to the page for this podcast.
Anna Huix and Karakoram's Gemstone Hunters
In this episode of the Documentary Photography Review podcast I am talking to Anna Huix – a documentary and editorial photographer from Catalonia, but now living in London.
We talk about Anna’s experience of collaborating with journalists on documentary projects, and the struggles to get work published once completed, as well as her approach to portraits – both in her editorial work and documentary storytelling.
Anna has done a great job of finding her niche and developing her own style and approach to creating work.
One of the key things I got from the interview was the need to be open to random encounters, and the experiences that might unfold as a consequence. As you’ll hear a random encounter in a pub led Anna to Pakistan where she shot her gemstones project, which itself led to many other positive experiences and work.
Show notes can be found at http://www.documentaryphotoreview.com/photographers/interviews/podcast-anna-huix-and-karakorams-gemstone-hunters/
An Interview with Eduardo Leal
In this episode I am speaking with Eduardo Leal – is a Portuguese documentary photographer focusing on social and environmental issues across South America, along with politics and traditions within the region.
I first came across Eduardo’s work during a graduate exhibition at the London College of Communication, where his work Forcados was on display.
Since he graduated Eduardo has spent a lot of his time in South America, and has a particular attraction to life in Venezuela.
In the interview we discuss Eduardo’s work and his practices and how he goes about obtaining commissions.
Big range of interviewees, thanks, will keep listening!
Great New Addition
Great new addition to the world of documentary photography. Fascinating to hear first hand from other documentary photographers about their journeys into photography and what they are up to now.
A great first interview with Lewis Bush, if they carry on like this it’ll be a series to relish.