Magnum: Advice for young photographers – part 2
Turning your passion for photography into a career can sometimes feel like an impossible slog – but every successful photographer has to start somewhere. In the second part of our series, a few of Magnum Photos’ biggest talents share their tips for young photographers…
David Alan Harvey
You must have something to say. You must be brutally honest with yourself about this. Think about history, politics, science, literature, music, film, and anthropology. What effect does one discipline have over another? What makes “man” tick? Today, with everyone being able to easily make technically perfect photographs with a cell phone, you need to be an “author”. It is all about authorship, authorship and authorship.
Many young photographers come to me and tell me their motivation for being a photographer is to “travel the world” or to “make a name” for themselves. Wrong answers in my opinion. Those are collateral incidentals or perhaps even the disadvantages of being a photographer. Without having tangible ideas, thoughts, feelings, and something almost “literary” to contribute to the discussion, today’s photographer will become lost in the sea of mediocrity…
Perhaps more simply put, find a heartfelt personal project. Give yourself the assignment you might dream someone would give you. Please remember: you and only you will control your destiny. Believe it, know it, say it.
David Alan Harvey took the above picture. See more of his work.