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WhiteWall Adds Phil Penman as Ambassador Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

21 October 2022

English street photographer Phil Penman is WhiteWall's newest ambassador, the photo printing company announced today.

Penman, who was born in Dorset, England, moved to Los Angeles in 2000 before relocating to New York where he worked for Splash News.

He has photographed portraits of Bill Gates, Jennifer Lopez and Christopher Reeve while covering news stories around the world like the Sept. 11 attack. His photojournalism has been published in The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Telegraph and his features have appeared in Paris Match.

His debut book STREET launched as the top new release on Amazon for street photography.

The announcement was accompanied by an interview with Penman by WhiteWall, included in the news release below.

WhiteWall Brings Phil Penman on Board as Ambassador

WhiteWall has expanded its Ambassador Program and is now working with internationally renowned photographer Phil Penman

WhiteWall's long-standing Ambassador Program is constantly evolving and with Phil Penman, yet another great force in the world of photography is joining the WhiteWall team.

English-born photographer Phil Penman has lived in the U.S. for quite a while now and is known in particular for his black-and-white street photography. Penman's work is exhibited all over the world and he has received numerous awards. Phil focuses on street, portrait and architectural photography, primarily in New York. From a photographer's point of view, the city is always offering new perspectives and technical challenges for his great passion, which is black-and-white photography. Phil will be providing a wealth of exciting insights into his daily professional life and work with WhiteWall products.

As part of the current winter campaign that he has produced with WhiteWall, we had the opportunity to ask him a few select questions about his work:

How did you get into photography?

Photography was my minor in school! My father is also a photographer and my parents used to take me to museums and galleries starting at a very young age. When I was 15, under my father's guidance, I began developing my own images in our darkroom. It was not uncommon for us to turn nights into days there. I then went on to study photography at Berkshire College of Art and Design in England. After a brief stint working as an assistant in London, I realized fairly quickly that I wanted to start my own business. My first job as a photographer was for a local newspaper. By the age of 22, I was already photographing for national newspapers. But my goal from the outset was to work as a photographer in New York City, after having fallen in love with the city as a teenager. In 2000, I met a photographer on a job and told him about my dream. It just so happened that he had recently returned from a production in the USA. He introduced me to his former bosses and a few weeks later I was boarding a plane to Los Angeles with a job contract in hand. Six months later I opened my own office in New York and the rest is history. I have been a photographer in New York for 22 years now.

What is your inspiration for developing your photography ideas?

I am very much drawn to times gone by. Those beautiful, timeless pictures from back around the 1900s always intrigue and inspire me.

Where does your fascination with black and white come from?

It all started in the darkroom. It's like you catch a bug and just can't shake it. Taking pictures, developing the film and then seeing the final results on paper. Everything you do affects the final results. That's the beauty of it.

My professional life started with me taking photos -- mostly in color -- for commercial clients and agencies. But when passion becomes a profession, sometimes the enjoyment of it can get lost. That's exactly what happened to me.

To rediscover my passion, I bought a Leica. I started photographing everything in black and white and managed to draw a line between my professional and personal lives. My love for photography returned. I find that my best work is created when I have fun with it. And that's how it came to be that most of my work is in black and white.

Where can people find you when you're not behind the camera?

I don't believe there are many times when I don't have a camera with me. Because of all the traveling and international workshops I do, I get to see an incredible number of locations and cities. I am constantly on the go and to put it plainly, I always have my camera with me.

Why WhiteWall?

I first discovered Whitewall at Paris Photo 2021 and was amazed at the quality of their products. In early 2022, Whitewall produced my exhibit at the Leica Store in Washington DC and all everyone could talk about were the prints. The process was seamless -- from the moment the order was placed until the prints arrived. I am particularly impressed with the black tones of the baryta paper at White Wall. I've ordered photos on baryta paper from WhiteWall for many of my clients who have ordered limited editions for their walls. The results have always amazed both me and my clients!

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