Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Matinee: 'Advice to the Young' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

31 December 2022

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 481st in our series of Saturday matinees today: Advice to the Young.

In this 1:21 video from the Louisiana Channel, British photographer Paul Graham shares a little advice with young people.

Marc-Christoph Wagner interviewed Graham at home in New York City in March 2022. We've been saving it for just this moment when the future comes into view and plans are being made.

Graham, who was born in 1956, studied microbiology at Bristol University where he discovered photography and decided to pursue a career as an artist after graduating. Which is exactly what he did the next 45 years or so.

The liner notes describe his work:

His work in color from the late 1970s was critical in moving documentary practice forward from classic black and white photography. He made three bodies of work in the UK during the 1980s, firstly along with the A1 -- The Great North Road (1981-1982), then during Mrs. Thatcher's unemployment crisis with Beyond Caring (1984), and lastly in Northern Ireland during the darker times of the mid-1980s with Troubled Land (1984-1986).

Since then, he has travelled and exhibited widely for four decades, works notably engaged with Western Europe in New Europe and Japan with Empty Heaven. His photography has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the inaugural show of Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland and a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

In 2000, he moved to the USA, completing three notable series of work, including A Shimmer of Possibility, which won the first Paris Photobook prize as the best photography book of the past 15 years. He lives in New York City with his partner and son.

So he's been around the block and can tell you where the newsstands and the trash cans are.

His advice boils down to three points, one following the other.

Start working, he advises, because if you don't begin you won't get anywhere. Make mistakes because it's inevitable. "Every time I start something new, it is junk and I am embarrassed," he confesses. And, finally, keep on going, because if you stay at it, you'll eventually get there.

That last one is a little tricky.

You don't just show up and chew gum until you win the lottery. It doesn't happen that way. You have to be engaged with the world and your art. You have to be listening.

That's how you'll hear about something or somewhere that takes you places you could never have dreamed of looking out your window at the fading light of day.

No matter how old you are.

BackBack to Photo Corners