Magnum Photographers have been my greatest inspiration for as long as I can remember. As a collective, Magnum photographs have inspired change throughout the world, illustrating things as they are and producing some of the most iconic images of our time. As a photographer, I often get asked for advice on how to become a photographer. It's a difficult question to answer, and so when I came across this article, I wanted to share it with all those people who ask what it takes.
'Wear Good Shoes: Advice to young photographers' by Magnum photographers is well worth a read, with a wide spectrum of advice from Magnum photographers. Here are my 10 favorite quotes from the article:
"Get a good pair of walking shoes and...fall in love"
"Try everything. Photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, nudes, whatever. You won‘t know what kind of photographer you are until you try it. "
- Alec Soth
"Photograph because you love doing it, because you absolutely have to do it, because the chief reward is going to be the process of doing it. Other rewards -- recognition, financial remuneration -- come to so few and are so fleeting. And even if you are somewhat successful, there will almost inevitably be stretches of time when you will be ignored, have little income, or -- often -- both. Certainly there are many other easier ways to make a living in this society."
- Alex Webb
"Study and theory is useful but you learn most by doing. Take photographs, lots of them, be depressed by them, take more, hone your skills and get out there in the world and interact. "
- Chris Steele-Perkins
"Don‘t become a photographer unless its what you ‚have‘ to do. It can‘t be the easy option. If you become a photographer you will do a lot of walking so buy good shoes."
- David Hurn
"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."
- Martine Franck
"Study the works of the greatest photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Andre Kertesz. Try to travel to many parts of the world and understand what a diverse world we live in."
- Hiroji Kubota
"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 anymore... But most of all respect those you photograph..."
- John Vink
"Find a subject you care about. Something that moves you. Something which stirs your rawest emotions. And then have patience."
- Mark Power
"If you want to be a photographer, you have to photograph. If you look at the photographers‘ work you admire, you will find that they have found a particular place or subject, and then have dug deep into it, and carved out something that is special. That takes a lot of dedication, passion, and work."
- Steve McCurry