Following the informative and fun conversation with Martin Parr, I decided to sign up for another evening with a photographer whom I admire.
This time the event came about due to my membership with the Martin Parr Foundation.
The evening was spent learning from Joel Meyerowitz and was far more than I expected it to be.
Joel is well known for his street photography but has a huge catalogue of work and depth to his photographs.
He covered lots of topics in the evening including colour theory, how he started in photography, his views on photography today and what inspired him to give up painting and take up photography.
One particular thing I found interesting was his experiences starting in photography and sharing his introductions to the likes of Ansel Adams. Joel explained that there was no photography scene in New York at the time and Ansel’s work was put on display in a room (no exhibition or exhibition space) and was being sold for $125 to those who might be interested.
Martin and Joel had great rapport throughout the conversation and it was great to hear these two photographic greats talking so candidly about their work and their life experiences.
Joel was asked by Martin how he chose his subjects and what inspired him. Joel was recounting the moment he noticed flowers as motifs in his work and how that inspired the “Wild Flowers” collection.
Joel reminded us that photography is a journey and that inspiration can strike at any time, we should all take what we want from the medium, do what inspires us and not be led by likes, or what is being massed produced (or replicated over and over) today.
During this segment, Joel was trying to get us to understand that anything could be a topic that excites us and exclaimed, “Poodles might be your subject” which made me chuckle.
Joel also informed us that the Tate Modern is due to launch a major retrospective of his work next year and focus on how he came to emerge into his colour work and how that drove his creative process. This is one exhibition I will be sure to check out.
I never know what to expect from these sessions but find each one intriguing and informative. Especially when hearing from established photographers like Martin and Joel.
I was going to take a screengrab of the conversation to feature on the site but have my X100V on my desk so decided to photograph the event with my camera whilst I was watching it. It’s what I would have done had this been “in the flesh”. I liked the idea of using my camera to document a live experience even though it was taking place over Zoom.
Visit the Martin Parr Foundation to find out more
Signed copies of Joel Meyerowitz’s book “Wild Flowers” are available from the Martin Parr Foundation Shop