Must Read: Alex Majoli Interview (pt 2)

The F Blog has posted part 2 of their interview with Alex Majoli, the first part having come out in April (and which we linked to). If you’re not familiar with his work, here is his portfolio at Magnum.

Fblog: Well, you’ve said something about Samurai development, and it’s been your most important quotation, it appears almost everywhere along with your name…
Alex Majoli: OK, everybody ask this! OK, this quotation – when I’ve done some workshop I had to say something, and I didn’t want to make some bullshit like “I’m the best photographer in the world” so actually I wrote something like that as a joke. They accepted it and didn’t understand it was a joke. I think you can’t teach photography, but I think as a Samurai you can do an every day little things. Discipline, determination. You know you need to prepare to take picture. I can not teach you that, I can tell you only: don’t distract, escape, stay there, don’t move, but I can’t tell you how to take it.
Most of my students keep making pictures like this [AM: acts like a photographer in candid, shaking, very nervous]… and then I say: “relax, you can’t make pictures like that. Think about it. Relax.” [AM: acts slowly, knowing what to do, determined and relaxed], and it’s not working, so again I’m saying “Get relaxed, come closer, move, concentrate on process.” You can do only that.

Fblog: What would you say to a budding photographer? Go to some exhibitions, see as much as possible?
Alex Majoli: Don’t look at other photographers. Don’t think you’re photographer. Read all books. I say work, work, work, just try to be yourself. Work a lot and read books. Get out from photography and then go back. That’s most important.

(c) Alex Majoli ISRAEL. West Bank. Hebron. 2008. Israeli soldiers patrolling the road between the old city of Hebron and Kyriat Arba.
(one of my favorite recent pictures from Majoli)

2 Responses to “Must Read: Alex Majoli Interview (pt 2)”

  1. Davin Ellicson

    Totally true. I look at less and less photographers’ work these days, otherwise every time you go out you have some famous picture in your head. Also, totally true about relaxing and being committed on the street and not hesitating: people can feel your awkwardness or lack of confidence if you hesitate. It’s very true you must make work and not sit around over thinking about photography, yourself or anything else for that matter.

  2. Tom Leininger

    I have fallen into the trap of tying to figure out photography before taking a picture. Now I just remember to “move the ass”.

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