Magnum Advice For Young Photographers

Some years ago I was interviewed over the phone by one of the consumer digital photography magazines for a small feature on my work – I can’t immediately recall the details, except that I think it was one of the few occasions when I was stupid enough to decide that the publicity was worth letting them use a few pictures, all taken on film, without paying me – one of the questions was something like “what is the most important accessory for taking good photographs?” and my answer was “a really comfortable pair of shoes.” Though I can’t remember if that made it into print. But photography does often involve a lot of walking and a lot of standing around. And it’s no fun at all if your feet hurt or are wet and cold.

Shahidul News has just re-published some advice by 35 Magnum photographers, originally published in 2008 at the prompting of Alec Soth, and it still makes a lot of sense. The photographers were asked two questions, “When did you first get excited about photography?” and “What advice would you give young photographers?”

First to respond in the vaguely alphabetical listing in a Magnum document with the title ‘Wear Good Shoes: Advice to young photographers’ was Abbas, who made the doubtful claim to have have got excited about photography from birth and followed this with some sound advice “Get a good pair of walking shoes and… fall in love.

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