Benjamin Lowy: You need trust to tell a story
By Lyndal Irons
Award winning Getty photojournalist Benjamin Lowy has spent a decade using a camera to tell other people’s stories. Lowy spoke to Head On about his early career and advice for emerging photographers prior to his arrival for workshops in May.
“The one thing that worked for me was being true to what I wanted. Straight away I said, ‘This is what I want and I am not willing to settle for anything less.’
It was naïve but that is why it worked. I was lucky because I came into photojournalism and made a living when there were fewer people in the profession. Now there are more and it is much harder to make a living so telling someone to just go for what they want and bugger the rest – well, they might be living on the street pretty soon.
At the end of the day though, it is still important to represent who you are and what you are about both in your personality and in your photographs. That is why someone will hire you or put their faith in you or trust you. It is the same thing when you photograph a subject.
It doesn’t matter if you are doing a portrait of a business man or if you are in a war zone. With a camera, you have to win people’s trust that you will tell their story in an effective way. You do that by showing people what you are about.
Don’t put together a portfolio that has four singles, some sport and a feature. Show me who you are. Maybe you are all blurry black and white pictures – maybe that is what you are that is how you see the world. Show the world that. Be true to who you are. And sometimes photography can even help you figure out who you are, too.”