Since I’ve tried these chat threads a few times by posing a specific question, I thought today I’ll open a broad discussion and invite you to ask me questions about anything you like.
Is there a basic technical question I left unanswered for you? Has there been something missing from my posts? Would you like to hear more about money, the editorial process, the media environment, making a book, or what it takes to print and put on a show?
Anything at all, the floor is yours. Get those questions starting now and through the weekend. I’ll be online Monday morning, New York time, between 9 am and 11 am ready to answer them.
Have a great weekend.
We met once in NYC @ Blink offices when you when to show your printed portfolio, a few years ago. I was a photo editor back then and like many other colleagues, we were all very impressed by your work. I've always remembered when you said: "So nobody does prints anymore around here?" This, because it created a lot of attention, to have you, showing us a physical object like in the old days. Seeing fine quality prints, talking through the pages, telling us about the experiences and stories behind the pictures, and basically just sharing a moment with all of us.
I guess my question is about self-promotion. How often do you do what you did at Blink (understanding that now is hard to meet in person), and what are your strategies to approach people that you don't know and/or keep cultivating the ones you already have work with?
Hi Adam, Your posts, images and interviews have been enjoyable and, at times, challenging to read. And without stalking you I have followed your career for many years. Given that your work has primarily sought to reveal the excesses of the human condition have there been times when you've questioned whether or not photojournalism and documentary practice can make a difference? Have you settled on an answer yet?
This is about your use of OCF, something I love in your portraits. It sounds like a tech question, but I think it's really a question about relationships and (apologies if this is grandiose) humanism in photography. Given that setting up takes time, can you talk about how your subjects react to this - both seeing lights in the first place and the waiting period itself? In fashion no one would blink an eye, but these aren't models or actors, so I'm curious about your interactions while they wait. Do they have a sense that this is above and beyond standard photojournalistic practice? Are they flattered and impressed? Put off? Is there curiosity that can help establish a deeper connection, or is there tension and impatience? Which I guess is a larger question about how people living through crisis react to being 'chosen' to be seen by the world? If you were running and gunning, they might not have time to consider this, but in your process, I imagine they do. I also wonder if you 'lose them' a little because of the time and care your approach demands and then have to bring them back to the moment when you're ready to shoot - how do you manage that? Thanks, Adam!
I would love to know about putting on a show. e.g. how to get gallery prints made, the cost to the artist, the cost to the gallery, framing, etc.
Hello Adam! It's a pleasure to participate in your Q&A :)
My name is Rafael Vilela, I am a Brazilian photographer working mostly in São Paulo but also traveling around to other areas of my country like Mato Grosso or the Amazon region.
My question is about angling and selling pitches. Many times I find myself in a great effort to convince international editors of the importance and relevance of the stories I produce. Even with the recent political advances in this sense, I feel that the prism is always completely centered in a still very colonizing, North American or Eurocentric view of what matters - which always produces many clichés, especially in visual journalism. I found your interview with Kiana Hayeri incredible because she identifies and points out this phenomenon accurately and sharply. I feel that the same thing still happens with great intensity in Latin America, especially since we are seen as North America's backyard. As a non North American or European photographer, how do you deal or have you dealt with these issues?
Currently I have been producing stories with National Geographic and Washington Post, spaces in which I have had a great reception and care from the editors, but I feel that I lack the capacity to better "translate" what i live and feel in my country to the international public opinion. Any advices are super welcome!
I'm wondering how you navigate sharing images with those that you photograph, whether on assignment or for your personal work. Do people often ask you for the photographs that you take of them, in particular those that you ask for consent? I imagine it varies greatly, but what do you see as your obligation to your subjects (I'm admittedly not crazy about that term), and does that affect what you publish, even on a platform like Instagram? Thank you Adam, your newsletter has been illuminating and inspiring.
I tried to contact you about the trans woman who was housing and holding a community together at the border in Mexico. I wanted to know her address or some way I could contact her to offer financial support. That is why I signed up for your newsletter. It seemed the only way to contact you through the New York Times. Since I am also a filmmaker who has gotten interested in still photography, I enjoy your newsletter. I suggest such information should be more easily available. I seriously considered flying down there to try finding her on my own but I'm 83-years-old, a LGBT activist since 1958, and thought it was too daunting physically. Check me out "Randolfe Wicker" on wikipedia if you think I'm putting you on.
hi there Adam, managing the gathering of photo releases/workflow, making a book, and what it takes to print and put on a show all sound great
Hi Adam! I absolutely love this newsletter of yours! Please keep it up! How about something on how you process your images? Thanks, Antoine
I would also love to know how you go about the process of finding people to document and tell their story
Your articles and thoughts are very useful and interesting for me. I really like your photos, because they are important and perfectly reflect our time, they impress with feelings and mood, quality - nothing needs to be added or subtracted. What is more important for you in photography, the form (composition) or the content? Which of the photographers inspires you? What photo made an impression on you?
Hi Adam, I have been photographing people for a couple years now using only natural light. I would like to start experimenting with simple artificial light sources like LED panels or flashes. How would you recommend starting?
Hi Adam, I’m in my second year at QCA where I know you graduated from. We frequently look at your work and I use it as exemplars.
What I want to ask is how you got into your position after graduating from QCA. How you gained all the connections that eventually got you into working with TIME and other big names sharing all these important stories.
I see the questions but would be interested in your response. How are these shown? Thanks.
Hey Adam -- I'm a documentary DP/director who's been shooting more stills work. One of the things that's tripped me up is exposure when shooting verite stuff where the light changes drastically from shot-to-shot. I feel like with cinema I can watch my meters and keep it dialed in, but have had a harder time with stills. I'm curious what your approach to this might be? All manual, spot metering, one of the priority modes? Very much appreciate it, have been loving the newsletter.