"If you don't shoot, you're dead" - Frank Fournier
Singing, laughing, and chatting, we girls got ready for our first day in NYC. Everyone was in a pretty good mood and excited about the things planned. Prisca repeatedly serenaded us with select verses from Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind while we took turns huddling around the mirror to do our makeup and hair. The joy in her voice and expressions, as she looked at everything with awe, summed up how most of us were feeling.
We made our way to Frank Fournier's studio apartment, where we talked to us for a few hours. The apartment was completely adorable. Complete with makeshift furniture, a little bed tucked into the corner and a beautiful darkroom, I instantly fell in love with the apartment. Seeing the photographs and items he had casually laying around his apartment gave it character and provided a bit of insight into where his passions lie.
Listening to his speech, the main thing I gathered was his appreciation for simplicity. He really stressed that long lenses and lots of pricey equipment will not make you a great photographer. Shooting things you actually care about, practicing constantly, and letting your photographic experiences internally consume you in a fulfilling way is what will drive you towards success.
As he stated "I work for the trash". The photographs you have published in newspapers or other media outlets are great, but publications all eventually get thrown out. Possessing a real love for photography is what good photographers must thrive off of and your biggest motivating factor, when the financial side is lacking.
After our meeting with Frank, we we met Alan Chin and Anthony Suau from Facing Change, a nonprofit group of photojournalists and writers who develop projects dealing with themes of future and change, within America. Their presentation was really interesting in that it showed a more documentary side of photojournalism than I am used to seeing. I feel as though their images were less obvious and more open to viewer interpretation, which made them intriguing to look at.
We spent a good chunk of the evening doing portfolio reviews, socializing, and having dinner with Alan Chin and Anthony Suau, at William Snyder's apartment. I started to get sick towards the end of the evening and headed back early. However, all in all, it was a pretty good start to the week.