Susan Meiselas

Magnum Female photographer. Mostly work with photojournalism. Exceptional work with “Prince Street Girls” and “Carnival Strippers”

http://www.susanmeiselas.com

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Suggestions from Chris Steele-Perkins

1) Never think photography is easy. It’s like poetry in that it’s easy enough to make a few rhymes, but that’s not a good poem.

2) Study photography, see what people have achieved, but learn from it, don’t try photographically to be one of those people.

3) Photograph things you really care about, things that really interest you, not things you feel you ought to do.

4) Photograph them in the way you feel is right, not the way you think you ought to.

5) Be open to criticism, it can be really helpful, but stick to your core values.

6) Study and theory is useful but you learn most by doing. Take photographs, lots of them, be depressed by them, take more, hone your skills and get out there in the world and interact.

Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,

and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

Missing Out.

“In the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy and humiliation,” -Alain de Botton

“In our unlived lives we are always more satisfied, far less frustrated versions of ourselves… Our possibilities for satisfaction depend upon our capacity for frustration; if we can’t let ourselves feel our frustration — and, surprisingly, this is a surprisingly difficult thing to do — we can’t get a sense of what it is we might be wanting, and missing, of what might really give us pleasure…”

The more we frustrate ourselves in wanting something, the more we value our desire for it… Waiting too long poisons desire, but waiting too little pre-empts it; the imagining is in the waiting… Wanting takes time; partly because it takes some time to get over the resistances to wanting, and partly because we are often unconscious of what it is that we do want. But the worst thing we can be frustrated of is frustration itself; to be deprived of frustration is to be deprived of the possibilities of satisfaction.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/08/17/missing-out-adam-phillips/

How could you possibly make an informed choice?

“For, after all, you cannot know what it is like to be a vampire until you are one. And if you can’t know what it’s like to be a vampire without becoming one, you can’t compare the character of the lived experience of what it is like to be you, right now, a mere human, to the character of the lived experience of what it would be like to be a vampire. This means that, if you want to make this choice by considering what you want your lived experience to be like in the future, you can’t do it rationally. At least, you can’t do it by weighing the competing options concerning what it would be like and choosing on this basis. And it seems awfully suspect to rely solely on the testimony of your vampire friends to make your choice, because, after all, they aren’t human any more, so their preferences are the ones vampires have, not the ones humans have.”

“For many big life choices, we only learn what we need to know after we’ve done it, and we change ourselves in the process of doing it. I’ll argue that, in the end, the best response to this situation is to choose based on whether we want to discover who we’ll become.

“Unless you’ve had the relevant experiences, what it is like to be a person or an animal very different from yourself is, in a certain fundamental way, inaccessible to you. It isn’t that you can’t imagine something in place of the experience you haven’t had. It’s that this act of imagining isn’t enough to let you know what it is really like to be an octopus, or to be a slave, or to be blind. You need to have the experience itself to know what it is really like.

-L.A. Paul

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/09/13/transformative-experience-vampire-problem/