Duane Michals.

by Tim Soter

Yesterday, invited in by Brad Paris, I talked to a class at FIT.  Normally I would just give a little background about myself and how I arrived at photography, then roll right into my portfolio complete with the anecdotes about the shoots.  I decided to start off differently this time, and at the risk of sounding preachy, shared a quote by Duane Michals that I had found a few years ago – which I printed and LAMINATED, and now carry around in my wallet.

Duane Michals: Do it. You have two choices in life–doing and bullshit. I hate photographers who talk about photographs but never take any. And the only way you’re ever going to grow…two things, one you have to take risks, you have to be able to let go of all your preconceived notions of what photography should be, and open yourself to the possibilities. Otherwise you’re going to be spinning your wheels the rest of your life.

It’s pretty strong and practical philosophy that is difficult to refute.  I find myself trying to think my way outside of frustration with photography all the time and it’s never once been effective.  There is only trying and doing.  Read the whole interview with Michals here.