We Have Questions: Phil Penman

Mon 31st Jan, 2022

Posted by Chairman APA/NY in Professional, Student

APANY: When you are out stalking the wild Street Photograph, what is it makes you raise the camera to your eye?

I’ve a couple of different approaches to my street work. One is visualizing a shot and going out to get it. This could be getting up early in a snowstorm and revisiting areas that have already caught my attention or waiting in a specific spot for the right combination of factors to happen. 

Number two is capturing life as it happens, an interesting scene playing out in front of me, or someone who dares to be different from the norm and makes for a great street portrait. There is no right or wrong in photography and the moment you start fixing yourself to one style you stop learning. Its important to have a creative signature but that does not mean you cannot learn from other types of photography and apply what you’ve learnt to that style.
r scheduling an event with us! He will be presenting on March 14 at 7PM EST on Zoom as a part of our APA/SVA speaker series. Save the date and join us!

  APANY: What are you thinking about when you are looking through your viewfinder?

Phil: Not getting hit from behind by a car ! But otherwise it's always checking you're surroundings as you need to be able to anticipate an image in a second and not reacting to what’s in front of you. 

APANY: What advice would you give to a photographer who wants to monetize their street photography?

Phil: In all seriousness have another job until you start to see money from it. It's probably one of the hardest industries in photography to make a living.
I’m not going to go and say the roads are paved with gold because they are not. Its taken me 27 years to get to this point, and I have had to do a lot of shitty jobs in the past. The one advantage you have is that most people lack the dedication required to make it, so if you are all in ! and by that , I mean living and sleeping it for a few years you have a chance. Learn as much as you can and don’t follow the crowd. You’ll always be a second rate version of someone else if you do that.

APANY: Do you ever feel like you’re in a creative slump? And if so, what helps you get out of it?

Phil: I have come to accept it and not fight it. There will be times when you cannot help but see great images. The next day you could walk around New York or other places in the world and see nothing. This is more to do with your own head space and nothing to do with the place. Trust me there are probably 5 good images within 30ft of where you are sitting. We are just not seeing them because it's too close to home.

APANY: What inspires you? 

Phil: I’m inspired by movies, television and art. I find myself more inspired by those genres these days. 

APANY: We want to thank Phil for taking the time to answer our questions here and now you will have your chance to ask him your questions on March 14 at 7PM EST when Phil Penman joins us for a talk on "Takin' it to the Streets" on Zoom - part of our APA/SVA speaker series.

For more information or to register.. click HERE!!!





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