“Which one living person would you most like to photograph? Which one place or event would you most like to photograph?”
Mmm. I would love to photograph so many people. How do I pick one? Impossible. But I tell you – I would love to shoot Patti Smith. I am reluctant to give the obvious answer of “a celebrity” – but it was her photo by Robert Mapplethorpe on the cover of “Horses”, almost 35 years ago, that awakened my interest in photography. Something that shaped me, in other words.
A place is easier. Again, there are many… but I would love to shoot Afghanistan. I have always thought I would like to be a war journalist: spending time in places like Iraq in the 1980s, when the Iran-Iraq war was on, made me think “the world should see this”. That is another thing that shaped me. So while it’s dangerous, I would do it in a heartbeat.
I’ll come up with others – there will be things that I hit myself over the head withfor forgetting – but these are two off the cuff.
I’ve often thought that if I had the chance to do my life over with the benefit of my experiences in this one I’d do two things: 1) Learn Mandarin Chinese and 2) Make a career as a photojournalist.
But I don’t think I am tough enough to be a war photojournalist. So maybe 3) should be “get tougher”!
There’s no one person I’d like to photograph – celebrities get so much coverage anyway. But I’d love a commission to photograph unknown people who are making a positive contribution to the world. There’s always so much bad news – I want to create something positive and inspiring.
That sounds commendable, and interesting, and I quite agree with it.