From a story about a metal foundry called P.E. Guerin for The Wall Street Journal by Bryan Derballa.
A man with a cigarette / Bristol restaurant / Belgrade / 2014
Niujiaotou subway station in Chongqing.
Shout-out to Streethunters.net for the interview. A lot of people missed it due to confusion with the time, but here’s the recording. Peace !
Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect
Years ago, I felt like every time I was really impressed with a portrait in a magazine, I’d look at the byline and it would have the same name under it — Erika Larsen. There’s a certain style that transcends her pictures — quiet, still, beautiful, outdoorsy, and almost without exception, they take me to a place I haven’t been before.
In an interview with Jimmy Colton, he describes her portraiture as quiet elegance… clean, simple and powerful. While she describes what she’s looking for in a portrait as this:
I believe I am searching for a moment of silence between myself and whatever it is I am photographing. That moment is when all the words disappear. I am also struck by the beauty in the world.
And the portraits are truly wonderful, but then I started seeing stuff with her name under it that went even deeper. Stuff I could connect to as a storyteller. Work that combined all of those great qualities she was bringing to her portraits, and doing more. Documenting life as it happened, beautifully and quietly. She began immersing herself into a people and a culture and combing photojournalism with portraiture, which only enhanced her vision.
As I learned from the Lens Blog post on her Sami project, she even became a housekeeper in the Scandinavian Arctic while working on a project there for four years on a group of nomadic reindeer herders (where the lovely photo at the top of this post is from).
“I wanted to live with this original hunter-gatherer, nomadic society in the modern world,” she said. “I didn’t want to just go and do a photo project; I really wanted to live with them. I wanted to learn what they do.”
Talk about dedication. And it paid off, that project on the Sami turned into a Fulbright, a 20-page National Geographic spread and then, ultimately, Larsen’s first book, “Sami - Walking with Reindeer.” And from there she’s continued to do big things… and is definitely one to watch.
Check out her website for inspiration — www.erikalarsenphoto.com.
And since she’s not big on the social media sites, in a wonderfully old school way, this is about as social as I could find online… A video of her speaking at National Geographic Live! about her Sami story.
For the birds, Seattle, Washington, June 2014.