Gregory Miller is a terrific photographer and friend. I sit on ASMP NY’s board (American Society of Media Photographers, NY Chapter) and I had the pleasure to arrange a talk for Greg on Dec 10th at SVA, This week on Thursday.
Greg was kind enough to let me interview him before his Talk on Thursday, Two days from now, Dec 10th. I would mark your calenders and not miss this opportunity. Greg is an extremely inspirational speaker. This may even be apparent to you from his small 4 question interview below that he obliged me with. Look at the bottom of the interview for details on how to get to the event space.
Photo of Greg Miller © Manjari Sharma
1) Why the 8 x 10 format?
I get that question a lot. I also ask myself that just about every time I go out. The best answer I can give is that I am in love with the camera. It doesn’t make much sense otherwise. It’s heavy, slow and the film is expensive, but I love the way the pictures look, I love to make pictures with the camera and I love the way people react to it. Even the people who don’t understand. One of the aspects of 8×10 is that it forces me to talk to people. After years of not talking to people when I photographed, going up to people on the street felt like walking across the dance floor to ask a girl to dance. It is exhilarating and terrifying. I don’t think there is any going back.
2) What work did you apply to your Guggenheim Fellowship Grant in 2008 with and why?
I submitted a selection of Ash Wednesday, County Fair and Band Camp. I decided to show a selection because it showed a common theme across a variety of subjects. My proposal was to photograph marching band camps of the South.
3) What project are you actively pursuing right now and what are you inspirations for it?
I am starting to photograph my family. They are the subject as well as the inspiration. It’s got to be the hardest thing I could photograph.
4) What is your advice for emerging photographers?
Forget about the end of the world. I see young photographers impatiently trying to accomplish their entire career in one year never really sinking their teeth into making pictures in a methodical way. My best explanation for this is that people, understandably, don’t think they have years to build a career, be original or, let’s say, learn an obsolete photography process anymore. The net result is living conservatively. I thought the world was going to end in 1984, 1999, 2001 and pretty much every year since then. All the time making pictures and working my ass off. Not to mention building a family. Truthfully the world could have ended and it wouldn’t have much mattered. But it didn’t. Remove the exterior world from the equation and put your work at the center and everything will fall into place.
Other than that I would say, forget about sourcebooks (if you haven’t already). Focus on the top 3 or 4 contests but only if you have the funds. Put your emphasis on connecting with people that can move your career. (& that will probably happen at a bar or opening). Meaningful connection is everything. & please stop working for free.
© Greg Miller
Greg Miller is the recipient of a 2008 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography. His most recent series of photographs, entitled Distant Relatives (photographs of his hometown, Nashville, TN), has shown in Los Angeles, is currently on exhibit at the Cheekwood Museum in Nashville and is scheduled to exhibit at Kris Graves Projects in Brooklyn, NY in March 2010. Miller was born in Nashville in 1967. He received a full scholarship to attend the School of Visual Arts in NY, and graduated with a BFA in 1990. Since 2001, he has taught at the International Center of Photography in NY. His work is widely exhibited and collected.
In Distant Relatives, Miller returns to neighborhoods and residences in Nashville where he grew up as starting points for his photographs. In these locations he chooses to photograph people and places that loosely conjure the familiar character of his own past. While obliged by a large format camera to interact with his subjects, Miller still retains the spontaneity of the photographic moment. What emerges are well-detailed stories set in evokative landscapes with a trace of distant memory.
Thursday, December 10, 2009,
Doors: 6:30 pm
Lecture: 7 PM – 9 PM
Artist reception to follow at 10 PM, Cash Bar; Light food will be provided.
School of Visual Arts
209 E 23RD St
New York, NY 10010-3994
ASMP members, Non-ASMP members, Students – Free
A big Thank you to School of Visual Arts for allowing us the use of their space and resources. And thanks to Colleen O’Connor from SVA’s BFA Photography Department for the arrangements!
© Greg Miller