Last year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest-running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop programme to showcase selected portfolios online.[bjp_ad_slot]
Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th anniversary celebrations, Magnum’s workshops provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established photographers.
Recently, Magnum photographer Constantine Manos hosted a workshop in Austin, Texas. At the end of the event, Manos selected Anna Kuperberg’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography.
We speak to Anna Kuperberg about her work.
BJP: What is your story about? Why did you choose this particular subject and how did you go about shooting it?
Anna Kuperberg: This is a very simple story about the exuberance, trials, and weirdness of a regular childhood. The kids were in a neighborhood in Austin that I found just by driving around (I had never been to Austin before). Everyone in Austin is friendly and approachable, so shooting documentary work there is easy. I chose this subject because I am comfortable photographing kids and it is similar to a project I worked on many years ago in St Louis (see here). In hindsight, I think I should have chosen a project I am less comfortable with, although I tend to always gravitate towards children and animals.
BJP: Why did you decide to sign up to the Magnum workshop?
Anna Kuperberg: I signed up because I make a living as a wedding photographer and lately I have been hanging around with only wedding photographers. I wanted to get out of my cozy little environment and shake things up.
BJP: How was the experience of learning with Constantine? What’s the best advice you received from the workshop?
Anna Kuperberg: Constantine is a rare treasure. I wish I could have written down all the smart things he said, but the thing that stuck with me most is that photography needs to be credible. Literally this might mean you shouldn’t Photoshop weird things into documentary work, as that would be unethical. But it also means don’t shoot from such odd angles or use odd lenses in a way that the viewers don’t feel they are a part of the scene. I also appreciate his extreme insistence on perfect composition.
BJP: What are you planning next?
Anna Kuperberg: I am planning a long-term documentary project. I can’t tell you what it is right now, but it will involve kids. Ha!