Interviews

Interviews with photographers and photojournalists working at the forefront of their fields across a wide range of genres, from fine art to documentary to street to travel, and everything in between. PetaPixel allows photographers to share their experience, opinions, and insights to inform and inspire the global photography community.

Exposed: Aline Smithson, the Ambidextrous Photographer

When I first discovered the rather active analog photographer, journalist, and educator Aline Smithson, I felt that I have been standing in place with one hand tied behind my back. I spend my photographer energy thinking about the project that’s directly in front of me. One project at a time.

A photo contest-winning image showing a boy sleeping in an abandoned building on a beach

On the Depiction of Africans in Photo Contests

As a child during the 1980s, I grew up with a weekly diet of Time magazine and the evening news. The famine in Ethiopia during the decade generated an endless stream of news filled with images of Black bodies, so much so that my entire conception of the continent was built off the tragedy of a single nation. To me, Africa was a desert wasteland of starving people – a thought conceived through photos.

How Photographer Drew Gurian Photographed Yo-Yo Ma for Masterclass

New York City-based portrait photographer Drew Gurian followed a textbook path to learning the ropes. While in college, he interned for Joe McNally and Danny Clinch – two photographers known in part for their incredible photos of creatives like dancers, musicians, and the like. After college, Drew spent five years traversing the globe as McNally’s first assistant before peeling off to carve his own path.

Exposed: Yunghi Kim on the Power of Women Photojournalists

It is difficult to quickly sum up the ongoing career of photojournalist Yunghi Kim. Yunghi simply has too much personal energy, global photojournalism chops, and a record of giving back to the photographic community. In particular, Yunghi is known for her support of women photojournalists.

Exposed: Photographer John Tully and Thoughts of Bruce Springsteen

It is rare to have a photographer conjure up the memory of a particular song. However, I immediately thought of Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town when I saw New Hampshire photojournalist John Tully’s recent work.

Exposed: An Interview with Superstar Wedding Photographer John Dolan

I am fascinated by the art of wedding photography and have seen it morph from very formal and super staged -- as in very often: “OK, grandma stand over there” -- to having a photographer take a more casual or natural approach. John Dolan’s style approaches wedding photography from the perspective of an involved documentarian interested in the emotional experience.

The Challenges Women Face in Motorsports Photography

Motorsports photography isn't a space traditionally associated with or particularly welcoming of female photographers, but one woman -- Alison Arena -- has made a name for herself in this industry and is now coaching others to follow suit.

Photographer Allison Stewart Explores the Construction of American Identity

I was blown away when I first saw Allison Stewart’s series, Bug Out Bag: The Commodification of American Fear. The work zeroed in on the mindset, ubiquitous paranoia, or to borrow from Hunter S, Thompson, our collective “fear and loathing” of America today. Her photographs of ‘preppers’ and how they plan for the worst just seem so America 2021.

How to Start a Photo Magazine in a Pandemic

The past few decades have been unkind to photo magazines. Many industry stalwarts have gone defunct, while others have moved to online editions only. Ironically, many photographers still believe in the photographic print, even though they might contend that the vast majority of image consumption happens on mobile devices.

The Difficulties One Woman Faced to Become a Photojournalist in Somalia

Breaking through the barriers of cultural and gender norms in Somalia, Fardosa Hussein shares what it took for her to be able to practice what she is passionate about -- photography, videography, and journalism -- in a place where such a career is viewed with hostility and is, at times, dangerous for women.