For our third aamora interview we’ve asked Aaron Schwartz, aamora’s founder, to answer our questions!
I grew up looking at Life magazine and National Geographic and our family photo albums. I could look at some of those magazine photos for a long time. They stoked my imagination. My mother would look through our family photos with me and tell me all the stories. Photographs to me weren’t just information; they were a window into new thoughts and feelings.
YES! I’m glad I lived long enough to have cellphones. Thanks to my iPhone, I have a camera, a darkroom, an office, a letterbox, an encyclopedia (remember those?) and a palette and more – in my pocket!
Digital v. Film – still a topic?
No. Both record images and can be manipulated in different ways.
Is the equipment important?
The artist is important. If the artist needs some special equipment to express their image, then they will need equipment. Some photographers like pinhole cameras, so they make them. Some photographers, like sports photographers, need fast speeds and tight focus, etc so they buy cameras and lenses that provide what they need.
I am always looking for new tools to help me, as a painter looks for new brushes or paints or surfaces. When I find them, I try them out, play with them, see what they can do and how much fun they are and, if I like them, I add them to my “photog” file so they’ll be handy when I need them.
How did you learn to photograph?
When I was 9 my mother gave me a camera, and I had an instant sense that it might be magical. I took it around, pointed it, clicked when I wanted to memorialize something I saw, and had my Dad take the film to a Kodak kiosk at the mall. I read Kodak “how to” brochures. I read books and articles. I kept trying for a long time to make a good image. More than half a century later I’m still trying.
Are photographs “taken” or “made”?
Photographs are made. When I get “nice capture” as a comment, I’m startled by the misconception.
Is photography art?
Some is. Like some paintings are. And some nurses and dentists and plumbers and lawyers and social workers and fishermen and so many others are artists because they work on their skills and use them to change people’s lives. Art changes people’s lives.
Where do you go to look at photographs?
I’m always online. Every day I must look at thousands of photographs. That’s not to mention all the hundreds of images I’m barraged by every day walking or riding around the city, reading or looking at newspapers or magazines, etc. We all look at hundreds of photographs every day. They’ve changed our lives way more than we recognize. Also, more rarely, galleries and museums in Toronto, NYC, Chicago, Paris, Winnipeg, London…
Who is it for – you or them?
Them. If I were on a desert island with a camera and there were no people in my world, I would probably use the camera for hunting or cooking or something. Digging for treasure – or crabs – maybe. There would be no point in photography anymore. Unless, of course, a crab were to stop dead, turn its tentacle eyes to my picture and comment “wow, nice capture!”
Enjoy more of Aaron’s photography here (Zenfolio)
and more here (JPG mag)
Aaron’s legal practice
and his actor’s page on IMBd