#Phonar Session 7 – Aaron Huey Reflection.

Aaron Huey is a photojournalist who has covered new events, crisis and worked with National Geographic magazine. Working with National Geographic he is allowed more time and resources than anywhere else as well as the knowledge his work will reach many people and potentially change history and policy. Knowing an idea could further his own and other people’s knowledge, Huey will stop at nothing to make sure he can do it. Confident in making things on his own terms and taking risks, Huey has always taken big journeys such as a 6 month walk across America. With a keen interest in collaboration to break the walls of typical platforms, he has worked with street artist Shepard Fairey to make a message together and put it on the streets, reaching those who he wouldn’t through photojournalism. He believes photography is an art that creates change and there are no boundaries as to where it can go.

The first thing that struck me about Huey was his passion and belief in what he does. During the talk he spoke of how despite the risks, the strength of belief in his practice carries him through. I think this is so powerful because his drive and determination creates endless possibilities, like how he commented that there are no boundaries as to where photography can be taken. To the point at which he doesn’t wait to save money, he gets straight into his projects compared to other photographers who will wait until they are financially able before they begin. Is this something I would be prepared to do? Should we all consider going straight out there with our ideas rather than waiting for something to arise? Another thought Huey made which stood out to me was that “great photography and photojournalism is always uncomfortable, you have to go into the unknown to make great work”. Does the pressure of being in an uncomfortable position make the photographer shy away or become more intrigued and keen to deliver? This made me think back to Marcus Bleasdale’s point – “you have to be passionate, engaged and involved on a personal level to produce work that impacts change.” My thoughts are that going into the unknown would lead you to ensure that you strive to produce the best response possible, making yourself comfortable rather than a ‘stranger’ to the situation. In order to do this, you become passionate about what you are doing – linking the two points together. Finally, Huey shares the importance of collaboration and how for him, he uses it as means to reach different audiences he may not necessarily have through photojournalism. He explains more people and surprising collaborations, the more people he can reach. By working with Shepard Fairey he was able to put out his own messages and imagery without it being edited, as well as appealing to a wider audience. For me, collaboration has never been something I have immediately been drawn to – most probably due to my lack of confidence holding me back. However this highlighted to me how collaboration can make something more powerful. The more people you have interested in your work, the further your message can be spread and thoughts can be provoked. “Find one thing you love and find it’s soul.”

The talk with Aaron Huey can be watched here.

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on November 12, 2014.

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