“The photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts." ~ Walker Evans

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me

My laundry list of "dream jobs" partly consists of becoming a baseball announcer, instant billionaire, or prostitute (just kidding). However, becoming a Magnum photographer has piqued my curiousity. In a nutshell, Magnum Photos is an elite agency of documentary photojournalists whose works are very dramatic and powerful; we're talking some of the best photographers in the world.

This shot is from Elliot Erwitt, Magnum member since 1953.

The catch?

Applicants need not send resumes or cover letters to these people. Job and internship openings are only for junk paper-pushing positions. You have to be selected to join the agency. Here's a quick blurb from their website:
The photographers meet once a year, during the last weekend in June, in New York, Paris or London, to discuss Magnum's affairs. One day at this meeting is set aside for considering and voting on potential new members' portfolios. Successful applicants will be invited to become a 'Nominee Member' of Magnum ... After two years of Nominee membership, photographers then present another portfolio if they wish to apply for 'Associate Membership' ... In each of the last 5 years, between zero and four new nominees have been selected from among the many portfolios presented.
Yeah, it sounds like a cult though I highly doubt the photographers meet and drink suicide punch to reach transcendence (a Family Guy reference for those not in the know). Death does have a connection to Magnum as the organization was formed by four World War II-era photojournalists whom were all emotionally disturbed by the brutalities of their time.

On a lighter note, this agency has collected thousands upon thousands of photographs. They've published plenty of books that anyone can pickup at any bookstore when perusing the Photography section.

It kind of stinks that even if a photographer gets nominated, he or she is still "not in" the circle. The tune that Kermit the Frog sings to may seem silly, but it appropriately sums up the aspirations behind this photographer because you could possibly see my name in a Magnum book at your local bookstore one day...
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing? And what do we think we might see? Someday, we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

No comments: