Even my shots of disorder are orderly. Yet the Iranian that I am ought to delight in the sholooghi a Farsi word for any disorder: the turbulence of a disturbed man, the rowdyism of kids in the street, or a bloody popular uprising.
The choice was to think of oneself either as a photojournalist or an artist. It wasn’t out of humility that I called myself a photojournalist, but arrogance. I thought photojournalism was superior.
There are two ways to think about photography: one is writing with light, and the other is drawing with light.
I am among the generation of photographers who believe a picture is sacred, that once you took take it, that’s it: you don’t crop it, you don’t touch it, you don’t fool around with it.
I mean, he [God] doesn’t tell me what to do, how to photograph and I don’t tell him how he should deal with his believers, you know.
I want to give the feeling that the people I photographed kept on doing whatever they were doing before I photographed them.
My pictures are always part of a series, an essay. Each picture should be good enough to stand on its own but its value is a part of something larger.
Younger photographers always tell me how lucky I am for having started with photography while things were still cheap. But, it wasn't like that – you always had to be resourceful as a photographer.
My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity - the suspended moment - intervenes during action, in the viewfinder.
Isn’t photography “writing with light”? But with the difference that while the writer possesses his word, the photographer is himself possessed by his photo...
I know that some photographers have big egos, but photography is simple. In the morning, you put a roll of film in your camera—and today you don’t even have to do this with digital. You take to the streets, you come back home, edit your photographs and show them. It’s that simple.
Now I don’t just make stories about what’s happening. I’m making stories about my way of seeing what’s happening.
My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity – the suspended moment – intervenes during action, in the viewfinder. A reflection on the subject precedes it. A meditation on finality follows it, and it is here, during this exalting and fragile moment, that the real photographic writing develops – sequencing the images. For this reason, a writer’s spirit is necessary to this enterprise.
Isn’t photography ‘writing with light’?
But with the difference that while the writer possesses his word, the photographer is himself possessed by his photo, by the limit of the real which he must transcend so as not to become its prisoner.”
Most photographers, when they say they’re war photographers, they’re not really war photographers; they’re battle photographers. War does not limit itself to boom-boom, to the battle itself. Wars are very, very complex phenomenons, because they have a source, and it takes a while to come up, then it happens, and there are consequences. I’m more interested in the why and the afterwards of the wars.
I’ve been more into photographing all the bullshit – and the good things – that people get up to in the name of God.
I used to describe myself as a photojournalist, and was very proud of it. The choice was to think of oneself either as a photojournalist or an artist. It wasn’t out of humility that I called myself a photojournalist, but arrogance.
I thought photojournalism was superior, but these days I don’t call myself a photojournalist because, although I use the techniques of a photojournalist and get published in magazines and newspapers, I am working at things in depth and over long periods of time. I don’t just make stories about what’s happening. I’m making stories about my way of seeing what’s happening.