Quotes by
Donovan Wylie

[b. 1971] Irish photographer

Donovan Wylie

Never stop enjoying it. Try and not “look” for pictures but keep yourself always open and allow yourself to be stimulated by whatever hits you. Work towards a goal…book, exhibition… but more importantly work towards finding your own voice, your subject and your application. Accept that your work is more about you than what you represent, try to bridge that balance, without resorting to photographing your feet! In other words try and translate personal experience into a collective one, it is very possible and I think the key quest of any art form. Study the book “Waffenruhe” by Michael Schmidt. Study all the great photographers and love doing it, start at the beginning, look at early American, and German, then French, then take a close look at artists using photography in the sixties, Rusha etc. Don’t get bogged down in theory, but respect it, read Robert Adams on Photography, in fact embrace Robert Adams generally and you will learn a lot. Read literature, especially early Russian, French and modern American, (and Irish, Joyce). The journey literature has taken as an art form in terms of description and representation is very similar to photography. Don’t rely on style for the sake of it, if you have your own subject, you can adopt other peoples styles if it helps, and visa versa, if you photograph something every one has, then adopt an style, execution, that can only be yours. Eventually you will achieve both, your own voice will come through, but it can take time. Study the book ‘How You Look at It’…Important essays there will help you. Always try and be honest with yourself… for example, is the idea of being a photographer more exciting to you than photography itself, if this is true think about becoming an actor. If you genuinely love photography don’t give it up. Understand and enjoy the fact that photography is a unique medium. Respect and work within photography’s limitations, you will go much further.

What advice would you give young photographers?