10 minutes with Adam Friedberg

Interviews with Photographers March 20, 2012 3:43 pm

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?

Hmm, I’m not really sure. When I was a kid I had my dad’s old 35mm Agfa folder which I liked playing with, I remember taking shots of animals at the zoo, but it wasn’t something I was seriously interested in, just fun. I never studied it in school, and photography was certainly not a profession one went into, at least not in my family, so the idea of becoming a photographer didn’t really enter my head. After college I was doing some graduate work and some teaching and through a mostly random chain of events I ended up as a photo assistant to one of the busier NY fashion and still life photographers. When he offered me a full time job I took it and said goodbye to my former life. At that point I had no idea I could be a photographer, or that I’d be any good, but it seems to have all worked out … Maybe after my first pro job was when I knew I could be a photographer.

 

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

 

If for some reason you couldn’t take pictures, what other profession might you have gone into?

I was doing Indo-Tibetan Studies and on the PhD path so my options would have been to be a professor or work for the CIA, or an eternal student of course.

 

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

 

Did you start off focused mainly on portraits or architecture or have you always been shooting both?

As an assistant I worked for many of the top fashion photographers so that’s the world I knew when I started shooting. Yes, I was a fashion photographer for several years.
After a while I realized it wasn’t for me and started doing personal work, which at the time wasn’t portraiture or architecture but stills of people active in their environment, unaware of the camera. I worked on this for a couple years and eventually the work shifted to shooting the places without the people. This led to shooting architecture and interiors. When I returned to shooting people I wanted to do the same as before – people in their environment, where their life happens – but instead of shooting them mid action unaware of the camera I wanted them still and very aware of the camera. At that time when people asked which I preferred – architecture or portraits – my answer was for me they are the same.

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

 

What is your favorite camera to shoot on?

I like shooting 8×10, from the beginning it was my favorite, but sadly it never happens anymore. Now with digital I’ve done the whole super expensive top of the line esoteric swiss camera thing, gotten over it, and just shoot a regular 35mm style dslr, pretty much the same one I see on the necks of countless tourists every day. But I shoot tethered to a laptop, and the monitor feels a lot like the 8×10 ground glass to me, so I’m happy.

 

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

Adam Friedberg

 

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?

The only way to succeed is to never give up.

 

(Adam is based in New York. See more of his work, here)

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