10 minutes with Muir Vidler

Interviews with Photographers January 7, 2013 7:17 am

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

At university in Scotland in the 90’s I used to sit in the library and avoid writing my philosophy essays by looking at the photography books, so that got my thinking about it. The first books I really liked were by Weegee and Harry Benson.

 
Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Did you ever think of what else you might have done if for some reason photography hadn’t worked out?
Yes, and I still do. My brother’s friend is a coral reef farmer in Jamaica – I reckon I could do that, if the hours were flexible…
Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

 

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

 Can you tell me about your project Israeli Death Metal? Was this a personal project and how did you meet your subjects and get them comfortable with being photographed?
 
Yes it was a personal project. I’d heard about the upcoming Metalist Festival and got in touch with Oron Tanami, the promoter. Luckily  for me he turned out to be a friendly type who knew everyone in the Israeli metal scene, and he introduced me to some good people. 
As for getting them comfortable: most people are flattered by the idea of someone wanting to photograph them, especially if they’ve come over 2000 miles to do it, but it is something that naturally can make people feel a bit awkward, so I just try to create a relaxed atmosphere and  offer a bit of encouragement and praise. What I’m after is for people to feel at ease and act naturally. 
Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

 

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

 If you could go back ten years and give yourself advice, what would it be?
 
Enjoy the freedom of youth. My life and career have improved over the last 10 years but I’m not as free to dash around the place doing projects and taking risks. An earlier appreciation of that freedom would have been good…
 
Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

 

Muir Vidler

Muir Vidler

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?
 
Shoot lots of pictures – the good photographers are all shooting a lot and working hard. And work out what people want and take it to them. If you want to work for magazines its unlikely that they’ll call you with a commission, but they all need content, so shoot something yourself that they might like and take it in to them. Its a cheap and easy way for them to fill up their magazine and you’ve got your foot in the door for future work…
 
(Muir is based in London, see more of his work, here)

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