Student Union - Ian Londin
Currently. A June graduate of Parsons, Ian is now working as an assistant in New York City.
Goal. "To become a commercial or editorial photographer.
Education. "I attended the Rochester Institute of Technology before coming to Parsons, and I benefited from RIT's emphasis on technical aspects. Parsons concentrates on the art and the role of the photographer; it's a `find-your-own-path' kind of training."
Projects. "I work best when I have a story to focus on. I love meeting people, and I love sports. I documented a Brooklyn high school football team and a group of boxers. I'm also doing an ongoing project with Vietnam veterans who are suffering from post traumatic stress. I meet with them, go to their homes, we talk about their experiences; they interview me, as well. For the first time, the camera opened doors for me into other people's lives, and the project has changed the way I think about photography."
The Assistant Route. "In terms of learning, assisting is like the grad school of photography, but I'm trying not to get caught up in it to the point where all I think about is assisting. I try to make sure that every weekend I'm doing something for myself. My career is not assisting; it's taking pictures. I know a lot of eight-year assistants. For me, it's three years max."
Real World. "As an assistant I get the chance to watch some great photographers at work, and also to watch them run their businesses. It's also about working under a great deal of pressure. You have time limits, not like in school where you have the luxury of finishing the shot tomorrow. Here you have to get it now and you have to get it right."
Influences. "An internship I did with Gregory Heisler was a big influence. I learned from the way he works and the way he approaches his photography: he's a problem solver. I've also been influenced by Steichen, Stieglitz, Sudek, Penn, and Avedon--especially Penn, because he's a master at still life as well as fashion and portraiture.
Cameras. I use everything. I'll bring a Toyo 8x10 or a Widelux to a football field. I live with my Mamiya RZ. Cameras are tools, and I try not be tied to any one. I find it refreshing to see through a different viewfinder."
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