Monday, May 20, 2013

Joshua Lutz

What inspired you to start taking photographs, and what have been some of the most important milestones in your career up until now?

I started taking pictures to have something to print. I did't really like taking pictures so much, I liked printing. I liked escaping the world by being in the dark and listening to music. The picture making was incidental. It wasn't until I started to not like the images that I was printing that I started to think about what to photograph. As far as milestones go they usually aren’t the ones I think they will be. The ones that move the work and change my process are not related to what typically constitutes a milestone.  Usually its just a conversation or an encounter that changes my direction and not an award or a show. Those things act more as placeholders like New Years Eve or birthdays. 

How do you approach editing your work, and what advice would you give to others about evaluating their photographs?

There are all different types of editing for all different types of projects. I generally take a long time and that becomes part of the process. I like to sit with work and move it around for as long as I can. I do not trust instinct or gut reaction. Something moves me for whatever reason and then I continue to ask why and if it continues to move me a month or two later and then hopefully it can stick for longer as well.  The shooting is much more instinctual, you dont have the luxury of time when you are behind the camera. Something can happen, the light could change and that moment is gone.  As far as advice goes. I would suggest look at as much work as possible. When you see a show or look at a book find what works rather than what doesn't. There is a tendency to reject so much work and that usually comes from a place of not knowing or simply being confused. 

How do you decide on new projects to work on?  Do you always shoot with a concept in mind or do you wait to be inspired as you go?

I make work very similarly to how I read books as I have a few going on at once and occasionally one rises to the top. There are a dozen books next to my bed and some of have been there for a year or more occasionally picking them up only to set them aside again. Generally its the previously finished work that ends up informing what that next thing will be for me.  I tend to want to make new work to have a conversation with the last work and not be a repetition of it. I do wait to be inspired but that inspiration usually isn't to go and photograph it is to think through an idea. The next step is to research that idea. The photographs come last. 

What ways have you found successful for promoting your work and finding a receptive audience for it?

I always come back to the idea of right intention. If my intentions are from a good place that it doesn't feel like promoting. If my intentions fall off track then no amount of promotion can bring it back. Basically I come back to the question of goals. If it is to make as much money as possible, I have failed tremendously. If it is to engage a conversation and have a bunch of people see the work then promoting becomes something that is innate in the process. 

School Bus

 Hangnot, Slipnot

 Fresh Seafood

 Balancing Rock


 Do Not Wake

 Personal Belongings

 Wisconsin Layers

 Whitestone Bridge

 Wall Collapsing


 Exit 17

 Harlem Valley

 Fuck You, I

 Quiet Room


On Carpal Tunnel

© copyright all images Joshua Lutz, all rights reserved.

About this Blog

Two Way Lens is a project designed to inform and inspire emerging photographers wanting to focus their creative output in a way that enhances their chances of finding an audience, being included in exhibitions and ultimately achieving gallery representation. The journey from inspired artist to successful artist is one that is often difficult to negotiate and hard to control. On these pages, I will feature the experiences and opinions of other photographers who I have found inspiring, and hopefully the knowledge they have built in their own experiences will be valuable to all of us finding our own way to sharing our creativity with the wider world.