I am excited about more than just youth culture, and youth is also stretching a bit longer now. But I have to say resistance and disregard keeps me excited.
I do feel a kinship with anthropology or ethnography, although when you hear those terms you think of something exotic. Generally, photographic anthropology has that taste of the faraway or undiscovered place. But my anthropology has more to do with what's in my reach.
I think I'm predominantly known for my portraits. Obviously in my work there are landscape or stilllife elements, but mainly my work is people . . .
I always thought that I was lazy because I could never tell if I was working or not. I was making things, which doesn't seem like work.
I have always made films simultaneously, so they go hand in hand. I think that my books are like films...
Dates can be important. It's a nice way to remember when I took the photo without having to rack my brain or look in the archives. It also makes every photo important, because there is the date. I can take a picture of nothing, but at least we know when I took it.
The place where I am is always my favorite place.
Holland is a fairly small country, and in a weird way, somewhat conservative. That might surprise people because it is a very tolerant place, but it's also a somewhat Calvinist country. There isn't much flexibility in changing people's perspectives.
My photography has really always been about what I feel I'm getting out of it. What people on the outside get doesn't concern me.
In Holland, things were pretty stale for me. Even though there were a lot of good influences and a certain openness to music and art and literature, I just wanted to go somewhere less familiar - somewhere bigger.
Holland is a fairly small country, and in a weird way, somewhat conservative. That might surprise people because it is a very tolerant place, but it's also a somewhat Calvinist country.
I had visited New York at age 12, and I loved the big buildings and the swarms of people. At 23, I decided to try it. I was going to go for six months, and I ended up living there for 18 years before I moved to California, so I am living the American Dream.
When you're with people that are aware of the fact that you're a photographer, they'll say, "Oh, look at that! That's something to take a picture of!" That's almost a sure sign that you shouldn't do it.
I'm pretty solitary when I take pictures. Even when I take pictures of people, I just go about my own way of doing it.
As my sons went into teenagehood, they started to look like some of the groups of people that I had photographed previously. They started to become like my old subjects. As if, as a photographer, you come around to the same visual points.
Sometimes when people look at the work I've done with my family, they think it's autobiographical. But it really isn't. It's more about the idea of family.
A lot of my work comes through accidents or circumstances that just happen to present themselves. I have to realize that something is presenting itself. Otherwise it slips right by.
I'm a very curious person. And most people are charmed by curiosity - especially if you are curious about them or what they are doing . . . unless they are breaking into a car or something.
In New York, unlike Holland, there are newspaper stands on every corner. That was a big headline all over the city.
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