Fine Arts

How has your photography changed over the years?
Answered by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio
  • Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio

    Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio

  1. Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio Freelance Photo-journalists

    Peter: Well, in the beginning, I got a degree in photojournalism from a school in Boston in 1970.

    Faith: Boston University. You can say that.

    Peter: Boston University -- I can say that, but they're going to come after me now. But it was impossible to get a job as a photojournalist, so I started freelancing from the very first and had had a job as a cab driver, and I took pictures of some of the people in my cab and did some stories for the Boston Globe. Then I started doing work overseas for textbook companies in Boston, shooting things in France and Italy and Germany and Spain and working all over the world on -- not really work-for-hire, but a freelance basis.

    Once I was good enough, then I really wanted to work for National Geographic so I hounded them for a while and then finally they called me to do a few jobs after they had seen all my work in other magazines, which --

    Faith: Mostly foreign magazines.

    Peter: Mostly foreign magazines, but then there were a lot of science magazines in the late '70s and '80s too, and I really love science. So I became a magazine photographer that was just going nuts shooting all the time for a lot of big magazines, but then I sort of got burned out on that a little bit and I thought that there might be a more lasting way to do photography that isn't tossed into the rubbish bin every week or every month, and I wanted to do a book project, and I came up with the Material World project, which looked at average families in 30 countries and what they possessed and what made people happy, what made people content.

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