Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Alternate Realities...


Of course, by now "everyone" knows that the foremost "unknown" photographer of the latter twentieth century, none other than the illustrious Ms. Vivian Maier, was both nanny, as well as accomplished photographer. I was recently looking at the well researched and photographed Chernobyl The Hidden Legacy by Pierpaolo Mittica, when I was surprised to learn that he was not a professional photojournalist or documentary photographer, but a... dentist.

This got me to wandering how many other photographers out there have created substantial, indeed, exceptional bodies of work while not earning their living through photography. And no, I don't mean people who became photographers after first doing something else- that list is too long and renowned. Salgado, Meyerowitz, Rogovin immediately come to mind; and I most certainly don't mean those who don't have to do anything whatsoever to earn a living (yeah, I'm real sorry, Bill). I mean people who concurrently support themselves through jobs other than photography. I remember yet another dentist, Toby Old (glad to know at least some of them put their Leicas to good use) made some great work back in the late seventies, early eighties and more recently, Jason Eskenazi, a museum guard amongst other "trades," compiled the enchanting Wonderland.

I'm sure there are others I've missed...

7 comments:

petebrook said...

Wasn't Ed Burtynsky a dentist also? I guess if you spend your life looking in peoples' mouth, you're inclined to start looking intently elsewhere during your time off!... and then make a career of it.

Stan B. said...

Phil Borges, another dentist turned photographer- guess there is something to peering intently into "the void."

Mark Page said...

I hate dentists.

Stan B. said...

I'm now paying the bulk of 2 root canals (because of an abscess probably caused by the shoddy work of my previous dentist) and 3 fillings (my bad) that far surpasses the combined cost of all my photo gear...

Blake Andrews said...

I think Meatyard was a working optician for most of his career.

Blake Andrews said...

Chauncey Hare made most of his Protest Photographs while employed as an engineer.

Stan B. said...

Thanks, Blake- you'd think I'd know that having purchased (but not yet read) Protest Photographs. He was an engineer for 29 years, 21 for Chevron- although he was on leave courtesy of his Guggenheims when he was photographing.

Fascinating life, extraordinary individual- must read more...