Monday, March 10, 2008

PDN's 30

Every year PDN's 30 creates quite the buzz in the photography community.
I had the opportunity to ask New York's, Emiliano Granado, a few questions about being included in PDN's 30 2008 emerging photographers to watch:

APP: What does this award mean to you both personally and professionally?

EG: Personally, the award is recognition of all the time and effort I've invested into my work. It serves to keep me focused and drive me to do better. It's one of the recent events that have built my confidence as a photographer and helped to assure me that I deserve to be among my peers. As a freelance photographer, you're working alone in your living room most of the time without a clear, focused goal. You're kinda going with the flow and hoping you get somewhere great. It's nice for an objective, outside party to give you such a positive response.

Professionally, this puts me alongside a really elite group of photographers. When I was looking for photographers to assist, I used the PDN 30 lists from previous years to pick and choose who I wanted to learn from, and now it's an honor to be on the same list. I think being included this year will definitely help me get more recognition, make it easier to get meetings, and bring in some additional work. But it's pretty clear that I have to keep producing great work and knocking on doors in order to keep getting great assignments.

APP: Which project have you found the most rewarding to work on?

EG: I really enjoy working in Argentina (where I was born). The focus of the work there is pretty undefined right now, but every time i go back, I keep shooting whatever feels right. I'm sure the project will define itself as it progresses.
I think it's the most rewarding because it allows me to reconnect to the country my parents emigrated from 25 years ago. It allows me to think critically about different social nuances. Also, the work feels more significant simply because Latin America has almost no photographic record compared to more developed countries.

APP: The article starts off with "The humble glamour..." how would you describe your work to someone unfamiliar with it?

EG: I really liked that introduction! That's exactly how I see a lot of my work. I mentioned in that article that I sometimes feel like a cultural tourist, so maybe that's how I would describe my work. Part documentary, a little bit of cinema, a little humor, and a deep respect for the subjects.

APP: PDN's 30 is a great nod to your work how do you see it impacting the future of your career?

EG: It's basically that. A great nod. My career is going to be made by me. With hard work and great images. I definitely don't think PDN 30 is going to catapult me into the photographic stratosphere by itself. I think the PDN 30 acknowledgment is 50% recognition of great work produced, and 50% an unwritten contract to keep producing great work.
The PDN editors have put great trust in each year's recipients. I definitely think they choose photographers who show great commitment and professionalism to /elevating/ their work - we've just started, this isn't a lifetime recognition award! That list loses significance if the photographers stop being relevant after a couple of years. Simply being on the list will NOT keep your career going, so it's important to keep grinding and hustling!

**Emiliano is represented by Jessica Oldham at