At what point in your life did you start taking photography seriously, if ever?
Photography has been in my life since I can remember. I worked alongside my dad at 8 years old in a newspaper darkroom and was hooked at an early age.
I spent a good portion of my teen years making photos wandering around New York City with my camera. My bedroom doubled as my darkroom. I’d develop film and making prints until the sun would come up. That sounds pretty serious I guess? Serious fun!
It wasn’t like photography was my only interest though; girls, tennis, ice hockey, Oboe, and computers competed for my time. (Oh, and I’ve been working since I was 8 delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, etc.) I was planning to study photography in college, but watched as my dad struggled to make a living his entire life as an artist. He died when I was 11 years old, and that had a huge impact on me and my direction toward a career in hi-tech. It’s been very good to me.
Today, when I’m not working, I’m either out making photos or working in my darkroom. I love the entire process. I guess you could say that I’ve always taken photography seriously.
I think the title "Emerging Photographer" can mean many things. What does it mean to you?
It means many things to me too, and brings up more questions than answers. First-off, I hope I’m always emerging; always being born into creating new work, and discovering new directions.
What does it mean if I am emerging now this late in life? What have I been doing all of these years? I only hope that I haven’t peaked yet. I’ve got so much more that I want to see and do with photography, and hope to be emerging for a long time. You could say that Vivian Maier is an emerging photographer, even though she is no longer with us. So I’m honored to be recognized (even if it’s just you David) while I’m still alive.
You can go anywhere in the world for two weeks to photograph. Where would you go and why?
New York City is almost always at the top of my list. It has a constant flow of people for making photos of people, and is a great backdrop for creating urban landscapes. I’ve been to France several times but have never been to Paris. I’ve heard so many great things about how Paris as a backdrop becomes another character in your photos. When I’m not traveling for work, my wife Julie, usually has some place new to explore. I think I’m heading to Lisbon next? Would be cool to return to Iceland for two weeks.
Choose one... 1 million dollars tax free or 50 great photographs, taken by you, to add to your portfolio? Why?
I’d say 50 great photos. No amount of money can give you that much pleasure; the getting there, the making, the looking, and the sharing with others.
David, thanks for this interview, and your interest in my photography.
Thank you Gary!
Check out his website at gumanowphotography.weebly.com
Photos Copyright: Gary Gumanow