[b. 1952] Magnum photographer from England
I go straight in very close to people and I do that because it's the only way you can get the picture. You go right up to them. Even now, I don't find it easy. I don't announce it. I pretend to be focusing elsewhere. If you take someone's photograph it is very difficult not to look at them just after. But it's the one thing that gives the game away. I don't try and hide what I'm doing - that would be folly. - Martin Parr - British Journal of Photography interview, 1989

I looked around at what my colleagues were doing, and asked myself, 'What relationship has it with what's going on?' I found there was a great distortion of contemporary life. Photographers were interested only in certain things. A visually interesting place, people who were either very rich or very poor, and nostalgia. - Martin Parr

All photography is propaganda. - Martin Parr

Photography’s central role is to be the absolute medium of the day. It is fantastic that there is no longer any technical intimidation. When I first started learning how to take photographs, you had to spend the first six months figuring out what an f-stop was. Now you just go and take pictures. Nobody thinks about technical issues anymore because cameras or camera phones take care of that automatically. On the other hand, you still have the option of controlling every technical aspect. It’s the most accessible, democratic medium available in the world. This has to be celebrated, and we must continually remind photographers of this. - Martin Parr - On the question: "Do you consider these changes in photography today as the beginning of a new medium?" Interview: Martin Parr “Boundaries Merely Exist in People’s Minds” - http://www.aphotostudent.com/2010/09/03/interview-martin-parr-boundaries-merely-exist-in-people%E2%80%99s-minds/

If you photograph for a long time, you get to understand such things as body language. I often do not look at people I photograph, especially afterwards. Also when I want a photo, I become somewhat fearless, and this helps a lot. There will always be someone who objects to being photographed, and when this happens you move on. - Martin Parr - On the question: "How do you get so close to people?" From: http://www.martinparr.com

Part of the role of photography is to exaggerate, and that is an aspect that I have to puncture. I do that by showing the world as I really find it. - Martin Parr

Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work. - Martin Parr

Fashion pictures show people looking glamorous. Travel pictures show a place looking at its best, nothing to do with the reality. In the cookery pages, the food always looks amazing, right? Most of the pictures we consume are propaganda. - Martin Parr

If there is any jarring at all in my photographs, it's because we are so used to ingesting pictures of everywhere looking beautiful. - Martin Parr

In the '70s, in Britain, if you were going to do serious photography, you were obliged to work in black-and-white. Color was the palette of commercial photography and snapshot photography. - Martin Parr

By default, I am a travel photographer. I work on a combination of commissions and personal projects that take me around the world. - Martin Parr

I would urge everyone to start looking at the world in a different way. Spend some time looking at everyday objects, at their design, their shape, their individual characteristics. Think ahead and imagine their significance. - Martin Parr

You can't shoot in sepia, so converting into black and white and then into brown makes everything feel less real. - Martin Parr

Sometimes you feel uncomfortable taking a photograph, but that's all part of the job. - Martin Parr

Over the years, I have perfected the art of dancing and photographing at the same time: it's a great double act. If you're dancing, you are joining in. If you stand there rigid, you are not in the flow of things. - Martin Parr

Photography is, by its nature, exploitative. It's whether you use this process with a sense of responsibility or not. I feel that I do so. My conscience is clear. - Martin Parr

My black-and-white work is more of a celebration, and the color work became more of a critique of society. - Martin Parr

Taking photos is a form of collecting. - Martin Parr

I never think of photographs as being individual. Always as a group. - Martin Parr

I am kept awake by the list of possibilities for shooting more photos and deciding what I must prioritise next. - Martin Parr

We live in a difficult but inspiring world, and there is so much out there that I want to record. - Martin Parr

Sepia in particular tends to make everything look a bit romantic and almost sentimental, hence the fact that it remains such a popular choice for wedding photographs. - Martin Parr

For those aspiring to make a living from travel photography, it's a sad fact that the boring shots are the shots that are going to make you money. - Martin Parr

As we travel around Britain, I am convinced most of us cannot really appreciate what we are seeing. We take too much for granted, because it is all so familiar. - Martin Parr

Most of the photographs people take with their cameraphones are of little value in terms of documentary. - Martin Parr

TV-makers usually don't know much about photography. - Martin Parr

I would drown in objects if I didn't have the ability to photograph them. - Martin Parr

Photographers never want to talk about the fact that they may well be in decline. It's the greatest taboo subject of all. - Martin Parr

Criticism is hypocrisy; society is hypocrisy. I'm a tourist. I'm a consumer. I do the things that I photograph and can be criticized of. - Martin Parr

Part of the role of photography is to exaggerate, and that is an aspect that I have to puncture. I do that by showing the world as I really find it. - Martin Parr

There are 65 to 70 photography galleries in New York alone. In the U.K., there are no more than five, and they're all in London. - Martin Parr

I photograph people as I find them. But people have issues about how they look. - Martin Parr

Most of us, when we go out with a camera in our own country, try to find exotic subject matter to photograph. - Martin Parr

Choosing sepia is all to do with trying to make the image look romantic and idealistic. It's sort of a soft version of propaganda. - Martin Parr

I like to keep in touch with younger photographers. It's important that a younger generation comes up and questions the assumptions made by old farts like me. - Martin Parr

Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work. - Martin Parr

I photograph wealth. - Martin Parr

When someone says to you, 'Oh, I don't take a good picture,' what they mean is they haven't come to terms with how they look. They take a fine picture, it's just that their image of how they think they look is not in touch with the reality. - Martin Parr

l truly believe that the ordinary is much more interesting than people make out. - Martin Parr - From the book: "Photography Masterclass: Creative Techniques of 100 Great Photographers" by Paul Lowe foreword by Simon Norfolk

With photography, I like to create fiction out of reality, I try and do this by taking society's natural prejudice and giving this a twist. - Martin Parr

A lot of my colleagues are attracted to war. But I'm drawn by the local supermarket round the corner, because I want to show the reality there. I don't want only the Third World to be documented, but also the First World. - Martin Parr

My approach is to criticize the conditions in the First World, what we are doing with mass tourism, the greenhouse effect, the lack of sustainability in our way of life, and so on. Those are my issues, but I package them in an entertaining way. Because if serious issues are only presented seriously, they achieve nothing, because no one wants to know about it. - Martin Parr

Having a camera around your neck gives you a good excuse to be nosy. - Martin Parr

l always wanted to show things as I find them, not as we imagine them. Why should I lie? - Martin Parr - From the book: 50 Contemporary Photographers You Should Know by Florian Heine, Brad Finger

I often think of what I photograph as a soap opera, where I am waiting for the right cast to fall into place. - Martin Parr

All types of photography are important. For me, vernacular photography is essential as it provides a record of a moment, of important events in peoples’ lives, whereas many documentary or artistic photos are produced for a specific purpose. There is an urgency in vernacular photography that you don’t necessarily feel in professional photography. - Martin Parr

I am only photographing what is obvious, and part of my way of working is to tap into people’s prejudices, and depict all aspects of things happening in today’s society. I give people an opportunity to air their prejudices, and if they want to say the working class is scruffy and dirty, then the pictures exist to illustrate that thesis. - Martin Parr

I love playing the game of fashion photography without knowing what the rules are. - Martin Parr

I see things going on before my eyes and I photograph them as they are, without trying to change them. I don’t warn people beforehand. That’s why I’m a chronicler. I speak about us and I speak about myself. - Martin Parr

Photos tend to organize chaos, to define what we're doing here. It is essential that individuals’ voices depict the world around us, as we are increasingly controlled by large institutions, large companies and large systems. - Martin Parr

Get out there and do it. If it’s good it will be seen. There is no such thing as a brilliant new contemporary photographer who is undiscovered. - Martin Parr

It is part of my agenda to take photos that can fit into all the outlets for photography, from the gallery wall to the magazine or newspaper page. That, to me, is using photography at its best. - Martin Parr

I try to photograph my own and society’s hypocrisy. - Martin Parr

How can we prevent our journey from becoming so broad and ponderous?... I’m just hoping we can keep the spirit of the humble postcard in mind while looking at people, places and things. - Martin Parr

We are drowning in images. Photography is used as a propaganda tool, which serves to sell products and ideas. I use the same approach to show aspects of reality. - Martin Parr

My photography is an observation of the western world’s middle classes and their endless quest for material abundance. - Martin Parr

Everyone is a photographer now, remember. That’s the great thing about photography. - Martin Parr

When a mother takes pictures of her children on the beach, she doesn’t take herself for an artist; she does it for love, which is an excellent reason, from my point of view. - Martin Parr

Find something you are passionate about and shoot your way through this obsession with elegance and you will have a potentially great project. - Martin Parr

I am what I photograph. - Martin Parr

... I accept that all photography is voyeuristic and exploitative, and obviously I live with my own guilt and conscience. It’s part of the test and I don’t have a problem with it. - Martin Parr

Unless it hurts, unless there’s some vulnerability there, I don’t think you’re going to get good photographs. - Martin Parr

The easy bit is picking up a camera and pointing and shooting. But then you have to decide what it is you’re trying to say and express. - Martin Parr

From the moment the tourist enters the site, everyone has to be photographed in front of every feature of note.... The photographic record of the visit has almost destroyed the very notion of actually looking. - Martin Parr

..I’m creating entertainment, which has a serious message if you want to read into it but I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind — I’m just showing them what they think they may know already. I’m in the entertaining business! The great strength of photography is that it’s high and low culture at the same time. So you can have a picture on the wall of a very fine museum like the Tate or Museum of Modern Art, but you can also have it printed very cheaply in a zine and hand it out for free. The fact that photography goes across all these genres is one of its wonderful strengths! - Martin Parr - From interview with Parr in: the-talks - https://the-talks.com/interview/martin-parr/

Wait for rain, it makes shooting on the street easier and more interesting. - Martin Parr

I went for an interview at colleges in Manchester and Derby and I was enormously impressed by people doing these creative photography courses. I was impressed by people smoking in the darkroom—the idea of having your own darkroom and being able to smoke in it, I just thought was absolutely fantastic. - Martin Parr

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