085 - John Stanmeyer

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By Ben Smith. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

John Stanmeyer is an award winning photojournalist, Emmy nominated filmmaker and field recordist who for over 20 years has worked in nearly 100 countries, documenting the social and political issues that define our times.

For ten years, between 1998 and 2008, John was a contract photographer for Time magazine, during which time he produced 18 covers for them and photographed hundreds of stories, including the war in Afghanistan, the fight for independence in East Timor, the fall of Suharto in Indonesia, and other significant world news events. Since 2004 he has worked almost exclusively for National Geographic magazine, producing over 15 stories, including 10 covers.

John is now an Emeritus member of the VII Photo agency which he co-founded in his living room in 2001 with six other of the world’s leading photojournalists. John is the recipient of numerous honors, including the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal, POYi Magazine Photographer of the Year, and numerous World Press Photo, Picture of the Year and NPPA awards. In 2008, his National Geographic cover story on global malaria received the National Magazine Award. In 2012 he was nominated for an Emmy with the documentary film series, Starved for Attention, and in 2014 was the recipient of the World Press Photo award for his photograph taken in Djibouti and titled Signal (above).

John has published a number of books includingIsland of the Spirits, a journalistic/anthropological look at Balinese culture documented during the five years he lived on the island.

John now lives on a farm in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, with this wife, three children and two dogs. When not on the road he can be found at his gallery and coffeehouse which he opened in 2013, combining photography and education around his passion for great coffee, wrapping the two around ethically procured, human rights-based direct trade with the social issues represented in his photographs.

In episode 085, John discusses, among other things:

Social media = publishing

Communication

Workshops as dialogues

Not seeing mistakes as mistakes

Early years - art and fashion

Discovering the ‘unfathomable power’ of reality

The importance of the act of giving

The unique ethos of National Geographic magazine

Influences Mentioned:

Helmut Newton

Peter Lindbergh

Albert Watson

Arthur Elgort

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“Photography is 99% problem solving and 1% photography wrapped around 100% serendipity and good luck.”

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113 episodes