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Interviews

July 2011

CPN spoke to five of the Canon Ambassadors – photographers Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols, Gary Knight, Ziv Koren, Frits van Eldik and Paolo Pellegrin – about what they’ve learnt from their years of experience and what advice they would give to young photographers who are starting out on their photographic careers.

In a series of CPN films five of the world's leading photographers pass on some of their wisdom to young photographers. Michael Nichols, an Editor-at-large at National Geographic, advised: “I would suggest, as a young photographer, find your voice and, in finding your voice, you’ll find something you want to scream to the world about.”   

Award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the VII Photo agency Gary Knight stated: “If you photograph things which you have a real passion for you’ll be able to sustain a livelihood.” Fellow photojournalist Ziv Koren (Polaris Images) noted: “There are so many other options to get your work out there than traditional magazines – the web has opened up amazing new platforms to out up your work.”

Motorsports photographer Frits van Eldik revealed: “The [motorsports] market is not that big, so the best thing to think about is to make something different from the existing photographers.” Paolo Pellegrin (Magnum Photos) simply advised: “At the end quality always emerges; work seriously and if you do good work, it will always be recognised at some point.” 

© Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

Please click on the window above to watch a CPN film of five of the Canon Ambassadors giving their best advice to young photographers.

Michael Nichols

Please click on the window above to watch a CPN film of Canon Ambassador Michael 'Nick' Nichols giving his best advice to young photographers.

Michael 'Nick' Nichols began his career as a US Army photographer. After leaving service he got his first assignment working for Geo magazine in 1979 and in 1982 joined the famous Magnum Photos agency. In 1996 he joined National Geographic as a staff photographer and is now an Editor-at-large of the world famous publication. Nichols has won first prize for nature and environment stories in the World Press Photo competition four times and his other numerous awards include Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Gary Knight

Please click on the window above to watch a CPN film of Canon Ambassador Gary Knight offering his best advice to aspiring photojournalists.

Gary Knight began his photographic career in Thailand in 1987 and he lived and worked in the Far East until 1992. In 1993 he moved to the former Yugoslavia and documented the civil war there. He has covered the invasion of Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, the civil war in Kashmir and the Asian Tsunami. In 2001 he co-founded the VII Photo agency and magazines all over the world have published his work. He chaired the World Press Photo Jury 2008 and spent the 2009/10 academic year on a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

Ziv Koren

Please click on the window above to watch a CPN film of Canon Ambassador Ziv Koren offering his best advice to aspiring photojournalists.

Ziv Koren started his career as a military photographer in the Israeli army. He became an official Israeli government press office photographer and later spent six years as photo editor for the daily newspaper, Yedioth Achronoth. Freelance since 1998 he is affiliated to Polaris Images, having previously worked for the Sygma and Gamma agencies between 1995 and 2002. In 2000 one of his images was chosen by World Press Photo as one of the 200 best pictures from the previous 45 years.

Frits van Eldik

Please click on the window above to watch a CPN film of Canon Ambassador Frits van Eldik offering advice to aspiring young sports photographers.

At a young age Frits van Eldik decided to combine his love of cars and photography. He shot lots of rally photographs in the early years of his career and often went to Zandvoort Circuit to capture speed photographically. He worked for a specialist automotive picture agency in his native Holland before starting his own company. He photographed his first F1 Grand Prix in 1989 and by 1994 was shooting all of the season’s F1 races. Van Eldik shoots all kinds of motorsports including Formula 1, Le Mans, MotoGP and others.

Paolo Pellegrin

Please click on the window above to watch a CPN film of Canon Ambassador Paolo Pellegrin offering his best advice to aspiring photojournalists.

Paolo Pellegrin worked for Agence VU for 10 years before he became a Magnum Photos nominee in 2001 and a full member in 2005. He is a contract photographer for Newsweek magazine. Pellegrin has received many awards, including eight World Press Photo awards, a Leica Medal of Excellence, an Olivier Rebbot Award, the Hansel-Meith Preis, and the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award. In 2000 he received the Hasselblad Foundation Grant for Photography and, in 2006, the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography.