Throughout the year, LensCulture’s video team travels around the world to record compelling, intimate interviews with some of our favorite photographers. Our videographers set up temporary recording studios in the photographers’ homes, studios, or at their exhibitions in order to capture their thoughts on past, present, and future photo projects.

We are always impressed by the incredible dedication and thought that goes into some of our favorite photo projects. These video interviews take you behind the scenes and deep into these stories, allowing you to hear from the photographers directly.

In these interviews, we will walk around one artist’s studio and explore the massive trees that she uses to create her photographic rubbings; explore another artist’s singular (and potent) exhibition at Les Rencontres d’Arles; and sit down in the homes of a few of our favorite photographers to hear about the pivotal events in their lives that catalyzed their recent work.

Below you’ll find a selection of our favorite video interviews from 2017. If you enjoy these interviews, be sure to click through to the full articles on LensCulture, where you can read more about each project. We produced many, many fascinating video interviews this year—and there are many more to discover on our YouTube channel. Enjoy!

—The editors of LensCulture


The Photographer’s Touch: Photograms and Alchemy

Artist Klea McKenna diverged from traditional point-and-shoot photography many years ago. In its place, she started experimenting with photographic materials and processes like photograms.

For the uninitiated, photograms use light-sensitive paper to reproduce imagery without the use of a camera. Objects are placed on the paper, which is then exposed to light. For her series “Automatic Earth,” McKenna hand-embosses the paper with imprints of tree rings, cracks in the earth, and other natural phenomena. She then shone light on the paper from different angles to capture the desired image. In this conversation, McKenna shows us her materials and teaches us more about her unique process.



The Reverberations from the Frame, The Photographic Echo

As the former Associated Press Chief Photographer for the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Muhammed Muheisen has documented a plethora of events that have deeply impacted our current social and political climate: the funeral for late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (as well as the ceremony for Nelson Mandela); the US-led war in Iraq; the capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein; and many others besides.

Recently, Muheisen has focused his lens on the refugee crisis in Europe. Thoughts on all this, and more, in our video interview.



“I Only Take Pictures During Winter”—Thoughts from a Magnum Photographer

20 years after his father’s sudden death, Jacob Aue Sobol compiled a collection of all his prior work in his honor. Learn more about Sobol’s journeys through Greenland, Siberia, Tokyo—and those he took within himself.

In this video interview, shot at Sobol’s exhibition at Les Rencontres d’Arles this summer, the photographer speaks about a career full of travel (“I find it’s often the things we have in common that I look for, like falling in love or being left behind”), the intensity of his journeys through northern Siberia, and the person who inspired this publication: his father.


A Pulitzer Prize-Winner Speaks on the Art of Photojournalism

This riveting video interview begins with a story from Renée C. Byer’s childhood—an intense, affecting experience involving her father (a police chief) and bullets fired at their home.

This moment catalyzed Byer’s interest in becoming a “witness for the world.” Beginning with this personal story, Byer talks to LensCulture about making an authentic connection with the people she documents and the life-changing relationships she has formed throughout her career.



Roger Ballen in the House of the Ballenesque

In both his still images (and now larger constructions), Roger Ballen’s work offers a deeply psychological exploration of the connection between the artist’s subconscious and the viewer’s. LensCulture spent a morning following Ballen around a massive, immersive installation he created at Arles last summer—explore the artist’s labyrinthine unconscious (and your own) in this video.


If you’d like to see more of our video interviews, subscribe to our YouTube channel!