A favorite photographer: Martin Parr

Martin Parr is a member of Magnum and quite a unique photographer, capturing people and scenes of real life, with a sense of humor.

His photographs are often taken at a very close distance in an in your face sort of way. Colors are often vibrant, and his sense of timing seems impeccable. His style has been defined as:

  • ‘’Unique, creative, outside of the box
  • Highly Saturated Colors
  • Statements about society
  • Thinks of photographs in sets and projects instead of single images
  • Deeper meaning masked by humor and style
  • Find the extraordinary in the ordinary
  • Exaggerate things, Create fiction out of reality, See the world differently”

To get close he’s used a ring flash, sometimes usually seen used by macro photographers. It looks rather funny to see Parr walking around amongst people with his camera and ring flash. He sure does get close to people.

The closeness and colors are hallmarks of Parr’s photography, but let’s not forget composition. He works with rule of thirds, depth, layers, motion, and more. That he must make decisions in the blink of an eye makes it even more amazing.

Often there’s an element of humor in his pictures. A person caught in a funny och embarrassing moment, a scene full of contrast or a dichotomy, a comment on the times we live in, and so on.

Parr really has the most amazing eye and timing. I’ve tried myself to walk around in gatherings of people and shoot the up close, and know it’s no easy task.

“Photography is the simplest thing in the world,” he has said, “but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.”

I think we can all relate to that.

We have a lot to learn from Martin Parr and his photography, I know I sure do.