Melanie Einzig

I grew up in the suburbs of Minnesota, where life was very quiet and controlled. Early on I became interested in art and poetry.

I worked in many different mediums throughout high school and college. When I moved to New York in 1990, I picked up a camera and started documenting whatever interested me. The streets were very exciting – so much life, variety and possibility.

Eventually I went back to school to study photography, but ended up experimenting with film and computers. Soon after graduating, I got a job at the Associated Press. An editor saw some of my black and white work, gave me twenty rolls of color film and told me to make some “features”. From that point on I never stopped trying to make pictures in color.

My process is linked to everyday life. Only on rare occasions do I go out specifically to “shoot”. My best photographs were taken going to or from work, or some other destination. Sometimes a picture appears that helps me sum up a strange mood or thought that I’ve struggled with for weeks. Other times my work is more documentary in nature.

Many of my photos are very personal. Though they are certainly about the subject depicted, I often have an emotional or poetic indentification or reference with the situation or person. I am very interested in color and composition, but I would not say it is a primary concern in deciding which photos have meaning to me.

Photographing in public keeps me awake and aware, always looking around, in awe at what we humans are up to. In a time when staged narratives and rendered images are popular, I am excited by the fact that life itself offers situations far more strange and beautiful than anything I could set up.

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