I had the pleasure of sitting across from Janette Beckman in her Manhattan studio on a scorching summer day in New York, just off the Bowery. Her wealth of stories and life lessons felt like a journey through time, transporting me through decades of music, art, and culture. Here are five essential insights I gained from our discussion:
The Depth of Her Portfolio: Janette's latest book, "Rebels: From Punk to Dior," delves deep into the lives of iconic figures, revealing their spirit and stories. I was impressed by the many legendary artists she has photographed, such as Joey Ramone, Run DMC, and Debbie Harry, who represent entire eras. Through Janette's lens, these celebrities are forever immortalized.
The Art of Selection: Janette shared insights into the meticulous process of curating. Choosing what to include in her book from her vast and varied collection was a daunting task. Her story revealed the complex emotions involved in evaluating one's life's work, deciding what to share with the world, and what to keep as a personal memory.
Fleeting Moments, Timeless Memories: Janette's stories about touring with bands were captivating. She highlighted that some of the most memorable shots come from unplanned and unexpected moments. From our conversation, I learned that scheduling a photo session at times can be beneficial. However, it's also essential to remain aware of the beauty in ordinary moments and capture them with the same skill level.
Versatility is Key: She enjoyed her interactions with music industry elites but was equally thrilled by unexpected encounters with everyday individuals. Her passion for capturing any subject with the same enthusiasm gave me yet another gem to take home.
Simplicity Can Be Profound: In an age dominated by technology, Janette's minimalist approach was refreshing and thought-provoking. The idea that a great photograph's core lies in the photographer's vision rather than the latest fancy equipment was also a powerful takeaway.
Value of Fresh Eyes: Janette's openness to seeking input from others like her good friend Julie Graham is a testament to the importance of gaining an external perspective on our personal work. It reminded me that there is always room for growth and improvement and that I can benefit greatly from the insights of those around me.
Interviewing people can lead to discovering valuable insights, shared experiences, and personal realizations. Listening to Janette Beckman was not just an interview but an informative journey through music, art, and photography.
Press play to listen to the actual conversation I'm referring to in the above writing.