Jem, 6am ©Trent Parke
My buddy (and fellow Magnum associate) Trent Parke and his wife Narelle Autio are photographers doing fantastic work in Australia. Trent and Narelle have one child, Jem, and another on the way any day.
Last June at the Magnum annual meeting, Trent showed me a book dummy for his new project. It is absolutely stunning. But what is even more remarkable is that he took most of the pictures while his child tagged along.
Trent recently wrote me about his experiences as a photographer/parent:
I used to shoot pretty much every day or any spare moment. Narelle and I gave up any social life we had to be able to continue doing our personal work. Being a street photographer means you never really stop taking pictures. And when I’m not shooting, Narelle is shooting. When Jem came along it changed everything. Both our parents and families live in different states and as we don’t have any friends with children here, there is no real day off (we cant afford the ridiculous prices of childcare). So there was only one real option if I wanted to keep taking pictures and spend time with my son. Push a stroller as well as take pictures.
Jem hates our two bedroom dogbox flat and loves being outside, so when the light gets right we head out. I spend an hour or so shooting and when the light goes we head to the nearest park. He gets a tour and then gets to play somewhere different at the end of it so it works out ok. I’ve missed some great pictures along the way, but I have also managed to knock a few good ones off that I wouldn’t have had any chance of taking had we been at home. It has completely changed the way I work. But I actually think it’s for the better.