Featured photographer #61: Steven Miner
My name is Steven Miner. Im photographer currently working in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I will be graduating with my BFA in photography this spring. Originally I am from metro Detroit.
What did you want to become in your childhood and are you that person today?
When I was child It felt like I wanted to do something different with my life every week. I picked up lots of hobbies, got into trouble and took all my toys apart. It wasn't untilI my senior year of high school that I picked up a camera and for some reason it just stuck.
What do you do when you don’t have a camera in your hand?
I like to play music and look at things that other artists are doing.
What do you want to achieve?
At this point I honestly don't know. I know I want to keep making pictures, producing art and having conversations about it. Like most things I think after a while it will all just make sense.
Where did you meet photography or where did photography meet you?
It was just one of those hobbies that I decided to pick up. I found my moms camera one day and starting making pictures of my self and things around my house. My senior year I took a photography class and I was sold. I moved to Chicago for school that fall to study at Columbia College where I met the people that most heavily influenced the way I think about photography today.
What are your superpowers and weakness (and how do you overcome them)?
Superpower? geez I don't know. I always tend to be very precise and exact but I wouldn’t consider that a superpower. My weakness is probably my unparalleled ability to get distracted. Its something I've had to deal with my entire life. Half of the time it gets me into trouble but the other half of the time is when something magical happens. I guess I deal with it just by trusting my self. Knowing that something good could come out of it.
Where do you think the wisdom and instinct for a good photograph comes from?
I think good photographs happen when someone is being honest behind a camera. Not trying to adapt to trends or being mimetic of all the great images that have passed us. Its something that took me a while to start achieving and I am just now starting to see results. I approach photography very intuitively. Sometimes that makes it easy and sometimes it feels like I have forgotten how to make images.
The craziest thing you ever did as a photographer? Have you ever got yourself in trouble?
I've always had pretty good luck. I've never been arrested or told to leave and I'm thankful for that. I usually end up making a better picture knowing I'm somewhere I probably shouldn't be.
How often do you / don’t you shoot?
It defiantly is always changing. Right now I probably make under a thousand images a year for personal use.
If you could carry only 4 pieces of equipment to a parallel universe (no photo equipment on the other side) for a year, what would you choose?
Contax T2, Mamiya 7, Some kind of light weight rail camera. And I guess something digital. Maybe a phase one.
When do you rely on your instruments and when on your feelings?
I think I mostly rely on the feeling I have being behind a camera and then making a print. I usually know immediately if I have made anything worth while and thats defiantly a feeling.
If you could give one final advice / task / riddle to your fellow photographers, what would it be?
Stop thinking about photographs as truth and start considering it as a medium that can convince someone something is true. Things have changed allot since I made that realization.
Your top 4 current photographers?