Parish Kohanim: the pursuit of beauty

Apple Pro Profiles currently features eminent photographer Parish Kohanim. With an impressive career that spans 30 years, his photographs speak for themselves. Here’s a quote:

“Every image he shoots is animated by a single urge. ‘My obsession is to capture the beauty life offers,’ says Kohanim. And despite the way contemporary critics often measure artistic significance on a scale that ranges from the merely controversial to the outright disturbing, Kohanim staunchly defends the pursuit of the beautiful.”

His philosophy strikes a chord in me. It’s what I try to do in my photography. I don’t want to focus on the ugly, the negative. I want to try and find the beauty in everything I photograph, and in my personal life as well. There’s so much ugliness to life, so much misery, that focusing on it the way some artists do is just too much.

Here’s what he believes about portraits:

“‘There’s something beautiful about everyone, whether exterior or interior,’ continues Kohanim. ‘What I love to do is draw out the beauty that is there.'”

This is what I strive for as well. Obviously, I have a ways to go in my photography, but at least I know what I want.

As for his work philosophy, I love this quote:

“‘What I admire is someone’s devotion and commitment to his or her craft,’ he muses. ‘These are the winners in our society: the people who take pride in what they do. And it could be anything. Whatever you do, do it with 100 percent of yourself.'”

Mr. Kohanim uses Aperture to manage his photo library. I’ve got to give it a try one of these days. I’ve been using iPhoto, and on the whole, I like it, although it has certain limitations, such as the inability to move photos between film roles that are months/years apart (scrolling becomes uncontrollable and drag and drop won’t work), and the impossibility of editing the EXIF data in the photographs. Another photographer whose work I love, Thomas Hawk, has just recently started using Aperture, so I look forward to seeing what he has to say about it.