photographer william abranowicz
The photographs of America's William Abranowicz are held in collections at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, The International Center of Photography in New York, The National Portrait Gallery in London and The Smithsonian in Washington, DC. He has been a regular contributor to Conde Nast Traveler for more than 20 years and has also had his work featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle Decor and The New York Times Magazine. Advertising clients have included Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, The Gap and Rolex. But the projects that he is most proud of are his books: The Greek File and Hellas. They celebrate and document a 30-year love affair with that country.
Which five words best describe you? Father, husband, photographer, focused, committed.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started taking photographs when I was a teenager. I photographed friends all the time. I went to college as an economics major - God knows why. It was a job track I suppose, took a photography class and transferred to an art school (School of Visual Arts in NYC). I started working for photographers including George Tice - a fine art photographer and then Horst, the fashion and portrait photographer. My path has been forward since then and I have done a really wide variety of different things -making images for myself as well a number of magazines - travel, people, food, still life, interiors. I am always looking to make images that are personal. It's a balance against the commercial aspects though my editorial images are as close to myself and my own work as possible. I started photographing in Greece nearly 30 years ago, have done two books on the country (The Greek File - Rizzoli, 2001 and Hellas - Hudson Hills, 2011) and just returned from another month of photographing there. I have made a long term series of images of my three children that I hope to turn into another book. The path I've taken combines every aspect of my life and the influence that life and the the things around have made on image making. I photograph what I live but have been immensely fortunate in my work and the places that work has taken me.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? This is a marathon and not a sprint. Say no to things that don't matter.
What’s your proudest career achievement? My two books.
What’s been your best decision? Marrying my wife, Andrea, and having three kids. Andrea and the kids have given me great inspiration in my work. They support me when I need support and I work hard to be able to take them to as many of the places in the world that have moved me.
Who inspires you? Aside from my family, poets and writers - poets like Seamus Heaney and Edmund Keeley. Writers like Nicholas Gage and Louis De Bernieres.
What are you passionate about? The fine print. The shift from analog to digital image-making has been a rough one and the drive to make the perfect print in that transition is something that drives me.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? James Joyce
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I simply want to remain relevant.
What are you reading? I just finished Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard about the US president James Garfield, as well as The Obamas by Jodi Kantor - I love reading about politics and these two books are about two great US Presidents.
images courtesy of william abranowicz