A professional photographer since the 1970s, Paul Light produces work that is both commercially and artistically successful.
His stock images have been widely published in textbooks, newspapers, magazines, annual reports and advertisements.
His art photographs have appeared in Boston-area galleries and museums, including Addison Gallery of American Art, the Fogg Art Museum, and the Griffin Museum of Photography. Paul’s work is part of the permanent collection of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.
Paul currently teaches photography at Middlesex Community College. You can see his work at his website: lightwavephoto.com
How would you describe yourself as a photographer?
I am primarily a photographer who works outdoors both day and night photographing people as well as spaces.
Whose work inspires you?
Lee Friedlander, Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky.
Do you have a mentor or a muse?
Minor White, Aaron Siskind and Jerry Uelsmann.
What was the “Aha!” moment that sparked your interest in photography?
I was at a concert watching a photographer changing lenses and realized for the first time that you could make a photograph and control perspective by changing lenses.
What advice would you give a budding photographer?
Go to lots of exhibits.
What was your motivation for joining the PRC?
I liked the idea of having more photographers to talk to, and lectures to attend
Thoughts of the photographer:
- I like taking photographs in familiar places because I can think out all the possibilities without even going there. I like taking photographs in unfamiliar places because it is like a treasure hunt. Each new photograph is an amazing surprise.
- My photographs are about composition rather than place or a particular subject
- My goal is always to make photographs that don’t look like any photograph I have ever seen, including my own photographs. This is a difficult objective to achieve, but nevertheless it remains my goal.
- I feel that when a photograph is put in storage it is essentially thrown away unless the storage area is located in a gallery or museum. I store my photographs in 11 online networks. Nine are social networks. The other two are two divisions of a stock photography agency.
- I am very concerned with immediacy in making a photograph. I don’t try to produce lots of photographs. Some of my photographs are spontaneous and others may take 30 minutes. Some are not edited, others have been edited for a few hours. None of my photographs go directly to storage.
- I use cameras to make photographs to add to current series of work, and I use my phone for experiments in new directions.
- My primary interest in photography is making undirected and non-collaborative photographs of subject matter I cannot see without the aid of photographic equipment. In some cases it is as simple as using a flash in low light or using a slow shutter speed to show blurred or frozen movement. Other options include panoramic framing, photomontage, and multiple exposure.
- I have no interest in making record photographs of any type.