Joel Meyerowitz pays attention

Joel Meyerowitz - 'Dad always said, pay attention!'

Photographer reveals how his boxer father taught him how to anticipate people's moves - in all their forms

On Tuesday we put up a great video interview with Joel Meyerowitz in which he talked about the early days of his career when he would walk the streets of New York, hour after hour, constantly on the search for the photographs that would eventually come to define an incredible lifetime's work. Joel likened those hours spent on the street to being "a fisherman in the stream of Fifth Avenue."

In our second video, below, Joel talks poetically about his relationship with his father, by all accounts an accomplished and successful boxer who taught his son how to duck and dive on the tough Bronx streets on which they lived; talents Joel was soon to adapt, getting up close to the action with his camera and snatching the shot he wanted before diving back into the surrounding streets. It's pretty inspirational stuff, packed full of both photographic and personal advice you can take with you into the weekend and beyond.

"Pop always said to me, people are going to telegraph what they're going to do," Joel says. "You just have to know how to look at them to see what they're going to do. So pay attention! That encouragement to a young boy, 'pay attention, the world is going to tell you about itself' was an astonishing piece of news for me. 

"Really what my father was telling me was, if you look at the world you're going to see things that you have an innate understanding of, and they will validate your understanding and you will, over time, learn to find the harmony between your inner thoughts, about what might be happening and the actuality of what does happen."

We hope you enjoy watching the video as much as we did making it. Be sure to visit our dedicated page for Joel's wonderful new limited edition book, Taking My Time, you will be so glad you did


Joel Meyerowitz: Dad told me how to pay attention