A couple of days ago I had the great pleasure of meeting and listening to the renowned photographer Ken Grant.
Not only was it utterly fascinating to listen to him and great to see some of his outstanding work, but I was very taken by one particular thing. Ken has documented lots of the area and community in Liverpool in which he grew up, as well as other communities in Wales, Herefordshire and other areas and his work is agreed by others far more qualified than I to be outstanding. What really took, held and inspired me was Ken himself. He commits to his work and choses what to do carefully in order to be honest to that work, but more so as a person it is obvious that he has an ability to become part of and create the work for the projects due to the way in which those he communicates and then those he shares time with react to him. This great skill to communicate, I believe, is a large part of what photography is. In the documentary field in particular the photograph is chosen as the means of communicating what you are documenting, so the quality of communication at the time of taking the images must be as important to the process as that of the final work. Listening to Ken it is clear that he is an exemplary example of this being the case.
If you’d like to see more of Ken’s work (which I discussed with a colleague as being ‘Parr plus some’) head over to his website.