William Abranowicz, Photographer | Inspiration = Stories - Design Bureau

Dominic Maino, Poultry Butcher, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1987

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William Abranowicz, Photographer | Inspiration = Stories

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

For Design Bureau's second anniversary issue, we asked eight guest editors a question: What inspires you? Over the next month, we’ll post the words and images that demonstrate  their creative passion. Today, we’re featuring photographer William Abranowicz.

Interview by Jennifer Hamblett
Portrait by Charles Maraia 

William Abranowicz has been a photographer for more than 35 years. His work can be found in books, permanent collections of museums, and magazines like Conde Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, and Voguewilliamabranowicz.com

Photography helps me cope, share, and empathize with people, but what drives me are stories.

I always thought that my photography was a little bit like fishing or hunting. When I get in the car, I am hunting for photographs, and that’s what I do when I fly my bird. I hunt for rabbits.

When I do my own work, I am insanely serious to the point at which I have to remember when I approach someone to take their photograph that I have to smile. I have to show them that I am not going to hurt them.

I really couldn’t care less about who and what the pedigree of design is. All I care about is what it feels like. 

I was into the very composed technical qualities of photography...and then I went to Greece. I had a smaller camera and I took it off the tripod and started to move. Suddenly the photography changed in a big way, so Greece has become our place.  

I think photographers are really wonderful, but I think painters are better.

I know when something is building up, it’s like all the confluences of life and the events around me come together and there is that moment that I can see coming.

The hardest thing is when you walk into a home and it feels like no one has been there. I want to feel a life, I want to see something of a story.

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