This term, I took Mitch Fischman’s five-week class on photography, a course I found to be full of both fun and knowledge! Photography seems to be a family affair for the Fischmans. His daughter Andrea is a professional photographer who has come to visit Mitch’s class in the past. This time, though, Mitch introduced us to Liz Linder, one of Andrea’s mentors. I asked BOLLI friend and SGL Mitch about his guest photographers.
“Our guest photographer, Liz Linder (above right), employed my daughter Andrea Feldman (above left), when she was starting her career as a freelance photographer over a decade ago. Liz’s studio in Brookline Village was a perfect place for Andrea to develop her photography and studio skills and to learn what it’s like to run a photography business. After Andrea graduated from Skidmore, she started doing freelance work in the Albany-Saratoga Springs area. While on assignment during her post-year after Skidmore, she photographed a group of Bangladeshi immigrants working in a factory in New York’s Hudson River Valley, profiling their poor living conditions. Andrea also established the beginnings of her wedding business while assisting Liz, and, later, other photographers in New York City. Both Liz and Andrea are premier photographers.
Andrea lives in Long Island City, New York and her photo business is in New York City. Photographs by both Andrea and Liz were shown and appreciated by the class. Andrea loves taking photos of people on subway cars, a favorite of many of the photographers examined like Walker Evans shown in “Photographers and Photographs That Have Changed How We See the World.”
While interning in Prague, Andrea initially developed her subway skill in a photo spread published in the Prague Post entitled “Eyes Wide Shut,” illustrating what Andrea referred to as the “Prague Stare” she saw while photographing people on the Prague Metro from her concealed camera. She told me that, when subway travelers saw she was photographing them and started to look angry, she would get off at the next stop.”
Since graduating from Haverford College and studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the International Center of Photography, Liz Linder has demonstrated her technical skills and a documentary style that captures the unique personality of her clients and her perpetual sense of fun. Liz loves the view from her camera, and her imaginative technique is honest and energized.
Alongside her portrait and decisive moment-based commercial work, Liz is currently collaborating with another long-term friend and colleague, RIch Griswold, on a form of documentary photography from a personal angle. (Above, her “Shadow One” and “Shadow Two” images.)
Prior to social media apps, Liz and Rich developed a shorthand way of communicating using pictures instead of words, a game aptly called www.wetalkinpictures.com. On the site, image exchanges touch on how disparate and similar things relate: these two have been friends since the 20th Century, when phones were tied to the wall.
Today, technology is re-writing the way we interact; just a decade ago, people used their phones to ask “how are you?” Now, the question is “where are you?” Most of us take pictures with something called a “phone,” and, as artists, we find ourselves exploring the expressive potential in the message of a photograph. What can we say in an image when it is served as a text message? What gets communicated? There are efficiencies, quandaries, and room for poetic license. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
The challenge from Liz to communicate in pictures should be easy for us New Englanders. We can send snow pictures to our retired friends in the south and receive enticing beach and boating photos in return!
Our own “Renaissance Woman,” Lydia has done everything from teaching English to doing volunteer emergency service. We’re lucky to have her volunteering, these days, to help with BOLLI Matters!