Photos courtesy of Anthony Karen
Whether it’s humility, patience, diligence or daring, New York-based photographer Anthony Karen has a personality that’s ideally suited to a photojournalist — because somehow he infiltrates enclaves and subcultures that are notoriously closed off, among them the Ku Klux Klan, shantytowns in Haiti and one of the few surviving leaders of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime.
After listening to a recent NPR interview with Karen, we were curious to know more about his start, his style and his process.
Interview by babydiscarted and discarted.
Why do you take photos?
I used to take photographs because I wanted to; now I also take them because I need to. I have to express myself in some creative way to feel alive — photojournalism allows me to do so many things. It fills my soul to experience the gift of being allowed into someone’s most private moments and the trust they give me to try and capture what’s going on the best that I can. It’s the beauty of creation, going home and seeing what I’ve captured on film. It’s not always a great image, but it’s a moment of time that I’ll always have access to. I can make that experience last forever. And I like to make people “feel” — hopefully it’s not a feeling to blog [about] me and say my images suck, but photography is so subjective. So what can ya do!