Magnum Portrait


A one minute movie by Chien-Chi Chang

838 Responses to “Magnum Portrait”

  • marcin luczkowski


  • This one made me smile.

    He could use a megaphone.

  • OK I must confess…
    My most colossal dream someday is to be part of the annual magnum portrait…
    Is that a dream just too big a bite to chew on?
    I don’t know, but I’m going do it somehow, because it should finally mean I’m capable of expressing myself with my photography…

  • meanwhile Paul you can always chew on the ice cream

  • Figures: Josef Koudelka is the only one not looking up. Always contrary. :-)

  • Imants…

    Yes!!!! Laughing!! :))))


    the Magnum Classic ice cream bars really are good..too good…

    by the way, that picture is missing several that were at the meeting including Olivia Arthur and Cristina Garcia Rodero and Martine Franck

  • Michal.. Gilden isn’t either..

  • ‘who is in charge here, god damn!’…

    this has to be my ALL TIME favorite Magnum quote ever…and should be the official BURN credo :)))

    and, well, what i said before about Rene Burri…he is the best dressed (always) Magnum photographer of all time…screw being in Magnum, i just want to be able to wear a pink scarf and pink silk shirt and make it work! :)))))))

    i’m not that interested in being in the Magnum Group pic, but i’d love to shoot it someday…but maybe, no one would be recognizable ;))))….

    i thought the guy on chris’ chest was Chien-che….

    who is he?

  • oh, jeezzz…now i see it definitely isn’t chien-che…man, i must have been exhausted the first time i saw this vid….

    michal/eva: I’m not sure Chris is looking at the camera either, but rather snoozing a la Harvey!


  • a civilian-mass audience


    oime…I am bad:)))))))))))))

  • p.s. last comment;

    NOTE TO MAGNUM from an unknown photographer, please:

    MORE MORE MORE WOMEN in the coming years!!!!…

    enough male photographers already ;)))

  • BOB…

    Man on Chris’ chest is Pinkhassov

    i think you well know we are constantly seeking great women photographers for Magnum …door wide open for those with unique talent…

    this year we took in as a full members Alessandra Sanguinetti and Olivia Arthur and last year Cristina Garcia Rodero (all three missing from picture)…

    and we have the Inge Morath award for young women…still we need more to level the field ….yet our business in general has more men than women UNLESS you look at the very top ranks…my very best students are almost always young women who have an open creative and non linear way of working….EPF winner a woman this year Irina Werning with other women, Zhe Chen and Laura El Tantawy and Daria Tuminus in the finalists running (and Zhe winner of Inge Morath)…

  • DAVID :)

    wow, funny, ’cause all these years such a big admirer and never knew what Pinkhassov looks like (and hadn’t met) him….

    as for women:

    yes, my comment is both a tease and a respectful admonition. i think that was the first comment i ever made that was our introduction (commenting under lisa’s post at LS years ago, about the paucity of female members at Magnum)….so i did not mean to imply that Magnum doesn’t want/try to recruit/take on women, but that it deserves to have more…i could never complain about Magnum awarding women photographers things, IM as a start (and so happy happy zhe-zhe won this year) and also, in no way was my comment about EPF at all, not to mention the fact I felt the best work was all produced by the women finalists), etc…

    what i mean is this David:

    A group as important as magnum (imho) has an obligation to make sure they’re composition is not as lop-sided as it is now…alessandra, olivia are great younger editions…and of course christina, susan and Lise are brilliant, iconic picture takers…. just as Martine is and Ingre was….

    but in an organization about photography that prides itself on social responsibility (picture wise), i just mean that 6 active women members is not enough….and man, who likes to go to a party with the odds so lopsided to begin with; )))…but that’s me, i’m not a jock/male bonding kind of guy ;))))

    considering the extraordinary photographic talent out there being done by women, i’m just always surprised …but i also understand this is more about the past than the current state of thought among the crew…

    anyway, just talking out loud….


  • would a member ever resign over this issue?…anyway, none of my biz….just observing….

  • and last thing, maybe my comment is more my general reflection about the often sorry state of documentary world….awards more often given to men…award juries often dominated by white men, etc….

    what i always loved and respected about you as a colleague (and a friend) is that you were not like that…but genuinely not of the ‘boys club’ mentality…your workshops reflect that, burn reflects that, your friendships reflect that….you’ve given back so much to women photographers in a world dominated by men, and i know how much you value women photographers and treat them equally…or rather, you treat men and women the same: what is the work?…..anyway, my comment in no way was about u.(and definitley not burn/epf etc)….who loves or gives female photographers (and women in general) more love/respect than you?….very few…

    anyway, the bigger picture: just the state of things…hope that makes sense…:))

  • I don’t quite understand.. isn’t it the work that counts? What would gender have to do with this?

  • eva: yes, it is the work that counts….always….but if it is ‘only’ the work that counts, your implication is that the better work is being done by more men…simply and unconditionally not true, not ever…anyway….just my observations…magnum can do what they want, and i do know that the members are sincere but many (at least the ones i know) are more than aware of that ‘problem’…but anyway…was begun as a tease to the Magnum members, but a sincere and heartfelt question…i personally, left a gallery for this reason, and as a photographer married to one with lots of women friends in the biz, this is a real problem…again, not reflective of david who always does his best to counter this (look at this year’s epf jurists, …that itself is so different than what most photo juries consist of…bravo to burn/david, but he knows my sincerely, as we’re friend and my wife respects him immensely for his position on this issue too)…but i just say: everyone worships magnum and rarely criticizes…so, i’m just point this inadequacy out..since it is so obvious in the picture….loving members as friends and photographers (as i do) doesn’t mean i won’t point to an obvious problem, especially when compared with all the other major photographic collectives…anyway, i know i’m sounding like an ass now, and don’t mean too…but, if even you don’t see the problem, then i’mm surprised….

  • eva: take a look at vii and occuli and vu and panos and compare the male/female ratio….still dominated by men (which isn’t about work, but other realities of the profesional, like parenhood, societal pressures, etc), but at least the numbers are better…and see, it is the work that counts, one would hope this, always to be true…but it is not always true, really….with David, it is ALWAYS true, he cares only about the work and is an equal supporter of both men and women (look at his workshops, look at his staff, his assistances, his friends, his juries, his mentoring)..he treats all the same (except for Simone who gets top billing)…my point is about magnum..anyway, enough of my blather…

  • Bob…

    you write:

    “your implication is that the better work is being done by more men”

    No. I don’t know the numbers, but I guess there are more male photographers out there actually finishing the work and submitting it to “whatever” they want to submit it, thus, more men are represented in the various “whatever” that is.

    Now, it would be interesting to analyze the why behind this.. ’cause I really don’t want to believe that whatever jury, whatever collective, whatever organization is choosing work based on gender, meaning that if they know it’s done by a woman it will be discarded vs. if ‘man-made’ it would have been taken? That would simply be stupid. Shortsighted. And stupid. And it does not matter what name or brand is attached to the jury, collectiv, organization or whatever.

  • NPPA Short Grants

    Deadline: September 30th, 2011


    Deadline: July 13th, 2011 —> HURRY UP!

  • eva:

    “whatever jury, whatever collective, whatever organization is choosing work based on gender, meaning that if they know it’s done by a woman it will be discarded vs. if ‘man-made’ it would have been taken?”

    I’m not saying that. and I am not saying that Magnum discriminates, not at all. Let me try again. There ARE more men in the field of documentary photographers than women. At least that is my experience. There are a large number of reasons for this: societal, historical, familial, financial, etc. More men apply for magnum then women, yes. More men submit for publication/grants/awards, generally speaking, all true. However, another interesting phenomenon is that there seem to be MORE (much more) female photography students in art school/journalism schools/language schools (i’ve taught in all 3 places). There, clearly, are more men in a particular field (war photography, or travel photography) but even those are changing. Sure, visit any photofestival (arles, perp, look, houston, la, nyc) and the numbers (now) seem to be changing (not as dominated by men as once). Cure, some particular festival seem more male-oriented (arles seems much much more even in numbers of representation then, say other fests). The interesting phenomenon for me is why, in my experience, are there so many women studying phtoography (including documentary) and yet more male names seem to rise? I’m still trying to think about this and talk about this all the time with my wife, with female colleagues and friends. In the ‘art world’ (at least my experience with nyc, toronto and paris), the field is different: women have good representation, or rather ‘fairer’….

    my sentiment about Magnum isn’t that they’re trying to exclude or that they are prejudicial or that they’re not making an effort to support and encourage female photographers (especially younger ones) they absolutely are. My case is a simple one. why do other documentary collectives have a better ratio of male to female membership. This IS a major loss because while true the work counts, they might find the presence of more women thinkers a richer and more rewarding collective. i am still surprised that this doesn’t make sense to you?….men and women produce equally superior work…and since that is THE TRUTH then if more men submit, for me, an organization has an obligation to make sure their balance IS changed…

    100 men submit, 10 women submit, and i have 40 members (i don’t know how many) and 6 women….and there are say 3 outstanding men and 1 outstanding woman, i would take the woman..and do so every time until there is a reasonable balance so that this wasn’t an issue…..there does not have to be equality of numbers…but magnum membership does not reflect the greater world, let alone the great great work that is being done in the photogrpahic community….that’s all i’m saying…

    but i don’t spend time worrying about magnum…this was just an observation from one friend (me) to another (david)…

    nothing personal….

    gotta skype the most important female photographer in my life…who is now In Ukraine working on her project with Mikhailov…! :)…incidentally, even that fellowship has better male/female representation ;)))

  • DIANE ARBUS anyone?

    Exhibit in Paris, from October 18th to February 5th.. here’s hoping it’ll go around the rest of Europe..

  • Bob…

    Seems I just have a different take on this.. I don’t care the least about gender composition of whatever group, if women are under-represented then it’s up to us women to do something about it, if we care enough, ’cause change can come only from within, always, cannot be imposed if it has to last. Making it easier for women to enter a collective, like the example you make above, BECAUSE of the gender, is discriminating both for the women and the men.

    Equality will be reached only when gender isn’t an issue anymore, in both senses. And when we can accept that men and women are different, it’s a fact, but when both are given the same possibilities. It is then up to each and everyone to decide to use the possibilities given or not. And if that means that more men decide to become photographers then more men will be in the collectives, you can’t blame them, no?

    All this is theoretical talking, and counts only for those (VERY FEW) societies where a free choice can be made, like the ones you and I are living in..

  • About the numbers of students, you say there are more female students.. ok, and what happens then, when they’re finished their studies? How many actually go on and work? How many drop? And why?

    I agree, as a woman, if one wants to have a family with kids, it’s harder. But I believe that if one wants, has the passion, the talent, and again, REALLY wants, then she will succeed.. maybe work harder, maybe with a different timing..

    And thinking of this, could it not be that women simply do not want what men want, what seems logical and desirable to them?

    Too too much generical talking here…

  • eva: no time left, must run again…well, i’ll just say this, based on long conversations with real women in the business, for many it is NOT about simply not wanting to accomplish…that’s a bit naive…and we’re not talking about success…anyway, this is silly, i’m sorry i brought it up…i don’t really care that much about magnum they can have all men…and magnum is not the definition, nor should it be, for people to’s just a group of great photographers with a great history…and i’m talking more than just the societies we live in…i live/deal with this, with colleagues and with students (from other societies)…we have an obligation to understand, especially when we label ourselves as one thing, but are in truth another…anyway, whatever…gotta run….i regret bringing this up….cheers

  • Yeah.. whatever.. pity about wasting time like this.. cheers..

  • “magnum is not the definition, nor should it be, for people to aspire..”
    Well Bob don’t run off so quickly :)…
    Why not?
    Every so often I hear people talking about Magnum as if it was a little uncool to be part of it, why?
    I personally I don’t see the problem…

  • “i just want to be able to wear a pink scarf and pink silk shirt and make it work! :)))))))”

    it is easy to make it work… you just have to not give a fuck.

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I like your “analysis”…food for thought
    I have a friend… his a chef…
    similar situation..
    best in broken grecolandia…

    oime…I don’t give a fuck …and let me tell you this…
    it’s not working:)))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    he is a chef…and I am dyslexic

    readproof….i can’t make it work…
    I will blame IMANTS…(too much sugar,too many silents);)

  • @ Bob/Eva: The trio of miscreants. Gotta love ’em! :-)))

  • PETE! :))))))

    yea, that’s some sound advice :)))…probably being born in europe helps too ;))))))…i’m way too american ;))

    CIVI :)))))

    yea, the world is a weird place and we still have a long way to go to make it better/fairer, etc…by the way, we just hired a new teacher from Athens…she owned her own Language school for 15 years, and has now left greece, leaving her son and kids in athens to get established her…she told me horror stories…i told her about u and panos…and well, just sending my love out to u and the people of greece….hand in theire, have faith…

    running to see Marc….
    hugs all

  • i meant she left her husband and kids…while she re-establlishes herself..having to start life over again at 50….


  • Michal :)))…indeed, indeed! :))

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I see fear in the eyes…and I don’t like fear…
    we have to protect the new generation…

    “We need to teach the next generation of children from Day One that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.”
    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

    we do have free choice…hmmm…or maybe not…

    Well,back to MAGNUM…and yes,in my civilian eyes…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    or maybe not…hiii…

    come on BURNIANS…where the heck are you?…I hope you are shooting…or maybe not…

    blame the heat…I have been warned:))))))))))))))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    can I sing now?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA…40 degrees…
    I was expecting a warning:))) I am BURNED..oio,oih

  • Civi.. sorry, was in the darkroom all day.. steady 21 degrees down there..

  • a civilian-mass audience

    ok,then…you have spoiled me with all the warnings
    I can take the darkroom excuse…:)

    I can wait
    as long as it takes
    same goes for you…;)


  • War photographers have my deepest respect. They are necessary and vital to the idea of getting to the truth of conflicts (to the extent that’s even possible). When they are injured or killed, it is a tragedy but I like to think they were trying to do some good, tell an important story. But there are times when I think, what a waste. Afghanistan has gone far around the bend as a war that has had any real meaning or sense of justice. We’re just time servers at this point. Trying to find that perfect confluence of events that’ll make it palatable enough to bail out. There is apparently no political will to simply call it a wash and bring home the troops. Nobody wants to be thought a coward, or “weak on terrorism.” Therefore we stay. For reasons that are just pathetic.

    And lives are destroyed.

    And soldiers continue to die.

    And photographers lose their limbs.

    Why, again?

  • i did ask this question before and met two more prominent people who chose to do such:

    and such is:

    specifically picked up a name that was not gender specific…
    one with an initial – a poet
    another with ‘mel’ as a first name – visual artist.

    so if you had great advise to someone whom you are willing to take under your wing…
    and that someone had a choice.. would you advise to do SUCH…

  • BOB…EVA…

    the profession in general is dominated by men in terms of numbers, but not in terms of great photographers…and there are many reasons why the numbers are skewed…ask the iconic women like Sally Mann and Annie Leibowitz and Nan Goldin and Mary Ellen Mark if they felt or feel discrimination…women have had a powerful position in the world of photography from the beginning…Arbus, Cunningham, Lange, Arnold, Bourke-White were icons in photography even when there was discrimination in the normal biz workplace..i cannot say for sure, i am only guessing, but my feeling is that women feel they must make a greater personal life sacrifice to survive in this business than do men…i have grown side by side with many women, Cobb, Avakian, Steber, Meiselas, and many others who have spoken of giving up family life in order to survive in the biz…i never heard of a man giving up family life to survive in the biz…big diff….as i have said many many times, it is the young women who are almost always the stars of my classes…with clearly the best essays..however, the young men in my classes tend to still be around ten years later, and i rarely know what happened to the most talented women….the exceptions are the icons we all know…


    i suppose it is always somewhat “cool” to put down Magnum….funny actually…you really believe that? any outfit with such a place in the history of photography and clearly the largest group of individuals producing great bodies of work , undeniable by any standard, is going to be a big target…should be a big target…however, over the years i have noticed that those throwing the biggest stones in public are in fact trying to come in the back door…the best youngest brightest talents most often are applying to Magnum…for 65 years…if it all ends tomorrow, still impressive…but it is not ending tomorrow….even those in other agencies with established names will, if given the chance, beat a path to the door of Magnum..but of course putting it down is human psychology 101….again , the goal , the appeal, is not money, not fame, not public recognition, but a deep sense of a place at the table of history…but no point in selling Magnum…all you have to do is go down the list..look at who is producing what…of course great photographers exist in other agencies or photogs with no agency..but at this point no matter how much you want to knock it, Magnum is going to rock you back…track record….period.


  • MICHA: Josef Koudelka is the only one not looking up….. EVA: Gilden isn’t either..
    His imitation of an hopeless Haiti, maybe? :-)))))

  • DAVID…

    What you describe is what happens in other professions as well, it’s just hard to have and grow kids and at the same time to jump all over the place.. unless you do like Sally Mann, who has found the perfect balance (at least it seems so). Or you find a partner who takes over the mother role in the family. Question of choices, priorities and what you really want.. you wrote it the other day: hug a book?


    While you patiently wait:

  • David;
    Re Magnum: any success often brings out the “two-faced”. And the more successful (or desirable) the more the back-stabbing occurs… I used to watch it happen continually in the supermarket! People trying to climb the greasy pole to promotion and not caring how nasty (always behind people’s back) they were to get there.

    It was always interesting to see who eventually ended up being the most two-faced; usually it was those you least suspected… ;-)

  • Has anyone else attempted to upload images to the WinePhoto 2011 contest today. I have been at it for the better part of two hours and have managed to only upload two images. Anyone have some tips?

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