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Boston-based photographer’s photographer David Hilliard talks about:
Being a nearly life-long Boston resident, why he loves it and calls it and New England home; the straight-laced culture of photography/the photographer, and the challenges of breaking the rules after you’ve learned so many of them; his various photo workshops, which he does around the country; his teaching experiences with students who are about to complete grad school yet have a completely insufficient understanding of their own work and how to talk about and market it, and what that phenomenon is due to; his long-standing and ongoing series photographing his father, who’s been a nursing home for some time, and how Hilliard and his dad have grown closer through that extension of their relationship; his work photographing young men who are either people from his neighborhood or strangers he meets on his travels, and how nerve-wracking it continues to be – he refers to himself as his ‘own worst enemy’ – for him to approach them to ask whether if he can take their picture; how he strategically uses an assistant, usually a young woman, for his shoots, to help make his portrait subjects comfortable; the large number of editions he makes his photos available in, but with a lower price point so they’re accessible to a wider group of people/collectors; how you have to make the work that you have to make (which he tells his students); and the house he and his long-time partner – formerly romantically, but still best friends (they call themselves ‘prends’) – have built in Maine, a house on a 100-acre forested area where he goes to decompress.

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