Inspiration to Process: Karen Zusman - Trust Me Shops
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Inspiration to Process: Karen Zusman

Inspiration to Process: Karen Zusman

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When we really dug into what motivates Karen Zusman to make photographs, her answer resonated more like a poem than an assertion: “I try to get invited inside.”

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When we really dug into what motivates Karen Zusman to make photographs, her answer resonated more like a poem than an assertion: “I try to get invited inside.”
I understood that phrase for its figurative value, although I’m sure the literal is just as important to her work. With just a quick look at her multi-year project on Cuba, even the photos taken in hot daylight have a sense of intimacy; of an interior life.

Cory Rice
It comes as no surprise then, to know that Zusman is a poet; more a writer than photographer, and she makes no secret of her relative recent embrace of the visual medium. The humility in her approach is refreshing but, in truth, she has been making photos for more than ten years and is dedicated to her craft in a way many photographers will never be. For the aforementioned Cuba series, she has been to the nation twenty-one times over four years, with many visits extending into months. I suppose that’s how one gets “invited inside.”
But given the hesitation I sense from her, I ask, “Do you call yourself a photographer?”
“Yes, but it’s not easy for me to say that. I’m being very frank when I say that I’m new to photography. I shoot a lot, sometimes I overshoot. I miss a lot of shots, I’m not gonna lie. I’m not always fast enough on my settings and slow to focus, which is one reason why I want to get the X-T3.” Again, I think she is being somewhat hard on herself. Imagine all the incredible photos that have been “missed” by the greatest of photographers.

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