Marti Friedlander – Chutzpah

An hour with Marti Friedlander was a joy. She has been photographing New Zealanders for 50 years and her Cover of Marti Friedlandermemorable images have opened our eyes to our country. Marti came as an outsider, an “out there” personality who had to be a little wary with the reserved New Zealanders. She engaged with and liked her subjects from the start as she has always been drawn to how people engage with life. I thought she seemed enormously sensitive and sympathetic to the human condition, drawn especially to struggling artists and other people on the margins.

She decided very young that she would never follow the crowd. She doesn’t like being photographed and is not a “snapper” and feels there must be respect for the person you are photographing. She does recognise that in the digital age everyone has a camera and we are all photographers. Marti believes there will be a move back to black and white and photographers will go back to the dark room.

Her philosophy of photography:

  • Avaliable light
  • No props no studio
  • Black and white and processing her own work in the darkroom
  • The joy of being utterly mobile

This was a total fan session. We all clapped and whistled for ages and we all loved Marti’s idea that she might put an advertisement in the paper saying she would be at a certain place at a certain to take people’s photographs in order to capture the diversity of Auckland today.