Photographers in Focus: Dennis Morris

Photographers in Focus: Dennis Morris


I exist That’s what makes a rock ‘n’ roll star But not just a rock ‘n’ roll star–
that’s what makes an individual You have to say, “I exist,” otherwise My photography
has always been about people Even now, I’m still fascinated
by people, different cultures and it inspires me It’s always about people for me I like to be in cities or in faces
or countries which inspire me Tokyo is one of my favorite
cities in the world It’s a wonderful place, it really is This is a… I was a choirboy I was one of these boys,
and this is where I discovered photography The first day I walked into a darkroom
and saw a photograph being printed I knew from that day, and I was nine I knew that from that moment
I wanted to be a photographer And when I was leaving school,
they said to me “Don’t be silly, there’s no such thing
as a black photographer” Well, I admit, what I do remember
one of the things he said to me he said, “You know, Dennis.
They’re going to tell you you can never do this
or you can’t do that But as long as you believe in yourself,
you can do what you want Bob Marley, for me,
was a very special person I met him when I was 14 I walked up to him
and said, “Can I take your picture?” and he said, “Yeah, man. Come in” And somewhere along the line,
he said to me he told me about the tour, and he said,
“Would you like to come along?” I said, “Yeah!” There’s a very famous picture which is literally
the first picture I’d taken the way he’s looking back in the van,
and he said, “You ready, Dennis?” and I went “click” and the adventure began I had never come across a black man with so much energy
and confidence and… wow! This man was like electric, you know I actually wanted to be
a war photographer– that was my ambition I wanted to go to Vietnam,
but I was too young The photographer who inspired me
was a man called Tim Page who used to be a rock photographer He did some of the great
pictures of The Doors and I remember reading–
he said that when Jim Morrison died he had to find another war so he went to Vietnam So when I started working
with the Sex Pistols and Bob Marley I found my war We all wear a mask at what we present,
you know, as our public image and such And what I am able to do, I think,
is I’m able to take away that mask and let people reveal themselves By doing that, I was able
to capture all these iconic images because people,
when they look at the images they could see that closeness And I think once when you possess that,
then your work becomes timeless In 1994, these were taken and they look like
they were taken yesterday A lot of other bands were influenced
by the Sex Pistols’ energy and this legion of basically
doing what you want to do A true rock ‘n’ roll star,
that’s what they say If you want to be a musician,
then be a musician The life of an artist
is quite a lonely journey because, you know,
it’s really– it’s in your head what you visualize, you know If you don’t have that drive
to take what’s in your mind and go off and do it, it’ll never be done It’ll never be done, you know I exist That’s what makes a rock ‘n’ roll star But not just a rock ‘n’ roll star–
that’s what makes an individual You have to say, “I exist,” otherwise You’re no one. You know that But you have to say, “I exist” and that’s what he does,
and he does it very well

10 thoughts on “Photographers in Focus: Dennis Morris

  • June 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm
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    such great words of wisdom, need more of this

    Reply
  • June 7, 2018 at 9:27 am
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    You guys are really underrated, you guys deserve more

    Reply
  • June 21, 2018 at 7:34 am
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    Beautiful work

    Reply
  • July 20, 2018 at 5:49 pm
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    Beautiful work
    Beautiful human being
    Love at first sight, hearing…all of it

    Great job πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ
    You have truly inspired me and for that I am immensely grateful

    Reply
  • August 26, 2018 at 5:02 pm
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    The NOWNESS channel is pretentious clap trap for selfish carnists, wholly caught up in their favourite subject. . .. themselves

    Reply
  • September 9, 2018 at 8:32 pm
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    For whatever reason it was ment for me to see this (Thank you) for the kick of inspiration!

    Reply
  • January 18, 2019 at 8:06 pm
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    I really adore this series, but I do wish you featured more female photographers. It's not like there is a shortage of women in the industry and I think there are many that deserve some recognition for their work. Will this series be continuing?

    Reply
  • January 20, 2019 at 11:20 pm
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    I m India vlog

    Reply
  • February 20, 2019 at 11:59 pm
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    Do you have the titlle of that backing track music at 00:20 ?

    Reply

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