24 Dec, 2014 | Sophia Vahdati
In 2006, Michael Dunn had left Bolivia and was studying business in New York where he enrolled in a photography course. His life then changed its course as he quit his business career to pursue photography and design. After graduating as a graphic designer with a minor in photography in New York he decided to return to La Paz where he founded the magazine Diafragma, a publication that promotes and supports art and photography throughout the country.
‘The first time I shot with a film camera, I knew I wanted to be a photographer. I remember feeling inspired when my professor remarked how much she liked the majority of the frames in my first roll. Confident, I kept shooting, knowing I could do this for the rest of my life. I considered photography as a career. The more I got into photography, the more I became amazed by the work of talented black and white street photographers, Henri Cartier Bresson and William Klein.’
Since then, he has worked as a designer and photography teacher for the Bolivian Express as well as forming part of the professional photography collective, SinMotivo. He considers himself a street photographer; “I just love walking on the streets, looking for moments” and believes that photographers are gifted with the opportunity “to explore: see contrasts, people, and unique locations.”
His advice to aspiring photographers; ‘know this: photography is not as simple as just buying a DSLR camera. This craft takes a lot of self-observation: learn to observe what goes on around you. Be patient! Try to think too much before shooting. Most importantly, enjoy yourself!’