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Sally Mann — Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

I am excited to read Sally Mann’s new memoir, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs.  I was first introduced to Mann’s work during college.  I have most of Mann’s books containing her work, and I have been fortunate enough to see her work in person in galleries and museums in Manhattan.  Seeing her work, tenacity, and intensity makes me want to return to the darkroom and film — maybe that will be the next project.

Mann describes her new memoir as a “deeply personal explorations of the landscape of the American South, the nature of mortality (and the mortality of nature), intimate depictions of my husband and the indelible marks that slavery left on the world surrounding me.”

Mann has photographed and worked on her family farm for almost 50 years, with a steadfast commitment to the past — in approach and process.

She said she likes black and white photography.

“That’s not why I like it, but it’s harder, but it also makes you get right to the essence of what you’re taking the picture of.  You’re not distracted by the color,” she said.  “I mean, the color’s just an entirely different process, way of thinking.  I see everything in black and white and I also now start seeing things.”

Mann stated in a recent interview, which I really found insightful, “I think the difference is that I used to be taking pictures to save things.  That was the impulse was to either take pictures to save something, or to try and see what something would look like when it was photographed.  Now it’s a lot more important to me to actually say something.”

Mann said she doesn’t waste time.

“I work all the time.  I never leave home.  I mean, I just stay honed in on what’s ahead,” Mann said.

Additionally, Mann is also a lover of dogs and she has photographed her dogs and dog bones.

You can view recent video interviews of Mann here and here; and you can view additional video interviews of Mann and her work here and here.


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