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Vincent Laforet Twitterview Transcript

By  Dec 21, 2011

Topics: Digital Photography

On Wednesday, December 21, 2011, Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Vincent Laforet sat down for a lively Twitterview (interview via Twitter) with @Peachpit. We’ve posted a transcript of the Twitterview so the inspiration, fun and words of wisdom can live on. Enjoy.

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Let's get this Twitterview started! #LaforetTweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet First of all, congrats on your new book, Visual Stories! #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Thank you #laforettweets

vincentlaforet I'm really impressed with how @Peachpit put the book together - I'm actually pretty proud of it #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Your book talks about applying the principles of photojournalism. What are some of those principles? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit To stay true to the story - to remain objective and to find an image that captures the eessence of the story. #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Sometimes staying objective can be so hard! What elements do you look for in a great photo? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Many elements: I try to marry a moment w/ the aesthetic as much as possible #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit To stay true to the story - to remain objective and to find an image that best tells the heart of the story. #laforettweets

vincentlaforet Trying to write in 140 characters WITH a hashtag ain't easy ;) #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet I know - 140 characters is a tight limit! Everyone always wants to know... What is your go-to gear? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Ha! That's impossible in 140 characters! #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit 5D MKII and 24~70mm 2.8 to start... would be part of my go to gear #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit I have a great gear selection on my blog #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit I also really like prime lenses of course - 24mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.2 and 500mm 4 #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Thanks for the great list! #LaforetTweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet From @FromPicturestoP What advice would u give to a person getting started in photojournalism? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit @frompicturestop You need to make people feel at ease w/ you - if you have doubts your subject will sense it #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit @frompicturestop It's important to do your research and be genuine and kind - people sense those things strongly #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet From Todd: As a journalist, I told stories w/ words & photo.How do I get that same impact w/ just photo now? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit It's a visual language - light, composition, geometry and MOMENTS help tell the story #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Most importantly you can't QUOTE someone - you have to witness and photography a moment... very different! #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet So true! So what are folks going to get when they watch the DVD that comes with your book? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit A little bit more info - and to hear me speak w/ my own words. A bit more technical info too #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Nice! What is the first step to mastering how to combine light, shape, and color to create rich photos! #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Each of those elements ONE AT A TIME! And that's just the beginning - one step in front of the other ... #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Great advice! Sometimes it's hard to step back and try to work on each element by itself. #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit You can't expect to master ALL of those elements at once... It took me 22 yrs to get here - and I'm still not there! #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit That's tkind of the secret though... you can't learn to direct all at once either - you need to break down elements... #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit that they are manageable. Otherwise you will become overwhelmed far too quickly #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet You cover a lot about foreground & background in the book. Any advice for newbies in this area? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Knowing how to manage the two is a huge & of any image - emphasize one, the other, or both to help guide viewers #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit You can emphasize the foreground w/ a wideangle and DEEMPHASIZE the background at the same time #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit A longer lens will compress the two together and make them feel more equal and physically closer than they may be #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Can you give us an idea of what it's like to shoot in the air? How difficult is it to get a good shot? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit It's VERY easy to shoot in the air - everything looks beautiful. Being discerning for the AMAZING shot is hard #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit I shoot much tighter than most 300-500mm+ and remembers: you only get ONE shot in aerial - like sports #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet From @Philbeav: You have a great shot from the nose of an aircraft looking back at the NYC landscape... #LaforetTweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet From @Philbeav: What was the camera and how did you time the shot at that moment? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit 5D MKII mounted to the plane (w FAA approved mount!) w/14mm 2.8 lens #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Wow - incredible. How does your sports photography background play into how/what you shoot today? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit It plays into EVERYTHING - you only get ONE chance at most photos - so you need to control emotion and be prepared #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Great advice! What’s the biggest lesson you learned from documenting war and tragedy? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Not to take sides. To have compassion. To be pure in your mind. And that there is no black & white-all is grey. #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Your book ends w/ a chapter on never making mediocre images. Can u give us a taste of what u address there? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit The more time you spend making "OK" images - the less time you have to "See" & "make" GREAT ones - think about it! #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Good point! So how did it feel to get a Pulitzer Prize (and so young in your career!)? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit It was a HUGE honor. When I went to pick it up - I was sweating profusely and sick to my stomach to be honest. #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Given that it was for 9/11 - every Pulitzer winner will tell U that prizes come on the heels of a very tragic event #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet I hope someone else was there to take a photo of that moment! ;) #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit The prize being handed - yes. Me sick - no. I went down for a walk beneath the building… #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet From @Philbeav: On ur Mobius film, how did u get such smooth shots in the chase sequence? #LaforetTweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Cont'd From @Philbeav: Was that filmed using an RC helicopter? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit @philbeav We used a "russian" arm - a Porsche Cayenne w/ Gyro-stabilized head - imperative when on desert roads #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Wow - fancy! From @FromPicturestoP How much time do u dedicate to researching a subject before u shoot it? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit @frompicturestop Every single waking second that i'm given #laforettweets For Mobius it was a short 3 weeks…

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Wow, 3 weeks. Not much time! From @FromPicturestoPSometimes u have a split second to capture an image... #LaforetTweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Cont'd: From @FromPicturestoP How do u ready yourself for these instant decisions? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit @frompicturestop Breathe, relax, research and rely on your past experience - I should coin that! Just made it up #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Nice! That's a great bit of advice! #LaforetTweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Wow, it looks like we have time for just one more question... #LaforetTweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Where do you look for inspiration? Where would you recommend other photogs look? #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit This isn't a cop out - but EVERYWHERE! Magazines / Movies / books / Musicians / inspiration is ALL around you #laforettweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Often the best inspiration comes from a field outside of yours btw… #laforettweets

Peachpit @vincentlaforet Absolutely. Thank you for the great advice & a wonderful Twitterview!! #LaforetTweets

vincentlaforet @Peachpit Thank you all! #laforettweets

Peachpit Thanks 4 tuning in 4 our Twitterview w/ @vincentlaforet! Save 35% on his book w/ code: LAFORETSTORIES! #LaforetTweets

Peachpit You can also check out a sample chapter of @vincentlaforet's new book here: Enjoy! #LaforetTweets