Miranda Penn Turin
Miranda Penn Turin (http://www.mirandapennturin.com) is a freelance photographer who has been specializing in portraiture, fashion and beauty for over thirty years. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts and splits her time between New York and LA – she shoots all over the world and is grateful to have the best crew on the planet. She first picked up a camera at about eight when her mother gave her a Polaroid Swinger, but didn’t get serious until she was sixteen – after that she took photography classes every year; it became her informal minor in college. Miranda graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in creative writing, but her passion for photography overrode her major. In her summer breaks she interned with Boston photographer Jack Richmond and began assisting once she graduated. She still considers assisting the greatest photographic education she could possibly get and feels that this step is essential to truly hone one’s skill and know-how. Her one piece of advice for any young photographer is just that – assist, assist, assist. Her clients include Coty, Max Factor, Sony, Universal, Bloomingdales, Fox, Warner Bros. Records, Converse, Conde Nast, the Four Seasons, Chase, MTV and many others. She is currently working with Voices4Freedom, a humanitarian organization committed to abolishing human trafficking all over the world. Her images of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu provide the cover art for The Book of Joy, which spent 37 weeks on the New York Times top fifteen bestseller list. A writer as well, she just completed her first novel. In brief flights of fantasy Miranda has contemplated opening a bakery, but never came within miles of giving up photography – she loves what she does too much to quit. Her advice on visiting her hometown: eat lobster and don’t try to do the accent.
LACP Interviews Miranda Penn Turin
LACP asks Miranda Penn Turn ten questions about her background, career in and beliefs about photography.
Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?
Miranda Penn Turn: I am portraiture, fashion and beauty photographer.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
MPT: I have been self employed as a photographer since January of 1986, thirty-two years.
LACP: Where did you get your training?
MPT: I studied photography at the University of Pennsylvania, but really learned lighting and camera function from the photographers I assisted after I graduated and the other assistants I worked with during that time.
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
MPT: I was twenty years old, standing in front of the library at Penn when I decided I’d pursue photography as a career. I remember the exact moment.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
MPT: I have often had fantasies of opening bakeries – baking is another passion for me – but they were never serious, I love what I do.
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
MPT: One sacrifices security in any creative career – no regular paycheck, no 401k – you have to be sure that you have to do it, it’s not something to try on a whim.
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
MPT: I have seen so many amazing things all over the world, met incredible people, been able to share information, stretched and challenged myself creatively, worked on humanitarian projects – the list is endless.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
MPT: I haven’t taught any yet, but I have lots of ideas!
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
MPT: I think sharing information with the next generation is essential, especially now that film has become a niche choice. I love lighting, I love the darkroom – bringing what information I can to new photographers coming up is a wonderful responsibility.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
MPT: First: be sure that you love shooting and must be a photographer, it’s not a quick easy path to money. Next: ASSIST. There is no better school, no better way to find your connections in the industry. Do not skip this step. ASSIST!