Suzanne Révy (https://linktr.ee/suzannerevy/) Suzanne Révy, a native of Los Angeles, is a fine art photographer, educator, writer, and editor. She moved east to earn her BFA in photography from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she immersed herself in black and white street photography. Following graduation, she worked as a photography editor at “U.S.News & World Report” in Washington, D.C. and later at “Yankee Magazine” in Dublin, NH. With the arrival of two sons, she left publishing and returned to making pictures, photographing her boys, their cousins and friends, ultimately building three inter-related portfolios over fifteen years: first, a black and white series exploring the culture and nature of childhood play; sec-ond, an emotional response to motherhood and witnessing her sons’ development, made with a lo-fi plastic camera and color film; and third, a home-based series of color pictures observing her teen sons as they seemed to retreat into their rooms. Through this final portfolio, she earned her MFA at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Révy’s work has been exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Fitchburg Art Museum, Danforth Museum of Art, Workspace Gallery in Lincoln, NE and the Camera Club of NY among others. She has been on the faculty at New England School of Photography, and the Institute of Art and Design at New England College in Manchester, NH and currently teaches at Clark University in Worcester, MA. She is the Associate Editor of the online photography review magazine “What Will You Remember?” and serves on the board of the Photographic Resource Center in Cambridge, MA. Révy and her husband share an empty nest in suburban Boston, where she has been exploring the surrounding woods and meadows with her trusty medium format camera.
LACP Interviews Suzanne Révy
LACP asks Suzanne Révy ten questions about their background, career in and beliefs about photography.
Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?
Suzanne Révy: I am a fine art photographer, exploring themes of growth and change, for fifteen years through my own family and currently in the landscape.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
SR: I became interested in photography in high school way back in the late 1970’s when tri-x and D-76 were the materials of choice for a beginner.
LACP: Where did you get your training?
SR:I earned a BFA in photography at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1984. Decades later, fulfilling a bucket list item, I earned an MFA at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (now the Institute of Art and Design at New England College) in 2016 where I discovered a passion for writing about photography.
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
SR: As a teenager, I was enamored of the magic of the darkroom, and knew that I wanted to become a photographer. I had an early ambition to pursue photojournalism and eventually worked in the field at a news magazine as a photography editor, doing research, making assignments and selecting and sequencing pictures for publication.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
SR: No, but my fine art work stayed on the “back burner” during the years I worked in publishing. I continued to shoot for myself during that time, but the bulk of my creative energies were focused on my day job, which made for a somewhat erratic personal shooting schedule. After I left publishing and had children, I returned to making pictures almost daily and feel that’s when I found my voice in the medium.
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
SR: Not really. I suppose if I had pursued other fields of study or work, it may have yielded greater financial rewards, but I doubt I would have found as much satisfaction in my life.
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
SR: Making photographs, looking at photographs, writing about photographs and studying the history of photography have enhanced my understanding of the past, broadened my horizons around the present and introduced me to a community of engaged artists, writers and educators.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
SR: Along with my partner, Elin Spring, I teach “Writing About Your Photography.”
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
SR: I am an avid student and I continue to learn, especially when I teach. My students in undergraduate photography courses, adult workshops, and one-on-one mentoring have enhanced my own practice as an artist. And there is a real satisfaction in seeing a student’s work really flourish.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
SR: I have to credit the late David Prifti for this advice, which I wish I had heard earlier in my career: it is important to commit some time each day to making your art, even if it is only for fifteen minutes. Over time, you will find that you have become a consistent and productive artist despite the demands of commercial work or a day job.