Interview with Ed Kashi

Interview with Ed Kashi


Photojournalist, film-maker, educator mentor and member of VII Photo Agency, Ed Kashi has been exploring geopolitical and social issues for over 40 years. His work has appeared in National Geographic, Open Society Foundations, The New Yorker, MSNBC, GEO, Human Rights Watch, New York Times Magazine, TIME magazine…to name a few and has received numerous awards from World Press Photo, POYi, CommArts and American Photography.

On a more personal level, if I had to sum up Ed Kashi in one word, it would be…sorry no, I need more than one word. Ed is inspiring, generous, kind, down-to-earth and honest, qualities, I would venture to say, are part of what enables him to create such intimate and captivating images. I say part because talent and creativity play no small role either. In case it’s not obvious already, let me just add that I want to be like Ed when I grow up.

Bewitched by Ed’s energy, we’ve stalked invited him on numerous occasions to our WORKSHOPS and today we bring you this short interview, particularly for those of you who have not had the opportunity to join us.

Ed Kashi

Christelle Enquist: What does photography mean to you?

Ed Kashi: Photography is my life. Nearly everything in my life has come about through the world of photography, for better or worse. It’s a way to engage with the world, learn about life, history, cultures and politics, and it allows me to use my energy and skills to address some of the issues that represent the time I’m living in. As a craft, or art, it also allows me to experiment, play and express myself.

CE: Do you have a mantra?

Ed Kashi: Keep and open heart and open mind every day., and remember the story is not about me.

CE : What is the project you are most proud of and why?

Ed Kashi: I find it difficult to answer this question, as I’m too close to the big projects I’ve produced in the course of my career, but  Ageing in America is the project I find that resonates most universally with people. It is also the project that had the most profound impact on me and my life.

Ed Kashi
Ed Kashi
Ed Kashi

CE: What is the most difficult thing about being a photojournalist?

Ed Kashi: Spending so much time on the road, loneliness, the dangers of the job and being away from my family.

CE: Your projects always so engaging and intimate. What would you say are the 2-3 key aspects in achieving this?

Ed Kashi: Sincerity, humility and respect. I try to approach my subjects in a gentle and calm manner, explain as clearly as possible who I am, what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and what I plan to do with the work.

CE: What do you do to relax?

Ed Kashi: Watch TV and movies, exercise, hiking, being with family.

CE: What is the best advice that you have ever been given?

Ed Kashi: Know what you do best and focus on your strengths.

CE: Is there anything at present that keeps you up at night?

Ed Kashi: The fear that I’ll be forgotten and my work will become irrelevant.

Ed Kashi
Ed Kashi

CE: What is a question you have never been asked and would like to answer?

Ed Kashi: How does one work and age gracefully in a profession that is so youth oriented and why, in a profession that is supposedly dedicated to bettering humanity, is it so family unfriendly?

CE: If you could document any historic/famous person (past or present) who would it be and why?

Ed Kashi: Abraham Lincoln, to witness a great leader with moral courage during a time of upheaval, good vs evil distilled, and to witness the end of slavery.

CE: Last but not least, can we adopt you?

Ed Kashi: I’ll be happy to be your “manny”. I clean and cook and for the most part behave myself 🙂

A big thank you Ed, for your time and for always being available to us.


Dear readers, if you want to see more of Ed’s work, check out the following links: 

Website | Instagram | Facebook 

And for a little extra inspiration, check out this short video with Ed on ‘The greatest work you’ll do”.