We had the good fortune of connecting with Ed Kashi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ed, how has your work-life balance changed over time?

Prior to the pandemic, I had worked 6-7 days a week for the past 40 years. Being slowed down by Covid made me appreciate how much stress and burnout I had endured for decades in pursuit of my passionate commitment to my work. I am now more inclined and able to take time off and do not feel guilty about doing it. I still have a ways to go to find the right balance between work and life, but I’m getting better.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

My documentary work is predicated on long term, in depth visual storytelling. My personal projects last for years and that’s what sets my work apart. I focus on geopolitical and social issues, and increasingly work in a more advocacy approach in my photojournalism and documentary filmmaking. My purpose is to create stories and media materials that can be used to not only raise awareness but be a part of change. I have been working as a photojournalist for over 40 years. My work has been published globally in both print and digital platforms. I’ve produced 12 books of my photography and many short documentary films. In the course of my career I’ve witnessed and been a part of the digital revolution that has rocked the editorial world that I come out of. My work has primarily been for major magazines, including National Geographic, The NYT magazine, Time, The New Yorker and many others. I’ve been exhibited worldwide and lecture and teach on a regular basis around the world.

Doing this work has never been easy. For me it was a mixture of a very hard work ethic, a passionate commitment to making the work happen, investing in myself and not waiting for editors to green light my ideas and never giving up, no matter how hard the rejections, disappointments or mountains to overcome.

The lessons I’ve learned is that you must believe in yourself and your mission. You must be prepared to pay your dues, work very hard, continue to learn and keep an open mind and open heart. Never give up on yourself, no matter how tough the going gets. Do not rely on any one person, client or outcome. Always be prepared for new opportunities to come from places you might not expect and be good to everyone you encounter.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

I would be a poor tour guide. My main interest in spending time with my closest friends is to just be with them. Where we eat, what we do or see is not the object of our time together. It’s to talk, listen, learn, feel the love and friendship without the pressure to entertain.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

I’d have to give a shoutout to my wife, Julie, who has supported me and my work for the past 30 years, even when it meant single parenting our 2 kids for weeks and months at a time due to the heavy travel schedule my work requires. Because of her, our family is in tact, our kids are doing great and we can now develop the next phase of our relationship and lives together.

Image Credits
Ed Kashi/VII is my credit for all images you publish. These images must only be used for this one purpose and cannot be used for any other. All images copyrighted to Ed Kashi.

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