I first started following Emiliano Granado’s work in 2008 when he was named part of the PDN 30 for that year. As I do each year, I looked at everyone’s website and for those who had blogs, added them to my RSS reader [lamentably, a technology that’s never taken off]. Since I was living in Argentina at the time, I was obviously very interested in his take on the place.
About a year later I was doing an unpaid internship for a free English language newspaper in Buenos Aires. We were doing a story on Cumbia Villera and I emailed Emiliano asking for permission to use one of his photos.
He said no, as I would have, because we had no budget and we were trolling for free content. Nevertheless, we struck up a correspondence and another year later, in the winter of 2010, we were both in Los Angeles at the same time and we met up for coffee. Afterwards, sitting in his rental car, he took out a box of these precious little 4×5″ polaroids from his “secret” project.
I felt like an effete Englishman in the 19th century, on a grand tour of the Middle East, being shown a book of “naughty” postcards by some sly merchant. I wanted to look, to really stare, but felt guilty in his presence.
I remember asking him how many photos he took in a single session. The response floored me, accustomed as I was to the modest endeavors of cash-strapped photographers in Argentina. Sensing my surprise he said, simply, “go big or go home.” Perhaps it’s not the most original advice, but it’s something I’ve taken to heart in all my subsequent projects. Though I’m sad to miss tonight’s opening of his project Time for Print, I can’t wait to see it in person and stare to my heart’s content.