Image source.

Ara Oshagan sat down for an interview with Boy With Grenade to talk about his project Juvies from the California Youth Detention system. Oshagan talks about “access, his process and the state of documentary photography today.” It’s long but parts make good reading.

There is a certain pragmatism in my outlook. I knew I could not have access to these kids outside of the limited access that I had when I went in. So I did not worry about that. I made sure that I was totally ready—physically and mentally—when I did spend time with them, to make the absolute most of that time, to be fully in the “space” with them, to have a clear mind, to connect as much as possible, and hope that this connectivity will translate into good photographs.”

“To make good photographs, I feel, one must create a good process. Photographs can never be an end; they necessarily must be a byproduct of an experience, a process. That connectivity with your subject matter must be present. If you go into a situation with the sole purpose of making “good photographs” you will invariably fail. Or at least, I will.”

Read the full interview.

I’ve written about Oshagan’s Juvies on Prison Photography once previously.