The Philosophy of Larry Fink

Writing by Joe Santa
Photography by Tiffany L. Clark


Larry Fink walked onto the stage of the Paramount Theater and announced that he was about to have a conversation in the dark. I’m not sure if he was talking about the room or something one level deeper. Philosophy has this way of shining a light and casting a shadow simultaneously. Most of the time it’s just grey matter, and this evening was no exception.

Boxers, models, and musicians played to an orchestra of Big Love passes. Larry soloed in on more important things like empathy, trust, and love in photography. His phrases were like harmonica in a room full of socialites—an unexpected arrangement of character and sound. Musically, it was all very Socratic; quotable lyrics from a long career; provocative, inspiring, and insightful.


Empathy, Trust and Love

~ by Larry Fink ~

“There’s no such thing as a good picture made out of something that you didn’t experience. More than likely, the only reason that a picture lives in its own breath is because you, yourself, have been gasping at something inside of you.”

“I can find ways to piece together the matrix of humanity. It’s intuitive, swift and physical. I can see weakness, strength, horror, joy and generosity. I have all of those things in me, and that’s why the pictures are what they are.”

“Life as a photographer is not necessarily my life. My life is that of a physical person—as a muscle. I’m simply a muscle.”

“The difference in methodology between a writer and a photographer is entirely different. Writers start with a blank page and a full mind. More than likely, I start with a full page and a blank mind. If you go there with pre-conceptions, you go there to prove a point. I have no point to prove. The only point is that there is none, and how can you make pictures out of the questions.”

"There aren't circumstances when you can't take a photo. There are circumstances when you won't."

"Did anybody walk out? Were we good?"

Book Signing