Martin Parr
[Photographer, b. 1952, Epson, Surrey, England, lives in Bristol and London, England.]

 I see things going on before my eyes and I photograph them as they are, without trying to change them. I don’t warn people beforehand. That’s why I’m a chronicler. I speak about us and I speak about myself. 
 I love playing the game of fashion photography without knowing what the rules are. 
 I went for an interview at colleges in Manchester and Derby and I was enormously impressed by people doing these creative photography courses. I was impressed by people smoking in the darkroom—the idea of having your own darkroom and being able to smoke in it, I just thought was absolutely fantastic. 
 We are drowning in images. Photography is used as a propaganda tool, which serves to sell products and ideas. I use the same approach to show aspects of reality. 
 I try to photograph my own and society’s hypocrisy. 
 My photography is an observation of the western world’s middle classes and their endless quest for material abundance. 
 I often think of what I photograph as a soap opera, where I am waiting for the right cast to fall into place. 
 I am only photographing what is obvious, and part of my way of working is to tap into people’s prejudices, and depict all aspects of things happening in today’s society. I give people an opportunity to air their prejudices, and if they want to say the working class is scruffy and dirty, then the pictures exist to illustrate that thesis. 
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