Meredith Edlow is one of the artists featured in PL130 Gallery's photography show Off Topic, a photo show about the unassigned work of photojournalists who worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News since the 80s. This week we caught up with Meredith to learn more about her work and experience.
How did you first get into photography? And how did you make your way into becoming a photojournalist?
I couldn't draw and always wanted to express myself visually. My oldest sister took photos and they had great light in them. She once photographed this playground we used to live near in West Oak Lane, Simons. The light she captured bouncing off this duck thing on a big spring, was so beautiful. I wanted to find that light. Took a digital photo class at Temple U. and also visited the door of Prof. Trayes every now and then to peek at the pro work that was up there. The Eric Mencher RNC balloon photo comes to mind.
I found my way into becoming a photojournalist through naiveté, will, a need to understand my world more and encouragement by other photojournalists that may have related to my determination/desire to photograph. Melissa Lyttle, her A Photo A Day site/listserv and Geekfest conference. I also have a spot news Pen & Pencil moment that sealed the deal- major umbrella store fire in Old City. Cleared a room full of photojs one night at a Philadelphia Conference meeting, will never forget that.
When speaking about your photography, do you describe yourself as an artist, photographer, or photojournalist?
In what years did you work for the Philadelphia Inquirer or Daily News?
Freelancing on and off during the time period between 2005 (I think could be '06) - 2021
Do you have a favorite story of an encounter with a subject either on an assignment or a personal project?
Hmmm...it's all a trip. No lie. There's no 1 experience you come away from that you'd consider "that's just how things usually go".
In what ways is photographing on assignment different from personal editorial work?
Is there a specific theme that captivates you, one that you keep returning to?
Street photography, portraits, human interaction, human interaction with the environment
Are you active on Instagram? Who do you follow that you really admire?
Yes. Whew to many to list. But follow people of all ages and types. It makes for a better social media experience.
What piece of advice would you give to a young photographer who is interested in photojournalism?
Get to know yourself well.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about yourself or work?
Follow along or continue if you already are!