“If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough”
I haven’t done much conflict photography in my career, and pretty much stopped taking those kinds of risks when I had kids, but acclaimed war photographer Robert Capa’s famous dictum - above - has always stuck with me. Capa wasn’t talking just about war photography though, he was talking about getting close to your subjects in any situation, being intimate and comfortable with them, so you can work quietly and effectively recording their lives, work and struggles. I bring that attitude to all my photography, whether it was my earliest work documenting Cambodian street gangs in the US, to covering the last days of the Cambodian civil war in the late 1990s, or today, photographing in a factory or office here in Seattle. To be a great story teller you must get close, understand your subjects, make them comfortable and create images that are authentic, natural and engaging and when necessary, be willing to take risks to create truly unique work.
Born in Switzerland & raised in the UK, I am a versatile editorial, commercial and corporate photographer now based in Seattle, USA, after working out of Bangkok, Tokyo and Paris for over a decade. I've traveled and worked in over 40 countries and my photography has been shown at the prestigious Visa Pour l'Image festival in France, the Reportage and Foto Freo festivals in Australia, the Daegu Photo Biennale in Korea, the Angkor Photo Festival in Cambodia and the Wing Luke Asian Museum here in Seattle. I have photographed on contract for The New York Times for over 20 years and since 2011 I've worked on contract for Fortune Magazine providing photography coverage at their Brainstorm Tech, Most Powerful Women & Global Forum conferences. I was recently featured on Arirang TV's In Frame series in South Korea, in two episodes, Port of Contrasts and Islands of Life (see below).
After what feels like a lifetime of constantly moving, I am now settled in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood with my wife Jennifer and two young daughters, Zoe and Phoebe. "Mayberry with the occasional drunk fishermen" is how I describe life in Ballard, the former sleepy fishing village turned boomtown.
CORPORATE - Bainbridge Organic Distillers, Bentley Motors, Bombardier, Cargill, Carlyle Group, CBS, Concur Technologies, Federal Express, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Microsoft Studios, Morgan Stanley, NBBJ Architects, Prudential, Pure Insurance, Pushpay, Prudential, Schindler Group, Shell Oil, Stoel Rives, Tax Credit Group, Vigor Industrial, Whitepages.com
EDITORIAL - Bloomberg, CNN.com, El Mundo, Figaro, Focus, Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Business Week, Geo, Life Magazine, Marie Claire, Newsweek, Ross School of Business, The Independent, The London Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, US News Magazine, Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Seattle Magazine, Aera Magazine, Mainichi Shimbun, Union Privilege, Stern Magazine.
Stuart Isett explores the South Korea port city of Busan with his cameras.
Stuart Isett travels through Korea's remote southern islands.