Artist Statement: Katy Grannan

In some ways, commercial assignments are the opposite of my personal work. I mean, you have a client—a boss—with specific needs and instructions. (Sometimes I dream of having this with my own work because there is no certainty, no needs or imperative other than my own.) The commercial assignment is an opportunity to get out of my head—it is a respite from my all-consuming artistic practice.

Editorial assignments happen really fast. (I was recently asked to make different nine pictures for a twelve-page photo story in one day.)  It can be ludicrous, an exercise in stamina that requires a good dose of crazy. But I love it, and it never feels like work. I’m pretty lucky, actually—I love to make photographs. The good ones are magic.

Photography is a kind of permission; it’s a way in. It’s a catalyst for extraordinary experiences that would otherwise not be possible. (This is the common thread between my personal projects and commissioned work.) I have had so many life-changing moments—some are dramatic, most are utterly mundane and exquisite. 

I consider each of these experiences a privilege, and every subject worthy of attention.