Deborah Feingold '73
1. What was your major at Emerson?
My major was Speech Communication, and I also received a teaching certification for secondary school.
2. What made you decide to attend Emerson?
In the 50s and the 60s Emerson had an outstanding theater reputation— I wanted to study acting for as long as I could remember and Emerson was where I wanted to go. In 1969 I applied to Emerson and was rejected based on my poor grades. I attended VCU in Richmond, Virginia for a year and then reapplied to Emerson, was accepted and transferred in for my sophomore year.
3. How is Emerson part of your life today?
Emerson’s reputation has really grown. When I tell people I graduated from Emerson they say, “Oh, really?” Years ago people were never sure what or where Emerson was. Now everyone does. I have recently attended some seminars hosted by Emerson in the NYC. They are great because you can always take something away from them. My suitemates (class of 1973) and I have recently reconnected through Facebook and we had a mini reunion last year.
4. Tell us about your journey to becoming a photographer.
Photography started off as a hobby for me. I had a dark room growing up because my Dad was a photography hobbyist. Once coming to Emerson, I took my first photography class with former Emerson professor, Stephen Shipps. On the first project we had assigned to us I thought I had interpreted it all wrong and I was humiliated. However, Stephen felt quite the opposite and his reaction to my photographs was life changing. He was the inspiration to my photography career, I even acknowledge him in my new book, Music.
5. What inspired you to create Music?
I have always been encouraged to do a book of my photographs. Since I started my photo career shooting musicians (before going on to photographing more iconic individuals), my assistant strongly encouraged me to focus on just my music work. Music is a collection of some of the most memorable shots from my sessions with artists whose work has defined the last 40 years of music.
6. What can folks expect from the book?
Music starts with an introduction by music critic/author Anthony DeCurtis. It is the book I always wanted to do, no text, just a collection of my favorite (80) portraits of musicians shot over the last 38 years. It is a book for music lovers of all genres and ages.
7. Where will readers be able to buy it?
Music will be available on Amazon September 30. It is currently available for pre-order. I will also be in Boston and Providence at Porter Square Book Store in Cambridge, Mass. and Symposium Books in Providence, Rhode Island in the fall.
8. What is the single, most important piece of advice you would like to give to current Emerson students?
To do what you want to do rather than what you think you should do.