Houseraising by Ira Wagner

Ira Wagner is a photographer interested in the built environment and what it can reveal about a place and its inhabitants. He began studying photography after a 27 year career on Wall Street. His current project, ‘Houseraising’ looks at the reconstruction of the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy.

Hi Ira, what was it about photography that prompted your career change?

I always had a love for photography. When I was in junior high school, I delivered the newspaper and saved my quarters to buy my first 35mm camera around 1970 – a Minolta SRT 100. When I left Wall Street, I knew I wanted to take some photography classes and began attending classes at ICP. There I was exposed to a broad range of genres and practice and began to explore the urban landscape, which remains a major interest of mine. One of my teachers at ICP suggested getting an MFA Degree, which would possibly lead to teaching. A guest lecturer mentioned the new limited-residency program at Hartford, which is where I attended and was a good fit for both my interests and my life at that time.

To read the full interview, please visit the World Photography Organisation website.


The World Photography Organisation produces a series of exclusive interviews with the winners of The Fence annually.