This week has shown the challenge of time management with so many wonderful themes to explore. The reading and enquiry in to the subject of the week, the relationship between art and commerce in photography, could easily consume all the time available. Equally the pull of the work in progress portfolio, an idea for a business proposition around ‘The Truth & Beauty of You’, a photobook for the work in progress and then the small matter of the Oxfam ‘In Your Street’ climate change pitch. Exhausting, yes. Exhilarating, definitely.
Art and Commerce
The photography industry is changing fast and as it does so is not clear what it is. Technology capabilities are killing traditional practitioners but also presenting an infinite number of new possibilities. I am comfortable and excited in this world. For me it remains the individual human eye and brain that creates the image. If you can find a distinctive way of doing that for your images then you can make a killing or inspire others to use their eyes and grow.
Something that has stuck from the reading is the importance of narrative ability, authenticity and subjectivity in work in work produced today. (Morton, 2017). If a sequence of images can tell a visual story, be authentic and subjective it will have a good chance of success. Then it is important to find the right market for it.
In my coaching business I loved coaching and hated the selling. I can see I am going to come up against the same challenge in photography so need to be imaginative about how I can find a way of enjoying it.
Oxfam Pitch – Climate Change In Our Street
This has been an exciting introduction to the MA with the idea of ‘doing it for real.’ (Anna quote). I became challenged as I sought evidence that Oxfam had cleared up its image associated with abuse of people it is supposed to be helping and their own staff. All I could find were articles by Oxfam congratulating itself on its actions but nothing from charity authorities or the press. The photography department at Falmouth has taken the view that the ‘do it for real’ value to the MA outweighs the misdemeanours of a small number of staff and poor decisions by senior management.
I struggled with this as I always take the view that if I don’t like something I should do something about it or not complain. In this instance I have chosen to do the work for the learning as I like the team I am in but I will not do work for Oxfam should we win unless I see evidence they really have put their house in order.
The team of Hilde, Clodagh, James and Chris is a strong one. Our challenge is that this is potentially a huge workload to produce a professional pitch. It feels like it will be important to time ring fence it so that work that gets marked (wip, crj, video) get worked on. It will also be important to structure the tasks, share them out and then bring together again.
The meet with Jesse and Anna went well. They were impressed with where we have got to at this early stage and made suggestions and offers of help. Ideas of getting input from future generations are interesting as is producing an app that could show what is going as climate change moves on. Lots to do.
Work in progress is full of ideas and I will remain in the play and explore space for the next three weeks. Looking at where my emotions are and sensory activity will prompt work. I have more ideas than time for shoots so need to bring in some discipline.
I am excited about the business prospect of The Truth & Beauty of You which is written about elsewhere in the blog. Over 50 people have seen this post and I am getting some fantastic inputs. Again time is going to be the constraint and require some real discipline and focus. I would love to be able to structure a retreat on the topic.
The sitting part of the sculpture of me is now over. After 25 hours of sitting I am going to miss it. Fantastic job by John Vickers the sculpture and Katherine Waters the teacher. In a couple of weeks we continue with the oil painting portrait of me by Mairi Brydon.
Morton, H. The New visual testimonial: Narrative, authenticity, and subjectivity in emerging commercial photographic practice. Media and Communication Journal. Vol 5, Issue 2. 2017