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internships, work experience, volunteering: it's all a capitalists joke!!!

Well well…
I quit my career as a lawyer in Greece, I moved to UK, I did my MA in photography and I have been applying to all kinds of ‘work experience’, ‘graduate internship’ and ‘volunteer wanted’ posts. No result. What else do I have to do? Maybe I need a manager…
Any advice is welcomed, please have a look at my website www.evavoutsaki.com and my blog evavoutsaki.blogspot.com

by evangelia voutsaki at 2010-07-25 21:15:59 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Eva…What do you see yourself doing in photography? You are a bit vague. The joke has nothing to do with “capitalism”…it’s the concept of “buying an education” equals a linear advancement in career that’s the joke. It can work in the LAW which you gave up but life as an artist is a chaotic journey. Read between the lines. Focus!

by Gregory Sharko | 25 Jul 2010 23:07 (ed. Jul 26 2010) | Brooklyn, New York, United States | | Report spam→
I have a scholarship to do postgraduate studies in photography, already finished my MA and heading towards a practice based PhD.

I want to do full time photography as an artist and workshop facilitator. I have previously worked for theatre companies in Athens and the Botanical museum of Crete.

by evangelia voutsaki | 26 Jul 2010 00:07 | malmo, Sweden | | Report spam→
What is a workshop facilitator? ARE you an artist or still an academic? Degrees don’t an artist make or a reputation. Maybe in Sweden??? I wouldn’t know.

by Gregory Sharko | 26 Jul 2010 00:07 | Brooklyn, New York, United States | | Report spam→
Join the queue with the rest of the hopefuls

by Imants | 26 Jul 2010 03:07 | " The Boneyard", Australia | | Report spam→
You want to be a writer, then write; you want to be a photographer – then take photos; you want to be a workshop facilitator, then – set up some workshops. Waiting for someone else to discover your towering talent and do it FOR you is just not going to happen.

Start small: design a good weekend workshop, rent a space with a photo studio, then promote it through social media, (maybe sign up a more well-known photographer in the area as a guest instructor) then sign up some participants and run it. If they like it, they’ll recommend it to their friends and it can grow from there. There’s an explosion in camera ownership and hobby photography and those people are hungry for the legitimacy taking a workshop or course can give them.

Honestly I would think a PhD in Photography or Fine Art is more a hindrance than an asset to a career as anything but a University-level teacher – as Greg implied, the perception is that you cannot be an academic AND an artist. The paths are Artisan, Arist or Academic, and those who successfully straddle any two of those are rare, in my opinion.


by BignoseTW | 26 Jul 2010 04:07 | Taipei, Taiwan | | Report spam→
Hi there guys! Nice to know us seriously old farts are around to lend a bit of earth shattering advice to the younger generation!


Ok now Evangelia, I think the thing is that when Tobie, Greg, Imants and I started in photography there was still a career path. No-one wanted to do photography really because it was hard. Yep thats right you had to actually know what it was you were about, the equipment was heavy, the chemicals smelt bad and we didn’t have mobile phones so we had to be really organised to be able to go to jobs and get the film back on time and ready for publication.

There was no PS5, LR3, snowleopard or skype. Yeah that makes me a dinosaur I am sure but it also meant you had to be incredibly determined, focused, alert and work smarter to beat the competition.

And while photographers are the new ‘actors’ -who exactly are the ones that make it to the top, or actually anywhere really?

That would be the ones like for instance fellow Aussie Adam Ferguson, who just went and did it. He saved two years worth of money I believe and then just went and shot the hell out of it.

Forget whether you have a Phd… Its handy if you want to teach at university level but if you want to shoot, then the simple thing is you do what the rest of us do, go shoot. If you want to facilitate workshops hassle the crap out of Magnum or Vii or anyone to facilitate workshops. There ain’t no magic in it, you just keep trying until you get what it is you want and you do what you have to do.

Sometimes you have to take some risks (er thats generally never knowing where your next dollar is coming from) and sometimes you just got to go hungry. And sometimes you just gotta keep on knocking on doors until your knuckles are bleeding, until one day one will open for you.

Earth shattering ’eh! Good luck

by lisa hogben | 26 Jul 2010 08:07 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Thank you all for your replies.

Well, the reason why I do all these studies in photography is because I have a scholarship (only one takes it every year in Greece through exams and portfolio). The scholarship pays for my fees and a monthly allowance which makes possible for me to be in Brighton and London. I come from a poor family and studying was always the way out towards a ‘better’ life. Being a lawyer didn’t help, I was like a fish out of water.

I want to use the PhD time doing practice based research. I don’t want to be a boring academic, that’s for sure. But I wouldn’t mind teaching photography, I have done it before and I love it.@ Tobie, I hope I am one of these rare artists who can combine teaching. Students need inspirational professors.

What I am saying is that I am tired of job posts which ask young photographers to work for free just for the experience or to build up a portfolio. I am not a young photographer and I don’t want to be treated like an ignorant puppy! I have been doing photography since 1999 and I have spend loads of time in the darkroom.
Well, I guess my experience and my complain expresses a reality that lots of young photographers hate.

Thanks again!Your comments are full of wisdom!

by evangelia voutsaki | 26 Jul 2010 11:07 | malmo, Sweden | | Report spam→
Evangelia, maybe your aggressive attitude is not the best way to get advices here. I understand what you mean but there is no “magical” way to get hired on assignment. Unfortunately, there is a lot more available photographers than jobs. You don’t want to work for free for NGOs and I totally agree with you. We already had a huge discussion on that here. I suggest something who could be seen as a “compromise”.

If you know an organization who work on a very sensitive subject, offer them your service. They will embed you and pay for your meals, lodging, etc but probably no salary. But before accepting, go see editors of different newspapers and magazines and offer them exclusivity of the story vs a decent salary. it has work for me in the past and for others here.

You know, James Nachtwey, Annie Leibovitz, etc., are exception and they make their reputation at the time where there were no “Joe Schmo”
every street corners taking photos for free. Unfortunately, is the reality now and we have to deal with.

Wish you the best,


by Yves Choquette | 26 Jul 2010 14:07 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
sorry, I didn’t mean to be aggressive. It could be a language thing since I try to express myself in English and it all seems Greek to me… (I am Greek).

Thank you for your advice Yves. I am really desperate and tired because I have spend the whole year applying to jobs with no result. Also I have been showing my work to portfolio reviews, entering competitions, etc.Today I read this article in British Journal of Photography http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/profile/1724616/can-assistance

It is a slow process unfortunately and patient is a virtue. Yves, you are right that there are more photographers than jobs. I wouldn’t mind contributing my time to an NGO for free but I also need to pay my bills somehow.

Anyway, thank you all for your time.

I don’t thing my problem is personal. I feel it is global (unfortunately).

by evangelia voutsaki | 26 Jul 2010 15:07 | malmo, Sweden | | Report spam→
Evangelia – what kind of jobs are you applying for?

by [former member] | 27 Jul 2010 14:07 | on the road, United States | | Report spam→
Thank you for your interest Erica,

I have been applying for internships in museums/galleries/art organisations in London and Brighton, visual archivist at Amnesty international, volunteer for photography workshops etc. You can have a look at some of my commissioned works at http://evavoutsaki.blogspot.com/

by evangelia voutsaki | 27 Jul 2010 15:07 | malmo, Sweden | | Report spam→
sent you a PM

by [former member] | 29 Jul 2010 13:07 | on the road, United States | | Report spam→

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evangelia voutsaki, photographer evangelia voutsaki
Crete , Greece
Gregory Sharko, photographer Gregory Sharko
Brooklyn, New York , United States ( JFK )
Imants, gecko hunter Imants
gecko hunter
" The Boneyard" , Australia
BignoseTW, Videographer/Photographer BignoseTW
(Tobie Openshaw)
Taipei , Taiwan
lisa hogben, Visualjournalist! lisa hogben
Sydney , Australia
Yves Choquette, Photojournalist Yves Choquette
Montreal , Canada


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