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Photographer collectives

Hi:

Does anyone have any experience, thoughts, feedback etc etc regarding photographer’s collectives (such as Oculi out of Australia)? Why go that route? How effective? Any hard advice regarding formation and running of a collective. Why a collective instead of the agency route? Downsides? Any and all info appreciated.

Thanks

Don

by Don Denton at 2006-09-02 16:40:33 UTC (ed. Aug 7 2008 ) Victoria , Canada | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Good questions. I think the term “collective” is sometimes loosely applied to groups that basically operate like agencies but do not really have offices and staff; they are streamlined for operation via the net. Oculi’s members, some anyway, are with agencies outside of Australia and now Oculi itself is related with Redux, but they probably got together originally to foster a group vision of the kind of photography they would like to promote. By far one of my favorite groups. Go, Oculi! Verasimages is another new group but they call themselves an agency and they function along the lines I have just suggested. Then there are others that seem to be united around an esthetic, dont really function as agencies, and focus more on gallery shows and the like. It would be nice to hear from some of these groups, get some feedback from them.

by Jon Anderson | 02 Sep 2006 16:09 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Thanks Jon:

I agree, it would be helpful to hear from someone actually already involved in a collective.

by Don Denton | 02 Sep 2006 17:09 | Victoria, Canada | | Report spam→
Yep. I have been planning for the longest time to circulate a survey of agencies and collectives and then write up the findings for everyone as another tutorial. I will be doing this some time during the Fall. The scene has changed so much, the old agencies been swallowed up, the survivors trying to suss out the new markets, and these new groups appearing with different MOs, so we live in interesting times. What I described above is more or less what I have concluded on the basis of talking with the folks at Veras, Oculi, and some other collectives.

by Jon Anderson | 02 Sep 2006 18:09 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Gonzo PhotoJournalism Collective acts as free representation for those who are members.
Instead of trying to generate a profit,
or charge “percentages”,
we are more concerned with the innovation of New Media PhotoJournalism.
By not working as a for profit-agency,
we are thus more on par with groups like the f/64 group as opposed to companies like Magnum or Mediastorm,
both of which have been outclassed technically by poor college students.

I have been waiting to announce the launch of our redesigned site because many of the current members have yet to send there portfolios and contact info for the gallery.
It will however be finished very soon:
http://www.gonzopj.net

What alot of people don’t know is that many photographers in agencies like VII don’t really get many jobs out of it and yet still have to pay the agencies upwards of 30% of jobs that they find on their own.

Being in an agency serves as more as an ego boost than anything else.

by P. Money | 02 Sep 2006 18:09 | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
Ay, Patrick, what can I say in the face of such youthful but callow enthusiasm. It is a real stretch to say that groups like yours or “poor college students” are creating anything that outclasses technically, esthetically or conceptually what Magnum or Mediastorm are producing. If you can show me one thing you or the others have done that comes anywhere close to Chris Anderson’s recent coverage of Lebanon, I will take you seriously.


You are also incorrect when you state that photographers pay an agency “upwards of 30% of jobs that they find on their own.” That is not at all how it works. Being in an agency is far more than an ego boost, and people like the VII shooters hardly need such boosts. Their egos are firm, to say the least. But while a photographer at any agency must learn to survive on his or her own, there is no doubt that being associated with a prestigious agency will certainly help you to survive, cultivate more clients, and get your work out there. There are many facets to this agency business, and talking about it in a dismissive and cursory manner, particularly when the speaker is uninformed and inexperienced, doesnt really help those who honestly would like to know how it all works.

by Jon Anderson | 02 Sep 2006 18:09 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
“What alot of people don’t know is that many photographers in agencies like VII don’t really get many jobs out of it and yet still have to pay the agencies upwards of 30% of jobs that they find on their own.” Well, since the VII members own VII collectively they are in charge of how big their share is. So there must be some kind of incentive to pay their agencies. It might be true that they find most of their jobs on their own (Would NG ever call an agency for an assignment?), but what happens after that? It takes a tremendous amount of work to promote stories, to deal with clients worldwide, to sell stock and I think VII is very good at it. BTW, how far is your revolution?

by Daniel Etter | 02 Sep 2006 19:09 | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
Jon, I really like what Anarchy images is doing.
Correct me if I’m wrong, the quality stems in part from a more free agent approach as opposed to a bureaucratic one?

I have alot more experience than you realize: “work for hire”.
I’ve cut and designed alot that will never be credited toward me.

We have entered an era where you don’t need agencies to survive.

We have entered an era where New York is losing control of the market.

We have entered an era where hungry college kids are willing to cut award winners for pennies and never get credited.

I’ll do my thing and express my opinion, and I expect you to express yours: we can agree to disagree.

I wish I could show you more of what kids are crankin’ out at WKU but not publishing. Soon I will.

You can innovate, or you can imitate.

by P. Money | 02 Sep 2006 20:09 | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
“The revolution” is a joke. I do alot of counterculture art and comedy: http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2766134

by P. Money | 02 Sep 2006 20:09 | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
“… the quality stems in part from a more free agent approach as opposed to a bureaucratic one?” What is the difference? What exactly is a free agent?

“You can innovate, or you can imitate.” Magnum is innovating.

by Daniel Etter | 02 Sep 2006 20:09 | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
magnum hasn’t experimented alot with incorporating video and other techniques which are rarely seen or discussed in the industry.

free agents can be loosely connected networks in which power and responsibility are more equal and democratized whereas bureaucratic structures are usually bigger more “corporate” type operations.

think feudalism.

by P. Money | 02 Sep 2006 20:09 | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
Patrick if all you have managed is work for hire, then I still cannot take you seriously. And, as I said, if you can show me one thing you have done, or these putatively starving college kids, that is innovative, original, moving, well thought out and executed, then I will take you seriously. Maybe the new site will offer something, but the old didnt. Award winners? where? And if they wont take credit for their work, the more fool they. They will last about as long as a gnat.


No one ever said you needed an agency to survive, and in fact that was never the case; there have always been plenty of independents and many who associated with agencies but worked in essence independently.


New York doesnt control the market though it does constitute one powerful media center. But there are many. Arrival of the internet hasnt and wont change the fact that many media orgs maintain an address there.


I await the revelation and the blast of the final trump from WKU.

by Jon Anderson | 02 Sep 2006 20:09 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I’m part of a group called Metro Collective (www.metrocollective.com). Other members (most are on LS) include Hector Emanuel, Daniel Cima, Michael Bonfigli, Eros Hoagland, Michael Robinson-Chavez, Bevis Fusha, J Carrier, and Karel Cudlin.

Most of us were friends already, it wasn’t much of a leap to try to formalize things, try to create a common vehicle for our personal work. Like most photographers, we juggle working for the market vs trying to articulate our particular visions. I’d say Metro is trying to put vision first, market second, hoping the mountain will come to Mohammed.

It hasn’t yet, but we’re definitely a work in progress. I don’t know if our experience is particularly instructive so far, beyond the fact that it has turned out to be more work than expected. I think we have some great shooters but we’re far from being a model of efficiency and promotion. We have productive periods and times when things languish. And for any of you who have ever played in a band, the interpersonal dynamics are quite similar (x2) and require handling. Let’s face it, we’re all photographers because we don’t or won’t sit quietly in a cubicle.

We got going about a year or so ago. Right now we’re using a FolioLink template site for our combined galleries and a few of us are just beginning to try out PhotoShelter’s virtual agency. Not sure what else to say upfront, I’d certainly be receptive to any feedback/questions/comments, either about the work or the way we’re going about things.

Cheers, Bill

by Bill Crandall | 03 Sep 2006 02:09 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Bill, that was great! Thanks for bringing the collective to our attention, I really enjoyed going through the website. Excellent!

by Jon Anderson | 03 Sep 2006 13:09 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
links to some other collectives:
www.tendancefloue.net
www.oeilpublic.com
www.bar-floreal.com
www.collectifdolcevita.com

by JP | 03 Sep 2006 15:09 (ed. Sep 3 2006) | PARIS, France | | Report spam→
Bill/Joao:

Thanks for the info and websites links. Lots to look through.

Rgds

Don

by Don Denton | 03 Sep 2006 16:09 | Victoria, Canada | | Report spam→
Bill:

You mentioned in your post that the effort has been more work than expected. I know that’s the usual for most things but what aspects in particular have been more work? Have you found the the group approach has also attracted more attention to you as individual photographers?

by Don Denton | 04 Sep 2006 21:09 | Victoria, Canada | | Report spam→
Patrick Yen said, “Jon, I really like what Anarchy images is doing. Correct me if I’m wrong, the quality stems in part from a more free agent approach as opposed to a bureaucratic one?”

So, running a microstock agency masquerading as a Documentary agency is a good thing now is it? And for that matter, how on Earth can you sensibly and responsibly market any documentary work as royalty free where you will have zero control over the images use and reuse in the future, especially where sensitive issues are concerned or may even arise in the future?

Dave Wyatt

by Dave Wyatt | 06 Sep 2006 13:09 | Somerset, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Interesting thread… except for the silly rants… wanted to share a link, however, of another collective based in Philly that a fellow Mizzou guy, Ryan Donnell, is involved with… Wonderful Machine Inc. — interesting work, though the site is really just a shell for the photographer’s websites.

http://www.wonderfulmachine.com/

I think we’d all love to hear more from you, Bill, and also Ryan, Chris, or Bill Cramer about trying to make a collective work.

Best, -John

by John Loomis | 06 Sep 2006 14:09 | Miami, FL, United States | | Report spam→
Allow me to clarify myself:
The “free agent system” is a communication network structure.
I did not literally mean a “free agency”.
I like anarchy images because:
i like their code of ethics and,
they seem to give more editorial and conceptual control to the photographers they represent.

GPC is not an agency, it’s a collective.
We are not selling photographs.
The gallery, which has yet to be launched, features photos that are:
low res
not available for download
and watermarked in the center with a copyright symbol and the photographer’s name.

it is not royalty free, the photographers all maintain their copyrights.

it is simply a vehicle for innovative photojournalists to share their visions and innovations with the world.

any jackass with a digital camera can take a decent photo;
not every photographer can shoot pictures, edit video well, design websites, animate, and program.

a GPC sponsored photographer is somebody than can either do all these well,
or have the potential to do all these things well in the future.

our current example pieces purposefully try to defy all existing models in journalism.

in a market oversaturated with photographers, it makes more sense for people to learn more skills.

that’s what we’ve been saying from the beginning:
http://www.gonzopj.net/v089.html

The finished manifesto is coming soon, and it will be quite different.

Loomis, if your idea of making a collective work is making money, then say that.

My idea of a collective that “works” is a collective that redefines an entire medium and sets the trend rather than following it.

Peace

by P. Money | 06 Sep 2006 15:09 | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
“What alot of people don’t know is that many photographers in agencies like VII don’t really get many jobs out of it and yet still have to pay the agencies upwards of 30% of jobs that they find on their own.”

Dude, your sources aren’t good

Cheers

Gary

by [former member] | 06 Sep 2006 15:09 | Pelissanne, France | | Report spam→
if only you knew my sources

by P. Money | 06 Sep 2006 15:09 | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
Patrick, since I have no idea who you are, or what your experience is, or why you are acting like such a jackass… to people like Gary Knight, for fuck’s sake… let me just say this, its a small world you are stepping into. Be respectful; especially to those who are considerate enough to even enter into a dialogue with someone whose viewpoint seems as extremely limited as yours from your choice of words and tone. That being said… I think we all appreciate your enthusiasm and passion, and there are certainly ways in which this whole industry needs to and will change.

There aren’t that many people on Lightstalkers who got into this to make as much money as possible — because its just not a very good business for that. Personally speaking, my interest in this thread is to hear about the experiences of those who are working within a collective framework right now, and how they manage to fulfill the promises of working together in a shared passion, sharing knowledge, resources, etc., all while not killing each other and keeping organized enough to satisfy the needs of their clients.

by John Loomis | 06 Sep 2006 15:09 | Miami, FL, United States | | Report spam→
An interesting thread indeed. To those who are in the process of entering the profession, there are many things that only get learned from experience and years in the business. That is not to say that evolution is not welcomed or embraced. The work of Martin Fuchs with Magnum in Motion is one example of that. But I remember when I was a kid thinking that I had a unique perspective on the business of photography. My peers and I would pick holes in the current (at the time) models of shooting and selling images, commenting that the big boys have clearly got it all wrong and are on the verge of crashing and burning. As we gathered more experience, more exposure to the whims and demands of various photo buyers, as well as a clearer understanding of what audiences want to see or are willing to see, the more we came to the conclusion that our original “we’re gonna change the world” ideas were not going to be very effective. Again, this is not to say that we didn’t want to change the world (and continue to work on it), but with the knowledge of how markets work, how they are evolving, and the potential latitude of work that we can produce (that would have a ready audience) we found it more rewarding to be able to spend more time developing great content, rather than burning time knocking the system. And it was those big boys that managed to evolve, sometimes with difficulty and as market conditions demanded, that are still around. Had I focused on developing my skills and style to meet the acceptance criteria of those agencies, instead of trying to carve out my own perceived niche, then I could now be benefiting from the infrastructure that those organizations offer, complete with established market awareness, ready client-base, and greater likelihood of paid assignments. Instead, I work for a variety of agencies and have to invest the time in driving my own business, which is working well but could always be better!

No system is perfect, and there are pros and cons to anything that we do. But there are also ways to make the best of what we have available to us, and to make our mark in the industry by being innovative and uber-creative in our area of expertise. Setting a trend is an extremely ambitious goal. Billion dollar organizations have spent fortunes trying to establish trends, many of which have failed miserably. I am a marketing major and have some commercial understanding of these things. So sure, go ahead and aim to redefine an entire medium. I would be happy to look back and say that I was wrong. But I don’t think that is going to happen.

by ABC | 06 Sep 2006 15:09 | San Francisco, United States | | Report spam→
Patrick: my father once said to me, after an argument about politics and philosphy, on a slow, long drive through Rhode Island, this: “bob, your blindness and arrogance will, eventually, lead you to see something more simple: you too will, one day, have a son that tells you he is right, you know nothing, that you are old and boring and that he, not you, will change things for the better. And only then will you see and finally recognize how much in his blindness and arrogance is that part of you you once denied so arrogantly….”…..that was before we even got to Providence…your blindness and arrogance is wonderful, not because you are right, but because it simply reminds me of our circular lives….one day, someone will say to you, “yo, patrick, you dont know my sources…” and you will think, shiiiit, that young fuck, is just like me…..

change the world, because you must, each of us must, and also, remember, that more than changing the world is a simpler truth: we are but there, with grace or gracelessness, that same….

im sure Gary is laughing, just as you too will one day when you remember what you spoke and dreamed and argued for….change comes from recongizing something simpler first, something you will understand with time…

good luck
cheers,
bob

by [former member] | 06 Sep 2006 16:09 | Toronto (home sweet), Canada | | Report spam→
Don, I think Metro Collective’s difficulties so far have been a combination of things. For one, we’re all working photographers – it’s proven hard to put proper focus into the collective without letting it drain energy from our individual freelancing. Also creating the right organizational structure to carry out our mission statement and goals has been tough.

On the plus side, we have had some sales/jobs/exhibitions come of it, and clients seem to like having a single point of contact for several photographers.

“how they manage to fulfill the promises of working together in a shared passion, sharing knowledge, resources, etc., all while not killing each other and keeping organized enough to satisfy the needs of their clients”

John, that very nicely sums up the problem!

If I could add, we’re currently looking for a web person to upgrade our gallery site. Anyone out there interested?

by Bill Crandall | 06 Sep 2006 16:09 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Another difficulty we’ve faced in metro collective ( i am one of the members) has been how to balance the needs of the collective with the individual needs of it’s photographers. From the start one of our goals has been to let the photographers be as free as possible (free to work w/ agencies, self promote, contribute as much or as little as they want, etc…). So, as one can imagine it is difficult to manage a group where everyone is so independent.

One solution, which we are currently testing w/ a few of the photographers, is the Photoshelter vitrual agency (http://www.photoshelter.com/user/metro). This helps because each photographer is responsible for maintaining their own archive and managing their archive sales. And the collective gets a large searchable group archive, which is not maintained by one individual. Of course, the hope is that a large diverse archive will attract more attention than single individual’s archive can.

Best,

hector.

by Hector Emanuel | 06 Sep 2006 17:09 | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
John/Mike/Bob/Gary

Well said.

Bill/Hector

Good info.

Patrick

Pay attention to the above. It’s all great advice and they are far gentler with you than your posts deserve.

Don

by Don Denton | 06 Sep 2006 17:09 | Victoria, Canada | | Report spam→
Hello. For a year I was trying to form something that inicially was a collective but we have some problems to arrive a good port. In my case the reason was a necessity to found a space to share different archives, experiences, edit work, solve common problems and, the most important, a motive factor to begin to work with more creativity to found our style or new things in our approach to the photographed subjects. The principal inconvenient we have was in the few time we had to dedicate to the proyect. We can’t produce all the work we want and the kind of work we imagine before. Some partners found this way difficult to carry so they will go out. Another difficult issue is the heavy necessity of marketing our work because it make not sense to made stories that nobody see. Sometimes I was near a stress collapse. I learned a lot of things. Is very important that all members have the same commitment and passion. The ideal is that all have time to do his own work. And that gain access to editors that don’t know us is very difficult and hard work but not impossible. This it is my humble contribution.
If someone have experience in this item please post it. I think Lightstalkers is a good place where we can learn and interchange from other experiences. Saludos

by Hernan Zenteno | 06 Sep 2006 18:09 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
“….on a slow, long drive through Rhode Island….”

Bob, good words. were you driving north or south?

by Ed Leveckis | 06 Sep 2006 21:09 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Dear Patrick,

listen carefully to what Bob Black and the others here have said. There is a lot of wisdom in it. I read this thread with interest, and decided to visit your Web sites. Just FYI, if you feel that all of a sudden you young college students are the ones to have discovered visual journalism, and are the innovators of programs such as Final Cut Pro, and combining stills with video all shot and edited by one author, I would advise you to think again and do some research. I, too, admire your enthusiasm but you would be a smart guy if you absorbed what was being said by those who wrote the book, then considering what chapter you can add to it, instead of ripping the existing pages out to wipe your arse ;-)

by [former member] | 06 Sep 2006 22:09 | Norfolk, Virginia, United States | | Report spam→
Patrick recently asked me to ‘join’ the Gonzo Photojournalism Collective thing. My reaction was – why the hell not? I got tired of waiting for VII to ring me up (with their pizza order…)

What’s gonna come of it? I haven’t the foggiest idea right now, and I ain’t about to redefine anything in a hurry. I’ll leave that to the young ’uns.

Nice to hear at least one photojournalist talkin’ ’bout a revolution round here for a change though, because although we do love to play up the independent spirit thing, many photojournalists are a pretty conservative bunch if ya scratch ’em hard enough.

I’ve always found that strange, seeings how the genre we take for granted today was founded by photographers grasping technological change – the invention of the small 35mm camera (with advancing film speed and colour technology) and the new visual aesthetic it engendered in the expanding mass market print publications of the day.

But that way of working stayed the same for decades, and it’s taken the almost total commodification and corporatisation of our sector in the last few years to kick us all up the arse into exploring new ways of representation and new ways of funding and distributing our work, because if small ‘independent’ agency owners hadn’t rolled over and got themselves bought up (or bought off) by big companies (without the consent of their photographers for the most part) entities like VII probably wouldn’t exist, and a lot of us would still be plodding along hoping to get that mythical big magazine spread, or joining some hallowed photo-pantheon-agency or other.

I recall Gary Knight mentioning in an article that it’s really up to us to find new ways of distributing and funding work, and I wouldn’t disagree. But you could go further and ask – what kind of work?

We ought to cut Patrick a little slack as sometimes youthful enthusiasm contains wisdom – it’s not constrained by existing conventions, and may see things which us old fogeys don’t.

Some questions to consider:

Seeings how its becoming self-evident that the internet and the Web is now the dominant communications medium of the day, and is set to be increasingly ubiquitous, what differentiates it from print as a medium? And how do photojournalists construct new ways of working, and even a new visual aesthetic to compliment it?

An aesthetic which goes beyond simply using it as a distribution tool?

Most photojournalists haven’t even begun to accept this as a fact – never mind think about what we can do with it.

For example – a Danish software company is currently developing a narrative multimedia visual documentary on Palestine…as a video game.

I mean, how cool is that? The audience for video games is vast. So how come photojournalists are nowhere near thinking as creatively about presenting stories and issues, using the intrinsic qualities of a new medium, as that game company?

http://www.seriousgames.dk/gc.html

Collectives and collaboration is one way of solving this, because I’m beginning to realise that being able to cover all the bases as a photojournalist in digital multimedia isn’t really viable. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to master all you need to know, so you can explore multimedia output in full.

Future agencies and collectives will probably have to be blends of photographers, writers, film makers, web designers and musicians who can utilise economies of scale and skill to produce multimedia work for the Web and handheld devices.

Nobody’s talking about setting trends…it’s safe to say most of us are still feeling our way – apart from people like Roger Richards and the Platypus folks, who are finally being seen as pioneers and not ‘semi-detached’ outsiders from the ‘true’ PJ path as they were once perceived – which again, says a lot about the conservatism of photojournalists…

…but even more of us (including me) are so far away from being up to speed with what’s going on, and how our potential audiences are consuming their media, that it’s not even funny.

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2006 02:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
“So, running a microstock agency masquerading as a Documentary agency is a good thing now is it? And for that matter, how on Earth can you sensibly and responsibly market any documentary work as royalty free where you will have zero control over the images use and reuse in the future, especially where sensitive issues are concerned or may even arise in the future?” If your assumption was right, your conclusion would be right too – documentary work and royalty free are divided.

by Daniel Etter | 07 Sep 2006 09:09 | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
Sion: mate, I have to disagree with some of your sentiments. You know as well as the next guy that talk about “revolutions” or “revolutionary” action is the same empty clap trap to which Patrick finds so discouraging about his “elders” or that you find with the staid and pent-up world of photojournalism. I, by the way, agree wholly with your sentiment about the need to be aware of change: in fact, i dispise luddites and i find crusty old crumudgeons as loathesome as the next guy. But, really sion, Patrick’s annoying bravura is the same tint-hollow voice of the people who claim a photojournalist must carry a leica or publish in mags or steer toward the channel of the magnums/vii/occuli of the world: its all the same empty rhetoric. I agree (as i’ve argued many times before here and elsewhere at photo shows) that photography, because it is an artform (or better, an artistan’s profession) based on tools, it is innately innovative: to be a photography means, a priori, to embrace change/development/acceptance: since a camera is a mechanical object which must change, and photography is based on some apperatus, photography itself is, about fugit, photo and tempus fugit. I also agree that photographers (and yes, especially photojournalists MUST seek deeper, richer, wider veins in which to mine and to detail their stories). I personally never distinquish between my photographs: taken with my 35mm, my holga, my polaroid, my friends/students cell phones, or the camera on my g-5, its all the same to me. Likewise, i think any outlet by which my photographs can be seen/taken/used/swallowed is all good: i embrace the idea of “gaming” as a means for story telling as well as for photography (Imants and I have written exactly about that here). In fact, it has been humourous to me as a non-photojournalist (we’ve chatted about this distinction, you and i before), to see how reluctant the community is to accepting and challening new views of doing things. With that in mind, i still find patrick’s behavior and attitude (not only here but other places) very very funny: indicative of his youth, and positively predictable: as conservative as the lions he wishes to slaughter. Join him: go ahead. I find the joining of all revolutions, for the sake of revolution, deeply inadequate and superficial. Change: yes. In fact, i encourage each of us to mark our own change, to toss away all of our ideas and to swallow that which makes us feel the most unconfortable. The problem, however, without pointing out (and like he will not listen, because as a young man, I too did not listen, and actually as an old 40 year old fuck still do not listen ;)) )to Patrick the idiocy of some of the tone in his condemnation of non-revolutionaries is that it ends up the same pin prick….its clear (here and other posts) that his idea of revolution is to dismiss what has come: as you know, things occur hegelianly: ripe is born of the twin’d contact of seed and sallow….photographers should think ahead, but to think ahead means to have plumbed what lay behind, not from dismissal but from digestion…forgive me, if i find all of this shit humorous. I have a son and wife to support and they are my instrument for my change: i embrace new frontiers because it must, not because i am swayed by the drunken shouting of the youth…it is the same shouts generation after generation: i’ve seen it in my grandfather’s exhauted and sad eyes….bob

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2006 12:09 | Toronto (home sweet), Canada | | Report spam→
Perhaps what is needed is not a revolution, where we throw the baby out with the bath water, but an evolution of thought and more eagerness to embrace change. The key to this ‘new media’ stuff is for members of our community to look at what is out there and steer it in the direction that we wish. Problem with being stuck in the old way of thinking is that outsiders will eventually come in because of their technological expertise and force things on us that are anathema to the ethics we hold dear, such as no alteration of images or setting up and restaging situations.

For years one of the things those of us in the Platypus community have advocated is that we need to control this monster before it rolls over us. It is already happening at several newspapers, where the people up top are bringing in television folks to produce video. While they may have a lot of technical expertise and are capable of telling stories in the style of their medium, some of what they do is totally contrary to traditional photojournalists.

I recall years ago one photo editor saying to me that I was setting photojournalism on the road to where we would be ‘monkey cam’ operators, button pushers, someone with a mic in our ears taking remote direction of our shots. I argued that to the contrary, I was actively working toward making sure that we would be the ones in control. It is a battle I am fighting every day, and the jury is still out on where this will all go.

The bottom line is also that we have to earn a living, so revolution is not the way as it is usually a scorched earth state of affairs.

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2006 14:09 | Norfolk, Virginia, United States | | Report spam→
There are those who shun change, those who embrace it, and those who observe it and learn from the mistakes of others. The first group tends to find itself complaining about how change will bring doom and destruction to us all, while the second group goes all out, taking risks, making bold statements and investing time, effort, maybe money in trying to recreate a known entity. The third group will take the time to understand which changes will be around for a while, and which ones are flashes in the pan. Then they will focus their resources to absorb those changes that will help them positively evolve the way they do business. For photographers, that would mean not only developing a business model that would allow for extended appeal to clients, but also methods for actually capturing and presenting content, approaches to being creative, whether that includes stills, video, web-based media, audio, whatever.

The first group is one we probably all know – those who still shoot film exclusively and insist that digital photography is a fad. The second group are the revolutionaries, those who are convinced that “the system” is wrong (in many cases they have a point) and that they are unique in their ability to change it and set a new path for the world to follow. The third group is made up of individuals, organizations and, ideally, collectives, that take the time to observe all that is happening around them, understand how they and their clients can benefit from it, and then work it in to their business model.

Predictably, let’s consider “the Internet”. In the 90’s it was difficult to count all the new businesses that thought they had a unique idea for a new business and hurriedly rolled it out, often with venture capital money behind them, in an effort to revolutionize the way we communicate and do business. The major survivors are those that started with a simple business model, stuck with that simple model while others played revolutionary, then exploited the often inevitable failure of those revolutions, to their own benefit. eBay absorbed PayPal and Skype. Amazon absorbed a whole bunch of on-line retailers that could not make it on their own while Barnes and Noble (definitely a “first group” company) continues to try to play catch-up etc etc.

So it is not that Patrick is wrong in what he is trying to do. He and his group believes in it – that’s great. A passion is a wonderful thing to have and live for. At the same time, and as Bob Black so poetically points out, it is not that we, as a group, are not open to change – it is happening all the time and those who are successful will roll with it. But those organizations such as VII, Magnum and many others exist and are successful for good reasons and should not be easily dismissed. They are the ones who may take some stabs at new stuff, but will also take up space in that third group, observing what the evolving trends are and then throwing the best resources they can find/afford to leap-frogging to the front of that trend.

There are always ways to carve out space for a niche approach to capturing and distributing content, and many of the techniques used may well be adopted, over time, by others. There IS a lot of talk about independents and I am not sure where this will go. Companies such as Digital Railroad and Photoshelter make it easy for everyone to be their own agency or collective. If I were a client, I would get confused and frustrated with such a huge choice of small groups of photographers from which to try and find the images I might need. The quality may be highly variable, I would need to negotiate pricing many different times, and have several different contracts to manage. I would have many different business relationships to maintain and I don’t have enough time as it is. So what will I do? I will stick with what I know unless there is a very special need and I know of an agency that meets that special need. So this gets us back to the original post on collectives. For me, it is a very good and strong concept if you can bring together a range of skills that individuals are willing to contribute in exchange for access to the skills of others – let’s say one person brings an amazing network of photo buyers while another has strong marketing skills, another knows people who hire photographers on a regular basis and yet another is a new media expert. They can all benefit from each other. It is not a revolution, but an evolution in an individual’s career and approach to doing business.

Finally, and also in reference to Bob Black’s very well constructed responses, being a photojournalist requires a certain attitude which is driven by a desire to question stuff. If we all just accepted what was presented to us, there wouldn’t be much point, would there? I always encourage people to question stuff which kinda helps me stay employed, and as I have advanced in my years, I continue to question things but find that the target of my enquiries has expanded. I have also learned that other stuff should not be summarily dismissed – there is a reason for everything and, as good journalists, we need to understand that even if we do not agree with it.

by ABC | 07 Sep 2006 16:09 | San Francisco, United States | | Report spam→
Collectives come in all shapes and sizes, and most of the ones I know – like Tendence Floue and L’Oiel Public here in France – are producing very important work, it’s not important how grand the photographers may or may not be, just as it is not imporatant how sexy the multi media presentations are or whether they shoot film, digital or even draw with pencils, we are all trying to change the way people think, not score points for design.

Patrick – my point to you was simply that what happens at VII is not quite how you described it, and rather than have that go down on the public record I thought I would correct it. VII is not much of an ego boost for us, and although it may not be perfect its suits us well. We started the agency with less money than most executives spend on lunch in Wall Street and we did it to challenge the orthodoxy of representation and to establish ownership over our ideas and our destiny, we could not know what it would become or how it would be perceived by people like you 5 years later. I do know that with virtually no money we have managed to compete with companies that have annual budgets in the hundreds of millions and that we continue to be inspired by the hope that we can effect change – that could inspire you, just like Magnum inspired me when I was young.

I salute your initiative and your get up and go attitude, and I wish your collective success but try not to knock others down unfairly in your hurry to get to the top. There is plenty of space on the way up.

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2006 17:09 | Pelissanne, France | | Report spam→
Now I have to chime in:

Dave Wyatt stated in regards to Anarchy Images

“So, running a microstock agency masquerading as a Documentary agency is a good thing now is it? And for that matter, how on Earth can you sensibly and responsibly market any documentary work as royalty free where you will have zero control over the images use and reuse in the future, especially where sensitive issues are concerned or may even arise in the future?”

Did you bother to look at our site?? Anarchy Images has not even started accepting Royalty Free submissions as of yet. Anarchy Images Editorial photographers retain Sole Ownership of Rights. All Editorial photography is licensed on a per usage basis as stated in our Licensing Policy. And yes, we do intend to offer Royalty Free and Consumer Images eventually. While I started Anarchy Images because of my love of documentary photography and photojournalism, it is still a business. Documentary and photojournalism (as rights licensed) will always be the focus of Anarchy Images but I would be a fool to ignore what goes on in the photography industry as a whole. By-the-way these elements are treated as completely separate divisions of a business. If you are are going to make such statements you should visit the site and You should remember R.I.F.



by Jason Pagan | 07 Sep 2006 19:09 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Patrick, while it is true that members of some agencies are expected to cough up a percentage of sales, even if they make them on there own, there are services that a good agency provides that make this acceptable, even desirable. The last thing a photographer on an important story wants to do is have to pick up the phone and deal with all of the small issues that this business requires on a daily basis. Staffing and operating an office is expensive and photojournalism just doesn’t pay that well, especially compared to what the top people in comparable fields. Many of us are just barely hanging on because its what we do. As is true with many things these days, the hype is a lot better than the reality, and believe me, people like Gary Knight, and Jeff Smith over at Contact, earn every penny that they make. Good luck with your project and welcome to the community.

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2006 19:09 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
What about costs?

Is it simply a web site?

I realize the larger groups are more involved and costly but what about those in smaller groups?

Don

by Don Denton | 08 Sep 2006 13:09 | Victoria, Canada | | Report spam→
Dear all,
I have just discovered your discussion that is every enthusiastic and full of ideas.

I am co-founder of the collective Luna (www.lunaphotos.com) created 4 years ago and present at Perpignan on the first floor. At the start, we were seven freelance photographers. One member of the group contacted a few photographers he had heard of or he knew. We were all working on the same type of features: social issues.

We then decided to share our resources. Basically, we share expenses (basic), we share ideas and get advice from the others to better edit our stories. We also work on joint projects or stories (bringing different views on the same topic). We also share contact details of picture editors and liaise with some newspapers to make sure that our fellow photographer will have a chance to present its work.

I think one of the main difficulties was to balance individual ambitions and the image of Luna. This was the main problem. Making sure that time devoted to Luna was going to be integrated by all of us.

There is also a kind of unformal code of conduct. Competition is not allowed between us.

We also have different styles of photography. Some are more aesthetic and articitc than others. This was not so easy to make it acceptable by all members.

Our objective is very modest compared to Patrick’s colletive. We want to improve the quality of our stories and images and distribute our pictures more effectively. We thought it would be easier to do it with the help of some friends or colleagues.

We have decided to distribute our pictures through agencies: Zuma, Rea, Contrasto. They accepted to recognise us as a collective and not only as individual photographers. In the long term, we hope to be able to distribute our images without using agencies. But I suppose we will need a bit more time to build new competences and capacities.

We prefer for the moment concentrate on photography and enjoy ourselves telling stories.

I hope this may help you undertsand how we function. I will be very pleased to send you more details.

Kind regards
Karl Blanchet

by Karl Blanchet | 08 Sep 2006 14:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
It doesn’t need to be about a website, or even a group name.

A small bunch of photographers can pool their money and get a coupla monster G5 workstations in a small office. Its not like they’d all be using it at the same time, just walk in with your 250gb hard drive with your ‘desktop’ on it, plug it in and crack on.

Similarly for big long lenses, studio flash kit, video cameras…I don’t know why photographers don’t try to take advantage of economies of scale more often, as the price of top-end photo gear is still pretty painful.

Speaking for Perpignan – I always had the feeling the photo-collective room in the Palais de Congress was considered to be a ‘Cinderella’ compared to the big-boy room upstairs.

Ironically enough though, there always seemed to be more of a grassroots enthusiastic buzz in the collective room, compared to the big room, which increasingly resembles a trade fair and a bit of a machine to be honest – you could make an argument that the collective room is closer to the original spirit of Perpignan than the photo-biznezz upstairs…

Small networks and collectives utilising larger networks like DR, PhotoShelter or established syndicating agencies to take advantage of economies of scale seems to be a way to go for independent photographers. That way, you can get the best of both.

This model has already proved to be er, somewhat successful, as apparently there’s another ‘network of networks’ or ‘collective of collectives’ which uses the same structure, which is ahem…

…Al-Qaeda :0

by [former member] | 08 Sep 2006 14:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I fully agree with you, Sion.
Karl

by Karl Blanchet | 08 Sep 2006 15:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Sion:

Thanks for the reminder that it’s more than just about promoting and/or selling work.

In every city I’ve lived there’s been a group or groups of amateur photogs who create collective darkrooms, studios etc. Why not pros?

Don

by Don Denton | 08 Sep 2006 15:09 | Victoria, Canada | | Report spam→
One idea might be to gather many of these collectives under a single umbrella or portal and creaye a photo feed, where features and even news stories are sent out like a wire service…..collectives would have responsibilty for their own area, and for covering significant events in their backyard. Although photographers could move across regions to work, the idea would be to encourage photographers who have long term commitments to stories where they live, and to give them a way to distribute daily, just as Reuters and AP do.

by [former member] | 08 Sep 2006 16:09 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
I think thats what DR and Photoshelter are planning for, with the DR Global search for example. Then its just a question of subscribing to it as an RSS feed.

Bingo…it’s done.

by [former member] | 08 Sep 2006 17:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
“So, running a microstock agency masquerading as a Documentary agency is a good thing now is it? And for that matter, how on Earth can you sensibly and responsibly market any documentary work as royalty free where you will have zero control over the images use and reuse in the future, especially where sensitive issues are concerned or may even arise in the future?”

Not necessarily. In principle yes, but when it somes to the actual production of documentary photography, I’d argue probably not.

It depends on what the image is. Royalty-Free images tend to be very generic images which are intentionally designed to be used in pretty non-specific ways…because if the image was too specific, it simply wouldn’t sell in the large number, low cost market which RF targets.

From looking at Anarchy, it’s obviously not a micro-stock agency – and RF needn’t be ‘microstock’ by the way. One is a license, the other is a price point. You could argue editorial repro rates are now so low, that some ‘regular’ photo-agencies are selling Rights Managed micro-stock… ;)

For example, I live in London, right? In the course of running around town I shoot images of Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament etc. The chances of me making sales from those pics as Rights Managed are pretty slim, because the market is completely awash with images of London, many of which are RF. I like to think some of my images have the edge, but in this context, that doesnt mean much – most potential customers for these images aren’t too concerned with ‘quality’ in that way.

So those images sit on my hard drive doing nothing. They’re generic, and editorially, they don’t mean much to me.

So for some generic images, an RF sale is better than no sale at all. That sale means money, and that money can give me leverage to go off and shoot the things I want to shoot.

I didn’t invent the RF market, certainly never shoot with RF in mind and dont sell RF.

But RF is like the Atom Bomb – it’s not great, but it exists, and cannot, will not be un-invented. It’s regrettably a fairly large part of the total market, but don’t forget it’s still a segment, and contrary to belief, doesn’t cross over into other segments as much as we would assume.

So the only thing we can do now, is think about how we can possibly use it as another string to our bows. Most documentary photographers by necessity need a LOT of strings going at the same time to make it work.

A generic pretty sunset sold as RF could have been shot in Barbados…or Brazzaville, or Baghdad – you probably shot it while doing a documentary story, it just didnt make your edit, and it sits ‘idle’.

So that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think of a way to leverage some income out of it, in a way which doesn’t connect with the original story. In the absence of a decent editorial commission, it could be an incremental step towards financing the next project…

Don’t forget we’re talking about residual generic stock photography by the way, which is in marked contrast to ‘Work for Hire’, or ‘Custom Stock’, where photographers pro-actively shoot specific images for RF licenses. That’s just dumb, and does poison the market for them, and us.

by [former member] | 08 Sep 2006 17:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
This discussion seems to have wound down but I wanted to say thanks to everyone for the info and feedback. This is the first time I’ve posted a query here and I was really impressed with the help. Thanks again!

by Don Denton | 12 Sep 2006 03:09 | Victoria, Canada | | Report spam→
Hi Don,

Sorry to enter the fray at this late stage I have been on a shoot. It is a interesting question that you pose collective V’s traditional agency. I was a member of a traditional agency in London (Network Photographers) for a decade and left it two years ago before it finally went chapter 11. In reality there were several reasons for it faltering and eventually failing but one of the greatest was probably impact of mega. one stop hyper-market agencies like Corbis and Getty that represent the larger economic phenomena of globalization. If I ask myself retrospectively what was it that I benefited from most from my time with Network it was probably the opportunity to be part of group of like minded people, if you like a, ‘poets society’. There was a great commradie amongst the photographers exchanges of stories, ideas and experiences on the road. I think it would be inestimable to calculate the experience gained from being in dialogue with other members of the agency the learning from more experienced and talented members then myself contributed to me evolving both as a person and a photographer. That was the traditional agency. Now with new less expensive and innovative technology there is the new web page and/or dynamic platform shop front agency and/or collective. This is an exciting dynamic allowing like minded people again to gather in a group and share their work (moving it around the globe in nano-seconds) to innovate ideas and dreams. It won’t be the same as the traditional agency but that is change and change is the only thing that stays the same in life. I personally think online web based collectives are healthy if well conceived and executed they can promote communication and collaboration directly between photographers and/or the public.

While I appreciate Patrick Yens gusto, I find his comments about Magnum, Mediastorm V11 “outclassed by poor college kids….” and that “any jackass with a camera can take a decent photo; not every photographer can shoot pictures, edit video, design websites, animate, and program………….” In the former concerning, Magnum, Mediastorm and V11 while I take on board there are some talented young and upcoming people out there (there always is) this is borderline ridiculous and in terms of photography in general, ili-founded, ill-conceived and misunderstood. Conversely concerning the latter comment, I have to tell you I know ‘photographers’ who have adequate skills ( which are useful to have of course) with design+programes and live in megabyte ga ga land but are unremarkable photographers because they lack the commitment, passion, vision and drive to go, ‘out there’ and do it on a long term basis. It is so easy to sit in front of a computer and become a ‘lounge chair’ critic.

The getting of wisdom is about understanding what went before and learning from that, grasping the now and forecasting the future. Patrick how wonderful at your age and stage to wave your bitter wand over everything devaluing it and the just making it disappear.

Don, hope you find some of what I say useful.

Good Luck….Jack

by [former member] | 12 Sep 2006 07:09 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
Spot on Jack.

by Tony Reddrop | 12 Sep 2006 08:09 | Melbourne Australia, Australia | | Report spam→
For all those who don’t realise Anarchy is a micro agency as well, read the following which pops up when you click once on the “photographers” tab at the top: “Anarchy Images is committed to representing only the best in photography. To that end we are extending our collections to royalty Free and Consumer/Micro Stock images. If you are interested in submitting images to these collections please contact us at info@anarchyimages.com.”

Personally I think that means they are flogging micro stock as well and as such obviously are a microstock agency.

Whilst we are on the subject of representation, anyone know anything about Eyevine (www.eyevine.com)? Any good? I emailed them twice a while ago but never heard anything back.

Dave Wyatt

by Dave Wyatt | 12 Sep 2006 08:09 | Somerset, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
And for what it’s worth Jason, I do understand where you are coming from with marketing Royalty free in the future, but Microstock is a step too far (Oh, and as you can see from thwe quote I put in my above post, yes I have visited your site and it is your agency who mentions microstock). I have heard too many stories from colleagues who have provided a quote for a stock image only to be laughed at when it was over $1000 because the client said they could get something usable for $1 off iStock, no matter that it was inferior. Supporting micros with any form of quality imagery can do very little except devalue photography as a whole.

I agree that RF is here to stay (and currently ias actually often commanding a higher fee than RM) but I feel you would do well to steer Anarchy away from the Micro industry. By the way this is the only factor that kept me from submitting a portfolio after seeing some names linked to Anarchy in exhibitions I am also showing work in. I also notice that you use the phrase consumer imagery often instead of micro. Please define a difference as you see it if there is one.

Thanks for your time, this isn’t so much a rant as just a few observations.

Dave Wyatt

by Dave Wyatt | 12 Sep 2006 09:09 | Somerset, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Dave, I think you are putting the cart before the horse and exaggerating a bit. Anarchy is hardly “masquerading” as a documentary outfit, which is its whole raison d’etre. I would say instead that the whole bit about microstock and consumer images is something of a feint or perhaps a probe. Anarchy is brand new, there is a lot to learn yet and a lot to try out and see whether it fits. Like you, I am not particularly pleased by the appearance of the whole microstock phenomenon, as it might be a factor in diluting the value of stock image sales. Getty and Corbis are both having problems balancing their Rights managed and Royalty Free sales divisions, which signifies to me that the wild wild web, with all the changes it has wrought in the business, is still to be tamed and understood in all its ramifications. We are all explorers in this new territory, the conglomerates as well as the “boutique” agencies. Jason’s idea, if I may paraphrase him, is to seek a method whereby documentary photographers with a commitment to longterm storymaking can survive in this brave new world by banding together and forming a collective identity (a kind of “brand name” like Magnum or VII or any other such entity, which in itself creates interest and perhaps some market demand), by cutting back costs and operating fast and light (made possible by the internet, online portfolios and sales mechanisms, and digitalization of the media), and also explore various options to see what fits and what doesnt. The website, which Jason worked very hard on, kind of reflects this. There are, shall we say, open fields or lacunae, which may or may not be filled in later on. Viewfinder is one such thing. And so is the microstock option. Nothing has been done yet in that direction, nor has any photographer, so far as I know, been tapped to produce material of that type. Personally, given that microstock agencies have to sell in huge quantities in order to turn a profit, I dont see how Anarchy can compete in that area unless we become a huge outfit or a separate and rather different operation is set up to accommodate microstock sales. But if you think about it, the kind of imagery that we shoot provides few of the generic images suitable to a microstock market, so it is a bit precipitate to claim that Jason is “running a microstock agency masquerading as a Documentary agency.”

by Jon Anderson | 12 Sep 2006 13:09 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Fair enough Jon, the more I dig throught the Anarchy site the more I like it, I just got a little ‘peeved’ shall we say after a couple too many ciders and then reading the Anarchy comments about Microstock on the homepage last week. The only realistic market I can see for our style of imagery in Microstock form is for items such as phones and similar where to be honest images of naked men and women and small furry animals (a niche I believe already well filled by a Japanese photographer whose name escapes me) seem to rule the day. There may be a small market for more interesting work to be shown in the same way which could only ever be marketed as micro (who will spend a large some on a pic for their phonr after all). The danger as I see it is in not defining the possibilities more clearly from the outset. The wording as it stands is a little too generic. I for one am not too happy about marketing my work alongside RF as it is, although I live with it. Standard microstock is another matter entirely and I wouldn’t want that anywhere near my more serious work (as compared to some of the generic editorial stock I produce when bored between stories) due to it setting a precedent in buyers minds about the value of images offered by an agency. Personnally I want to attract buyers on quality, not price.

But yes, claiming Anarchy was a microstock site masquerading as a Documentary agency did jump the gun a tad, but it has raised some interesting questions and I maybe the wording could be better on the homepage. Flogging more commercial material alongside Documentary work is nothing new and in it’s various forms has sported such endeavours for a long time.

Oh, one last thing, what is Viewfinder?

All the best.

by Dave Wyatt | 12 Sep 2006 14:09 | Somerset, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Agreed Dave. The wording is a little unclear but the overall structure of the website makes it fairly clear that microstock doesnt really have any presence as yet. I think the basic idea is just to maintain the option and when the photographers have some extra generic imagery to dump they can do so in various ways, RF, microstock, whatever. Basically I already do this, kind of lackadaisically because it does take time to shoot stock after all, by farming off such imagery to other sites where clients go to look for the stuff. And of course that is another issue: would the clients interested in microstock purchases even bother to look Anarchy over?


Anything I commit myself to implies that I aim for quality over price — even the little stock that I shoot is undertaken with a view toward creating a quality image; but it can be a hard sell, and there is no doubt that microstock has found or created a niche for itself, much as so called citizen journalism has reared its ugly and rather banal head and been courted by all the media outlets. Both forms are problematic because, in my view, they dumb down the market and make it harder for potential buyers to recognize the value of buying quality merchandise created by an experienced hand. It dilutes pricing but it also dilutes thinking and that in turn creates an assumption on the part of buyers that there is no difference in the various products. Stock sales used to generate nice fees for photographers but I wonder if that is still the case. My old agency pretty much let its stock sales contingent die off, pricing has generally stagnated or decreased, and all the various online portfolio services are passive providers of stock imagery (in the sense that there is no one behind the scene pushing the sales, it is all just sitting on a website waiting to be browsed by potential buyers who are never given any “help” from a hawker or salesperson).


Viewfinder, btw, is supposed to be a means whereby the photographers from Anarchy can communicate with the people “out there” and describe their experiences as photographers, working on a story, talking about what they do, etc. A kind of blog that opens a window on the creation of stories, behind the façade of the agency itself.

by Jon Anderson | 12 Sep 2006 14:09 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I meant to write back sooner but juggling 19 credit hours, upper-level classes, two learning disabilities, creative endeavors, a social life, and the occasional freelance gig can be very time-consuming.

It may surprise you that in person I’m usually very positive.
I always try my best to help those around me as best I can.

When I write, however, I write to move.
The writing that has moved me has never been the
fluffy, generic, reaffirm-everything-I-already-believe-bullshit.
Sometimes pissing somebody off is what is necessary to motivate them.

I love Magnum and Mediastorm but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to criticize them.

Somebody needs to challenge the big guys because nobody else is.
If a multimillion dollar agency is going to portray themselves as being the absolute best
with all of their marketing, corporate sponsorship, and PR,
then they better live up to it.
No one agency should ever get too comfortable having their asses kissed and/or worshiped.
If poor college kids manage to defy the odds and “TECHNICALLY” outclass a multimillion dollar company with their approach toward storytelling,
then god-damnit,
somebody needs to say that.

Being a WKU student I’ve been privy to many professional photographers’ speeches.
A recurring topic many of the pros will speak about is how they feel taken advantage of by the agencies that represent them.
While it is certainly possible that perhaps these pros are
lying, miscommunicating, or exaggerating the business practices of their agencies,
there are dozens of students who can indeed vouch for this reality at WKU.

Whatever the case, I didn’t mean to be “unfair” in my previous posts and I would like to apologize to anybody I may have offended.

I am committed to multimedia journalism because I am a firm believer in it’s power to facilitate positive change throughout the world. Could you imagine being able to get online on any given day and being able to see thought-provoking and stimulating videos covering cultural events from all over the world from the comfort from your own home? Could you imagine being able to see, hear, and feel the beauty of the world even if you can’t afford to travel internationally?

I’ve been shooting video since I was 12, doing B&W chemistry since I was 14, and shooting movie film since I was 15. While other kids spent their wages on CD’s and clothes, I spent mine on film and paper.

I’ve studied all the greats.
This is what I do, this is my life.
I try to keep light-hearted but I am very serious about what I do.

I dedicated myself early on to sitting still (I have ADHD) in front of a computer for long periods of time and forcing myself to learn difficult coding and software like flash in spite of my dyslexia.
I chose to do this not because it was easy, but because it was hard.

All the more reason why I am critical of “one-trick pony” photojournalists.

In less than a year I have had my online work hit by people in almost every major news organization and university all over the world, and I can prove it.
I accomplished all this at a marketing cost of $0.
In terms of total cost, I think I pay something like $100 a year for my server space.

I didn’t achieve any of this by being a slave to convention.

Please feel free to use any of these example concepts:

1) WKU Two Day Film Festival

Instead of reporting about the film festival, why not just deliver the festival to hundreds of people in dozens of different countries for free on myspace?
This piece was published in October 2005 before youtube, google video, and myspace video exploded in popularity. I had never seen anybody attempt anything like this.

2) POETRY

Instead of reporting about a poetry slam, why not just deliver it, again, for free all over myspace.

3) FakeMustaches.Org was hit in over 19 countries in the first week it was published: Report

It’s a viral [guerrilla marketing] network that essentially builds itself with the embed code that is provided. Again, never saw anybody attempt anything like this.

I feel as though my experiments have effectively demonstrated that you don’t need representation to be published and you don’t need awards, approval, or acceptance from your peers, professors, or the establishment to make it on your own.

I have worked hard to introduce many useful design concepts to an industry that doesn’t seem to appreciate or accept it. If I let the constant criticism get to me completely, I would’ve given up a long time ago.

It’s easy to get cynical and defensive when you put your heart out there to be broken and what you do is so different that it is almost always hated and feared because old-farts are so easily intimidated by change.

I try to remind myself that almost every important artistic and cultural movement was never accepted until years after the fact if ever. Hell, Bukowski still isn’t accepted in american literature.

You get to a point where you want to take your abilities and your vision to the next level.
Everything that can ever be done in still photography has already been done and it only makes sense to me to take a great thing and make it better.

I believe stories which can be seen, heard, felt, and interacted with are more powerful than stories which can only be seen.

GPC is open to anybody.
If you have or are currently attempting to innovate journalism please send examples here:
gonzo.photojournalism@gmail.com
If the members like what you’re doing, then you can get free GPC representation.
Members are allowed to leave at anytime for any reason,
there is no money in this organization,
there are no contracts.

Do what you’re told to do…
…say what you’re told to say…
…be who you’re told to be…
…live in a fucking-cave?

by P. Money | 12 Sep 2006 19:09 | Bowling Green, United States | | Report spam→
hi patrick,
i think i’m closer to your age than many who’ve already participated in this discussion..
i’m curious about one thing..

from your words, it seems that you believe that marketing is the primary strategy to get your work noticed since there is so much of it out there today and “any jackass with a digital camera can take a decent photo”..
why don’t you instead try and produce work that is far beyond any other photographer’s reach.. in order to be noticed..?
i’m writing this because (i might be wrong here) i think you mentioned somewhere that you believe that photography can be used to contribute to social change or something like that..

but what’s the use of producing ordinary work, even if extraordinarily managed in order to be shown to as many people as possible??

no offence.. but even i’m one of the people who’s had a brief look at a couple of the websites you mentioned.. but i’ve not really bothered to really look too much into the work that i saw because what i saw didn’t grip me much..

if suppose i’m not the only one.. and lets say.. the non photojournalists also feel this way.. (considering that their dependence on photographs for news is greatly reduced because of television etc.. atleast in india, there doesn’t seem to be that much reliance on photography for information.. there are way too many 24×7 news channels coming up with “breaking news” all the time, decent work might not be good enough to catch their attention)
then shouldn’t you work hard to make your work far more evocative (you can also add many other adjectives) than whatever else is being churned up to be noticed.. i mean shouldn’t that be your priority rather than marketing the work whether good or bad?

even i’m very new to this field and have no formal education, so don’t really have an idea of what is taught in your classrooms.. but i do feel that no matter how much you market it, at the end of the day it’s upto the viewer to imbibe what you show him.. and if it’s trash, then you’re only wasting your time marketing what you have..

i might have misunderstood you.. so feel free to correct me..

by [former member] | 12 Sep 2006 22:09 | oblivion, India | | Report spam→
Great questions Sohrab!

The links I posted in the previous entry are not works I am proud of, I simply wanted to share the design concepts that they embody.

It’s not about marketing to me, my discussion of it in the previous entry was simply meant to demonstrate the democratization of media distribution. I have purposefully tried to not limit myself to just experimenting with journalism, i’ve tried to experiment with all aspects of mass communication including marketing, distribution, and advertising.

Much of the art I do, however, mocks advertising and PR, particularly with counter-propaganda.

While fakemustaches.org (my last semester’s web publishing final) draws some hits to GPC, most of the hits I currently get to my sites do indeed come without any promotion or marketing. In the beginning I experimented with the free advertising potential of myspace to learn from it, but I deleted my profile months ago and have since ceased trying to promote any of my sites online.

All the work currently featured on gonzopj.net is mine. I’ve been wanting to switch out at least 6 of the pieces currently featured in the sprocket-holes. Because of the slow, long-distance, non-commercial nature of the collective, it has proven slower and more difficult to get people to send me their videos in a more timely fashion. The body of nonconformist work I’ve done is very limited, and I have stretched my works pretty thin. I have done alot of work I am more satisfied with in terms of quality that do adhere to standardized journalism conventions, particularly soundslides projects, that I have chosen to omit. I haven’t made any money on the pieces featured, and most of them have been produced as student projects, translating to lower production value. It’s a little more difficult to produce a strong multimedia piece when you’re doing everything by yourself for free, on a tight deadline, and juggling work and the rest of your classes.

Within a couple of months, I hope to add two longform documentary pieces featured on the front. One about refuseniks, one about an Indian Reservation that grew industrial hemp and was destroyed economically by the DEA.

GPC is still very much a work in progress and will continue to have incremental updates over the next few months before it can really be considered finished.

I’ve been debating whether or not the frontpage will feature a different picture everyday like APAD, or if the image on the frontpage will be randomly generated from a constantly growing pool of thousands of pictures everytime somebody visits the website. First I have to figure out the actionscript code that prevents swf files from cacheing in a web browser. On some days the frontpage will feature superimposed links to various news articles or multimedia pieces of interest. Perhaps the multimedia piece of a person that isn’t in the collective but wants to share. When major updates are launched, they too will be announced on the frontpage.

The featured videos in the sprockets will be periodically switched out but ideally feature the most innovative 8 pieces produced by members of the collective at any given time.

Every member gets a page in the gallery (which has still yet to be launched) where they can put links to whatever galleries or multimedia pieces of their construction.

If that doesn’t answer your questions, anybody can feel free to e-mail me at binjiminyin@gmail.com, I’m tired of posting here.

Latro

by P. Money | 13 Sep 2006 00:09 | Bowling Green, United States | | Report spam→
Oops, one more thing…

You can gauge the success of your multimedia pieces based on the average length of time people spend watching it.

Google Analytics calculates all this fairly accurately and for free! If you have a 3:20 piece, and the average amount of time spent viewing it is around 3:20, then you know that pretty much everybody is watching the whole piece.

This helps guide you in gauging the quality and merit of your work, as well as business managers at papers, and can also help prevent you from getting down on yourself in the event one asshole tells you your work is shit.

I love sharing this kindof info, hit me up anytime. If I have the time, I’ll answer y’alls questions.

-Outro

by P. Money | 13 Sep 2006 01:09 | Bowling Green, United States | | Report spam→
A lot of bark and not much bite Patrick.

by James Brickwood | 13 Sep 2006 01:09 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Patrick like Sohrab I am closer to your age and probably younger than you and than most of the people on lightstalkers (I am a 19 yr old jr. at UT Arlington in Texas), but I agree with them…Why not build upon what others have set out before us….be inspired by people like the guys at VII, Magnum, and Mediastorm who have molded photojournalism into what it is today; use recourses like lightstalkers to network and learn rather than beat our drums and attack them. If your work is truly as strong as you think it is then it will get you somewhere, please don’t attack my heroes with your rhetoric learn from them and respect them.
Thanks,

Dominic

by Dominic Bracco II | 13 Sep 2006 02:09 | DFW, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
back to Sohrab – you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience, you will remain the most amazing anonymous photographer on the planet. It’s sad, but too often true (although not exclusively), that a good photographer who has above average marketing skills will probably do better making a paying career out of their chosen path than an amazing photographer with zero marketing skills. Of course there are exceptions, but I would strongly recommend accepting the fact that some business skills are essential to ensuring the viability of your career as a photographer.

What does anybody else think?

by ABC | 13 Sep 2006 04:09 | San Francisco, United States | | Report spam→
Patrick,

I think it is a given that any photographer/photojournalist regardless of age and stage today has to be versed in a raft of programs, platforms and applications etc. to be viably working it is simply a given. The technology that is constantly evolving also opens up a plethora of new opportunities on how it can be used this is also a given very obvious really. It is also very obvious that classical photojournalism/documentary photography can meld in a interesting way with digital technology to produce innovative ways of showing work this is also a given, people are doing it all over the world now as we speak. It seems to me to use a, ‘old fart’ way that you are stuck in a groove stating the obvious. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why does it have to be about excluding one for the other? Why the tone of exclusion about photojournalists and photojournalism and/or documentary photography? Why the need to make your delivery which such aggression and criticism of people who have authored poetic and visionary work? Where does such a simplistic preconception and the general assumption come from that photographers/photojournalists should be put into the context of, “All the more reason why I am critical of ’one trick pony” photojournalists and “Old farts are so intimidated by change”. Since when has being a successful photojournalist been, ‘a one trick pony’. Even before the advent of the evolving technology that photojournalists have to work with now being a successful photojournalist was more multilayered then what you suggest in your rant. To be a successful photojournalist ( I can’t recall Patrick have you achieved that yet?) involved drawing on a diversity of skills, it is one dimensional of you to suggest otherwise. What becomes obvious in your wonderful rant is that it is largely about PATRICK YEN which is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of the majority of gifted photojournalists/documentary photographers who are more obsessed with telling people’s stories and baring witness about their subjects lives THEN they are with producing multi-media presentations and about themselves. I wish you luck with your productions (as raw and first year art school as they are at the moment) and work Patrick but you might try to weave empathy back into your vocabulary and consider that it is always not necessary to attack, shout, and deride people and organizations working in the same medium as you just to be heard. If your work is good enough it will speak for you in time…jack

by [former member] | 13 Sep 2006 05:09 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
well, this is an interesting thread indeed. so much so, that i’ve given up my geeky vouyeristic lightstalker ways and become a member.

my question is whether the wise sages of this site would encourage an emerging documentary/pj photographer to work on joining a collective, or would the solo route be more beneficial to get the ball rolling? sorry to keep it all amateur hour.

…Sohrab your gallery is beautiful!

by mark cavett | 13 Sep 2006 06:09 | Vancouver, Canada | | Report spam→
Patrick,

no matter how many buzzwords and self-aggrandizing statements you weave in, you’re still more than 10 years behind Ritchin and Peress – both of which worked in the context of a “major publication” to build stuff nobody’s getting close to these days. Unfortunately, no amount of training will replace an education, but thankfully, you can still choose to keep on parroting variants of the staid concepts (“multimedia journalism”, wow, now i can do VIDEO AND AUDIO and, like, put it into a story and like, it’s going to be awesome !) that you seem to take pride in deriding, and you still won’t have achieved much, or you can suck up your contempt and contribute. You seem like an enthousiastic guy, and i’d honestly much rather see you sit down and think out why magnum in motion and mediastorm are far from being there than just state “they’re getting better play than i am and it sucks and they don’t use video and can’t do actionscript or lingo so they’re idiots”.

I’m going to tell you a dirty secret : magnum photographers can hire people who code flash and edit video much better than you, or i, do. And so can I. And so can VII. And so can a lot of people. At the end of the day, the answer to the problem isn’t attached to the ability to use an on (release) call.

by [former member] | 13 Sep 2006 07:09 (ed. Sep 13 2006) | Lausanne, Switzerland | | Report spam→
patrick,you say you are also a comedian? if your stand up routine is half as funny as your posts here you will be a great success.by the way,putting a moustache on the mona lisa has already been done,about 80 years ago,by marcel duchamp,someone who actually did change things.

by Michael Bowring | 13 Sep 2006 09:09 | Belgrade, Serbia | | Report spam→
Hello guys,
I think Patrick understood what we all meant (If not, there is a problem!!). I don’t think he deserves such an attention. Let’s ignore him.

What about going back to our discussions regarding collectives? I am very much interested to know what you think about this movement and the image you have about collectives.
I also would like to hear from other members of collectives about their experience (positive and negative).

If that’s fine with you…

Karl
Collective Luna

by Karl Blanchet | 13 Sep 2006 10:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I feel Patrick is being mocked and derided now, for doing nothing more heinous than outlining his enthusiasm for pursuing something.

What seems to have hit a raw nerve is he’s been perceived as attacking our ‘heroes’.

Matthias talked about dirty secrets – the idea of photojournalistic heroism is one of them. Photographers are running around miserable dangerous places with no money in their pockets and no viable outlet right now, with that myth bouncing around in their heads, and sadly, they end up broke, disillusioned…and some of them have ended up in pine boxes.

So I’m like, wow, sorry if this like, sucks and like, offends people – but fuck that myth.

So much for ’it’s just about the story’ eh? Great photographs are evidence enough, so I doubt Magnum is gonna implode after 50 years just because someone expresses an opinion.

The lad admitted he has ADHD, so maybe those of us without it, should pay more attention and consider Patricks post again.

He didn’t say college kids were better photographers than those who work with Magnum or Mediastorm.

He argued some were technically better, which is not the same thing. Just because you can burn up the road with Photoshop doesn’t make you a great photographer, but I think the point he was trying to make:

“any jackass with a camera can take a decent photo; not every photographer can shoot pictures, edit video, design websites, animate, and program”

is valid.

Any jackass CAN take a decent photo. I can kick a ball about too, but I’m not gonna be signed up by A.C. Milan anytime soon.

Magnum and Mediastorm are in the ‘more than just a decent photo’ game…

Neither was he saying it’s a question of blowing smoke with marketing. Magnum can of course hire all kinds of tech-meisters to code for them, but the answer to the problem isn’t about producing ‘great photography’ – the elephant in the room question is whether audiences are now receptive to photojournalism in its current form, AT ALL.

I believe it is, but reaching that audience via traditional outlets is withering. So it makes little sense to either flog a dead horse or deride our audience for being ‘too dumb to appreciate us’.

The audience is not dumb. We’re the dumb ones for not getting to grips with how they consume information now – the dumb ones are people who mocked VII for having a MySpace page.

Magnum need to be extremely shrewd marketers to keep the ball rolling, and if they struggle to convince people…where does that leave the rest of us?

Not all their photographers have multimedia skills though – and again, I don’t think Patrick argued this makes them worse photographers – these are simply some of the skills photojournalists will need in the developing digital sphere.

So on that level, he’s right. What’s required is obviously good photography, but also a level of technical know-how which many photographers have traditionally fled from like the plague.

Many working photojournalists were traditionally content to leave the developing and printing to others, but now digital delivery and its changing market has forced photographers to take more responsibility for their work from start to finish, even to the extent of getting it seen.

Still, many working photographers are pretty ignorant about digital imaging and how it’s implications reach way beyond twiddling in Photoshop…try reading the LS Orphan Works thread.

As for experience with collectives…I was a contributing photographer with Network before and during its demise, and in a previous incarnation, experienced at first hand the activities of the ‘image hyper-markets’.

While I would agree they’ve changed the situation pretty profoundly, we should be on Myth Alert again – this time about the mega-companies elbowing in and takin’ our cheese. The reality is more complicated, because the response of photographers and ‘traditional agencies’ as a whole to the new arrivals was mixed, to say the least.

Some ignored their arrival (along with the new technology they ushered in), wishing and hoping they would ‘go away’, some got taken over by them in agency buyouts, some came to various ‘accomodations’ with them (willingly or unwillingly), and others have formulated small organisations which use digital technology to even the playing field, explore a niche or play to their strengths, like the recently formed ‘digital diaspora’ groups like VII, Polaris and WPN.

Also witness the growth of small, low overhead co-ops who utilise intermediaries like Photoshelter and Digital Railroad to utilise economies of scale and Web delivery.

I watched Network go belly up, and wasn’t happy to see it go. I gave up a staff photographers job to go there and had faith Network could continue.

Network had every opportunity to adapt in the way the new co-ops and agencies have – and indeed tried to do so in its fashion. But their Achilles Heel wasn’t new technology, or lack of good photography – it was the collective ethos which founded Network (and which was necessary to dig it out of its latest hole) no longer existed, so it fell to pieces, and several of its founders then migrated to one of the image hyper-markets.

by [former member] | 13 Sep 2006 10:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
hi patrick,
thanks for taking the time out for such a detailed answer.. even if a lot of flew over my head :).. i wish you luck in your endevours..

hi mike..
hmmmmmmmmm the reason why i asked patrick what i asked was because i think i’m an extreme antithesis of him.. since i didn’t wanna mention earlier because i didn’t want to distress people by my own radicalism.. which i guess and i hope is more romantic in its existence.. :)

“Of course there are exceptions, but I would strongly recommend accepting the fact that some business skills are essential to ensuring the viability of your career as a photographer.”

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.once again.. there is no malice in my words (sorry to keep repeating myself.. i find the internet a very inefficient medium as far as evocating my thoughts is concerned and am prone to be misunderstood :) ) but i feel (and i know that i might wrong) that most of my peers who have gone through formal education in photography seem to be in a little bit of a rush to get involved in the business aspect of photography……
and there seems to be a little bit of cynicism that seems to be underlying their thoughts..
ok i realise that i’m very naive as far as the economics of photography is concerned.. but yes i’m still very romantic about the whole thing…
and i do believe that if your work is really really powerful, you might not have to resort to marketing and other strategies.. it all might come to you..
why can’t a person try and make each of photograph as evocative as say for example, the photograph of tomoko uemura by eugene smith..
i realise that it’s a bloody difficult task.. but it’s not impossible..

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.once again.. there is no malice in my words (sorry to keep repeating myself.. i find the internet a very inefficient medium as far as evocating my thoughts is concerned and am prone to be misunderstood :) ) but i feel (and i know that i might wrong) that most of my peers who have gone through formal education in photography seem to be in a little bit of a rush to get involved in the business aspect of photography……
and there seems to be a little bit of cynicism that seems to be underlying their thoughts..
ok i realise that i’m very naive as far as the economics of photography is concerned.. but yes i’m still very romantic about the whole thing…
and i do believe that if your work is really really powerful, you might not have to resort to marketing and other strategies.. it all might come to you..
why can’t a person try and make each of photograph as evocative as say for example, the photograph of tomoko uemura by eugene smith..
i realise that it’s a bloody difficult task.. but it’s not impossible..but if your priority is not to try to make your work as evocative as possible (no matter what style you’ve adopted) you most likely will not end up producing what you really want to..

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.once again.. there is no malice in my words (sorry to keep repeating myself.. i find the internet a very inefficient medium as far as evocating my thoughts is concerned and am prone to be misunderstood :) ) but i feel (and i know that i might wrong) that most of my peers who have gone through formal education in photography seem to be in a little bit of a rush to get involved in the business aspect of photography……
and there seems to be a little bit of cynicism that seems to be underlying their thoughts..
ok i realise that i’m very naive as far as the economics of photography is concerned.. but yes i’m still very romantic about the whole thing…
and i do believe that if your work is really really powerful, you might not have to resort to marketing and other strategies.. it all might come to you..
why can’t a person try and make each of photograph as evocative as say for example, the photograph of tomoko uemura by eugene smith..
i realise that it’s a bloody difficult task.. but it’s not impossible..but if your priority is not to try to make your work as evocative as possible (no matter what style you’ve adopted) you most likely will not end up producing what you really want to..i’d rather build a cocoon around myself right now and explore myself.. i don’t know what will break out of it.. a butterfly or a moth.. but if i don’t do it, i will never know :)

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.once again.. there is no malice in my words (sorry to keep repeating myself.. i find the internet a very inefficient medium as far as evocating my thoughts is concerned and am prone to be misunderstood :) ) but i feel (and i know that i might wrong) that most of my peers who have gone through formal education in photography seem to be in a little bit of a rush to get involved in the business aspect of photography……
and there seems to be a little bit of cynicism that seems to be underlying their thoughts..
ok i realise that i’m very naive as far as the economics of photography is concerned.. but yes i’m still very romantic about the whole thing…
and i do believe that if your work is really really powerful, you might not have to resort to marketing and other strategies.. it all might come to you..
why can’t a person try and make each of photograph as evocative as say for example, the photograph of tomoko uemura by eugene smith..
i realise that it’s a bloody difficult task.. but it’s not impossible..but if your priority is not to try to make your work as evocative as possible (no matter what style you’ve adopted) you most likely will not end up producing what you really want to..i’d rather build a cocoon around myself right now and explore myself.. i don’t know what will break out of it.. a butterfly or a moth.. but if i don’t do it, i will never know :)i don’t know if i’m making any sense..

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.once again.. there is no malice in my words (sorry to keep repeating myself.. i find the internet a very inefficient medium as far as evocating my thoughts is concerned and am prone to be misunderstood :) ) but i feel (and i know that i might wrong) that most of my peers who have gone through formal education in photography seem to be in a little bit of a rush to get involved in the business aspect of photography……
and there seems to be a little bit of cynicism that seems to be underlying their thoughts..
ok i realise that i’m very naive as far as the economics of photography is concerned.. but yes i’m still very romantic about the whole thing…
and i do believe that if your work is really really powerful, you might not have to resort to marketing and other strategies.. it all might come to you..
why can’t a person try and make each of photograph as evocative as say for example, the photograph of tomoko uemura by eugene smith..
i realise that it’s a bloody difficult task.. but it’s not impossible..but if your priority is not to try to make your work as evocative as possible (no matter what style you’ve adopted) you most likely will not end up producing what you really want to..i’d rather build a cocoon around myself right now and explore myself.. i don’t know what will break out of it.. a butterfly or a moth.. but if i don’t do it, i will never know :)i don’t know if i’m making any sense..thank you mark :)
but my documentary work needs to be far more evocative in my opinion and my other personal work is far too primitive.. i don’t really hold any of it in high esteem :)

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.once again.. there is no malice in my words (sorry to keep repeating myself.. i find the internet a very inefficient medium as far as evocating my thoughts is concerned and am prone to be misunderstood :) ) but i feel (and i know that i might wrong) that most of my peers who have gone through formal education in photography seem to be in a little bit of a rush to get involved in the business aspect of photography……
and there seems to be a little bit of cynicism that seems to be underlying their thoughts..
ok i realise that i’m very naive as far as the economics of photography is concerned.. but yes i’m still very romantic about the whole thing…
and i do believe that if your work is really really powerful, you might not have to resort to marketing and other strategies.. it all might come to you..
why can’t a person try and make each of photograph as evocative as say for example, the photograph of tomoko uemura by eugene smith..
i realise that it’s a bloody difficult task.. but it’s not impossible..but if your priority is not to try to make your work as evocative as possible (no matter what style you’ve adopted) you most likely will not end up producing what you really want to..i’d rather build a cocoon around myself right now and explore myself.. i don’t know what will break out of it.. a butterfly or a moth.. but if i don’t do it, i will never know :)i don’t know if i’m making any sense..thank you mark :)
but my documentary work needs to be far more evocative in my opinion and my other personal work is far too primitive.. i don’t really hold any of it in high esteem :)p.s. hey once again.. these are certain views that i hold applicable only to myself.. and don’t feel that what others are doing are wrong or anything like that :) just a little curious that’s all..

true.. it’s a very practical thing to do.. but i’ve never been able to swallow the idea of practicality.. i mean i obviously do things that are practical.. but i’d never give up what i really want to do for the sake of practicality…
i don’t think of photography as a career. if i was so career conscious, i’d have done an MBA or something :).. i finished my masters in economics last year and now am instead doing things that keep me happy..the thing is that i’m beginning to question the POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY..
why is it that people in general flip through pages that capture the struggles of others nonchalantly (i realise that i’m generalising a littl too much here. but it’s just to put my point across) etc.. but will pour their hearts out while watching a stupid soppy commercial movie?? is it because as humans in general are getting desensitised?? i’m one of them as well.. i think.. i mean in india.. we get reports of so many deaths in different parts of the country everyday.. but it doesn’t really make me twitch like i should when in retrospect i think about it CONSCIOUSLY..
so if this is how most people feel.. then what exactly is the use of producing photographs that donot affect that nonchalance in any way..i hope i don’t offend the other photojournalists in this network, who put their heart and soul into their work.. that is not my intention.. but there are so many people who say that they want to document what is happening around so that they can in some way contribute so social change for the good.. but do we take it for granted that any work produced will contribute to this change?“you could be the most amazing photographer on the planet but unless your work is made known to the right audience.”why do we have to even think of the right audience?? and what is this right audience??is it a fragmented portion of the world that is interested in photography?is it a larger populace that you feel NEEDS to be made aware of what you’ve documented ??why can’t we just talk about audience???but then again.. if the work doesn’t move the audience or is simply kept aside with the humongous amount of work that is already being produced for dust to collect on it.. (by this i’m talking about what is happening in the hearts and minds of the people who’re seeing the work) then isn’t all that marketing futile??i’m not implying in any way that marketing is not necessary..
all i’m wondering about is the priority.once again.. there is no malice in my words (sorry to keep repeating myself.. i find the internet a very inefficient medium as far as evocating my thoughts is concerned and am prone to be misunderstood :) ) but i feel (and i know that i might wrong) that most of my peers who have gone through formal education in photography seem to be in a little bit of a rush to get involved in the business aspect of photography……
and there seems to be a little bit of cynicism that seems to be underlying their thoughts..
ok i realise that i’m very naive as far as the economics of photography is concerned.. but yes i’m still very romantic about the whole thing…
and i do believe that if your work is really really powerful, you might not have to resort to marketing and other strategies.. it all might come to you..
why can’t a person try and make each of photograph as evocative as say for example, the photograph of tomoko uemura by eugene smith..
i realise that it’s a bloody difficult task.. but it’s not impossible..but if your priority is not to try to make your work as evocative as possible (no matter what style you’ve adopted) you most likely will not end up producing what you really want to..i’d rather build a cocoon around myself right now and explore myself.. i don’t know what will break out of it.. a butterfly or a moth.. but if i don’t do it, i will never know :)i don’t know if i’m making any sense..thank you mark :)
but my documentary work needs to be far more evocative in my opinion and my other personal work is far too primitive.. i don’t really hold any of it in high esteem :)p.s. hey once again.. these are certain views that i hold applicable only to myself.. and don’t feel that what others are doing are wrong or anything like that :) just a little curious that’s all..

by [former member] | 13 Sep 2006 11:09 | oblivion, India | | Report spam→
“Photographer Collectives” potentially a great informative post especially for the young/starting-out folk amoungst us like myself and there have been some really great and helpfull points made.
I always appreciate the great input and experience from guys like Bob, Mike, Andy, Don, Tony, Jon and Jack….Thanks!

For the last few years I have been following the trends of photojournalism/agencies/collectives and trying to work out where I could fit in. I must admit, it has been quite daunting at times, especially watching agencies/collectives that I had admired be swollowed or vanish. I remember asking Jack Picone (hi Jack!) for advice just a few years back and thinking how great it must be working with Network Photographers…..as he mentioned above, they are no more.

Anyway, I finally got together a portfolio of work that I thought could justify showing around and last month I joined a collective/agency based in Germany – www.geckophotographers.com – Though it is a new relationship and my first foray into the buisness and workings of photography, I can already say it is very different to the way I had invisiged. The agency has more of a commercial vibe, therefore I feel it lacks the comradery and peer support that many of you talk of within your own collectives/agencies. I am unsure if I am heading in the wrong direction….

I guess it would be great if the experienced ones here had any advice. Jack, what have you done, post Network? Being young and commitment free, I am still in a position to travel or relocate easily etc… I guess this could play into it.

Patrick, mate! I must say, you have a long way to go with your work, have you seen the “Magnum in motion” site? It can make a grown man cry!



by Che Chapman | 13 Sep 2006 11:09 (ed. Sep 13 2006) | | Report spam→
Grown men have been crying, I can,t stop.

by Tony Reddrop | 13 Sep 2006 12:09 | Melbourne Australia, Australia | | Report spam→
Hey Sohrab – nice response. But I feel that perhaps our discussion is going off in a tangent to this thread. I would, however, be very happy to continue the conversation in a parallel thread or off-line.

Regards

~ Mike

by ABC | 13 Sep 2006 16:09 | San Francisco, United States | | Report spam→
Hello all who have been following this debate. I just want to say for the record that the oppinions of Patricks about the quality of any agencies or the quality of WKU students is ****NOT*** shared by others in Western Kentucky’s PJ program. These are his views and his views only. Thanks.

William DeShazer

by Will Deshazer | 15 Sep 2006 04:09 | Flint, MI, United States | | Report spam→
Bump!

Let’s do more talking on this subject. Any updates? This is an old thread.

by Paul Treacy | 24 Jul 2008 03:07 | Arlington, VA, United States | | Report spam→
SPA rules.

by Stupid Photographer | 24 Jul 2008 21:07 (ed. Jul 24 2008) | Holy Smokes, Holy See | | Report spam→
I see Paul Treacy asked for any updates last month but no replies. I’d be interested too if anyone has updates on their collective/agency.

Don

by Don Denton | 06 Aug 2008 18:08 | Victoria, BC, Canada | | Report spam→
Don, I would really appreciate it if you would lock this thread from further comments
and direct further comments to either a new thread or Paul’s thread:
http://lightstalkers.org/collectives

This thread is nearly two years old, and clearly a shit-load has changed
within the past two years, for everybody, agencies and collectives, big and small, and individuals.

Don’t newer posts have a default of being locked within a year
unless directed otherwise by the poster?

I have tons of updates if you really want to hear them,
but I am not going to post them here on this thread.

I will say that while I’ve been tremendously wrong about a lot of things, especially from 2+ years ago,
time and hindsight has also shown that I have been tremendously correct about a lot of other things.

by P. Money | 06 Aug 2008 19:08 (ed. Aug 6 2008) | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
I think it’s also important to note for any relatively newbie LS members
that the LS community is not as volatile and aggressive as it used to be years ago.

At least in my opinion.

I think it’s important to note for the newbies that the culture here has changed
and that is not as caustic as it used to be.

People here are more sensible now, at least generally speaking.

by P. Money | 06 Aug 2008 19:08 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Moreover, some of the original comments to this post have been deleted by their authors,
altering the integrity and original full-context of this post,
throwing many of the original follow-up responses out of whack.

Call it a “dead post” if you will.

by P. Money | 06 Aug 2008 19:08 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
One more collective, “Sha-do” from Tokyo:
http://www.shadocollective.com/

by Eric Rechsteiner | 07 Aug 2008 03:08 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→

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photographer
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