Week 2 Reflection
This week has been quite strange and varied. In contemplating the copyright case between Prince and Cariou, I always find it difficult to make judgements about such disagreements as I feel that both parties were able to present credible arguments with justified reasoning. Therefore I often feel that I run out of brain cells some way before I am able to make a decision which encompasses the accuracy and understanding of the case.
When considering the DNA of my photographic practice, I could consider my one work as being positioned in what Scott (2014, p5) describes as a domestic professional. Primerillaly, the practice that I yields the highest rewards is wedding photography, with occasional work in other ares of the commercial sector. I do have some prestigious clients and my work can be seen on the BBC through shooting stills for production companies in addition to clients looking for web content. However I don’t market myself in these sectors with work often coming from my personal network which is broad and varied.
I am also employed in an FE college as a lecturer where I teach mainly media and photography teaching A level and vocational courses. Having been employed in the same establishment for over eight years I do have a degree of security and sustainable employment, whether that could be considered a creative job is a question I often think about and still not sure of the answer. In one respect my job in the college i’m governed by line managers and results but in other avenues, I get to run workshops and help young people curate their work and encourage them to think about their creative concerns and presentation of work.
In summarising the context of my work, it is varied and extremely busy. I teach twenty four hours a week, shoot between fifteen and twenty weddings a year in addition to taking on other work when I can. Add an MA into the mix and that renders me an extremely busy person. Having said that, weddings have been cancelled since March therefore the wedding business has taken on different challenges which is dealing with rearrangements, maintaining the website and marketing.
Studying the MA has been like entering into a new world personally. As my creative journey started in the TV industry eventually moving towards photography I initially felt out of my depth on the MA with very little contextual knowledge, I spent my time working hard to learn what I needed to learn before making decisions about the type of professional I would like to be.
As I continue to acclimate myself I am reevaluating the direction I would like to pursue. In an ideal world I would like to move away from photographing weddings and teaching and going towards photojournalism. As my research continues I actively follow and engage with publications such as the football magazine ‘When Saturday Comes’. Ech edition has a photo feature with a small pool of photographers such as Colin McPherson and Paul Thompson both of whom are photojournalists who have appeared to have had sustained careers working on repeat commissions on a regular basis in addition to featuring in numerous exhibitions around the world. Having spoken to McPherson on a number of occasions it is also interesting that he has diversified his work into writing which currently feels like a difficult task for me as I would suspect that I lack the mental agility to make such a shift although I suspect I will try in the future.
Looking for inroads into the building a network into the photographic world, I have been following organisations such as the Open Eye Gallery for some time, looking for opportunities and avenues to engage with the gallery, I am in the process of applying for a program entitled ‘Crossing Sectors’ which is an ongoing mentorship with a focus on socially engaged photography. I see this as an opportunity to develop a network and continue to work in the sector beyond the MA. Having only recently identified the opportunity, I am in the early stages of the application and will seek advice from my tutors when I have composed my application.
Moving onto the weekly webinar, It was good to meet my new tutor and receive feedback from Colin Pantall. From the presentation of my progress in the webinar it was clear that he was aware of the influences I cited and the type of work was engaging with, his advice was to simplify my project and he suspected that i was overcomplicating my approach to the work, this was a contrast to Cemre my tutor for the last module. In making these comments I don’t mean to detract the advice given by my previous tutor as Cemre was excellent in encouraging me to challenge the approach to my project, exploring different perspectives, solving problems relating to the photographic literacy I was pursuing with the result being personal growth and a quiet confidence in the emergence of my voice.
Having a tutor that may identify with my work in a different sense will, I hope, enable the going back to the original concerns of my project but with a much more informed and confident outlook. Moving onto the major questions about my own approach to making work, the idea of the ground hopping narrative is now open again as football is taking place with spectators in the ground. However this narrative would exclude lots of my previous work surrounding the grass roots game. Therefore the task is identify a unifying theme that pulls the work together. As I have previously, the work of Julian Germain becomes relevant with his book ‘Soccer in Wonderland’ which is a celebration of football culture exploring themes including grassroots, collectors of programs and childhood games such as subbuteo.
Drew Findlay (2017) [Online] Available at: https://drewfindlayphotography.com [Accessed 3rd Oct 2020]
Germain, J (1994) Booth-Clibborn Editions, London.
Grant, Scott (2014) Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (2014), CRC Press.
Open Eye Gallery [Online] Available at: https://openeye.org.uk/opportunities/?fbclid=IwAR3OrvCrCBRp8mCtpEuv5uztTFKu2BgYFSt4OHbMcO8e5Y_EUQ92ot9VT6Q [Accessed 3rd Oct 2020]