Week 3

Contextual Research

Following on from last week I’ve continued to read “How Photographs are Sold”[i]. The various different methods used by the photographers in the book are each of them best used for the different aims of the photographer. Some want to sell locally but without too much work in the selling aspect on their part, in which case they sell through a local gallery, another sells through their own private studio allowing them to sell on their own terms, but without overheads of running a gallery. There are drawbacks to both, as there are for probably any option. Selling through a gallery means the gallery owner taking a cut, selling on your own requires more leg work to sell and prepare product for selling and possibly shipping. So in order to narrow down ways of selling I first need to narrow down what it is I would want to sell, and how much direct involvement I would want, or could feasibly have.  

Project Development

I have been working further on creating images for urban/nature pairings, as well as continuing to consider having the urban images in black and white. I wasn’t able to get the coast recently so instead explored country areas nearer to home. I shot some images there and also shot some in the town centre. I chose these two to pair as I like the similar lines in each picture, as well as how the urban image is quite busy, full of buildings and people, and the country image has no people – only trees. I also thought it was interesting that the focus point of the country photo lead to more trees, and in the urban photo the lines lead not to more buildings but to a tree. Interesting also that despite building so many buildings and filling the area with so much brick and concrete, that there are still trees present in urban environments. I created a version with the urban image in black & white, and one in colour. I’m still unsure which I prefer, however in this week’s webinar others commented that the comparison between the two is greater when they are both in colour, when the contrast between the colours of the nature and the urban environment are visible. Additionally the urban environment in colour helps the image to show it is current, whereas in black & white the image could be current but could also be much older, which makes the viewer question the message of the images. As my work last module consisted of black & white and colour pairings, I will explore having both images in colour for the time being, to see what effect this has with more pairings like this.

 

0031 and 0036_b&w.jpg
0031 and 0036.jpg

Coursework

The increase in prevalence of social media has changed the face of photography. So many photographers now use platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to share their work, as well as to advertise and find work. I think this can be useful, and also a fun way to easily and quickly share work with a wide variety of people. But it does also mean that the amount of images being created and shared is greater than ever before, perhaps making it harder to stand out. There are now a variety of tips and advice on how to use platforms like Instagram to get more followers, to get more likes, ways to use Instagram to grow one’s photography business. For example PetaPixel give 10 tips on how to use Instagram to network and use it to the benefit your practice[ii]. Their tips include how to hastag, what and when to post images, and the kind of captions to use. Both Wix[iii] and Digital Photography School[iv] have published the same kind of articles – as probably have many others.

I have wondered whether these tips do work and have started to try them out. In particular trying to post images more regularly, share more information about the image in the caption, and by adding location information to the image to give my posting and perhaps me as well more personality and to give the viewers more of an idea about who I am. It’s quite hard to do as I am naturally not much of a sharer and am quite an introverted person so it is taking some getting used to. It’s early days but so far I feel like using the caption to share more information about the image, and trying to make it a bit more relaxed, does make people more responsive to the images. I’m looking forward to seeing whether this is a fluke or whether this continues, as well as seeing what effect posting more regularly has.

**********

[i] BRIOT, Alain. 2014. How Photographs Are Sold. California: Rocky Nook

[ii] https://petapixel.com/2016/10/24/10-instagram-tips-photographers/

[iii] https://www.wix.com/blog/photography/2017/01/30/instagram-tips-for-photographers/

[iv] https://digital-photography-school.com/12-steps-to-successly-promote-your-photography-on-instagram/