I have to say I am a bit disappointed with the coursework tasks and reading on our first week of Sustainable Prospects.  We have had readings about how to be a good student and how to behave as a photographer’s assistant. It feels like it is pitched at undergraduate rather than postgraduate level and perhaps a younger age group. Having completed two degrees and a postgraduate diploma, and spent 35 years working in universities, I hope I have a good understanding of what to do and how to do it!

I was really looking forward to getting stuck into business plans and understanding my markets and audience. Even though we haven’t been asked to do that I have made a start on reading Running a Successful Photography Business by Lisa Pritchard in readiness for these tasks and considerations.

We are being asked to complete tasks each week from The Photographer’s Playbook and the first one is from Michael Christopher Brown as follows:

“For much of my career, photography was more of a way to make money than a compulsion. I spent a lot of time communicating ideas that were not my own. Two years ago, during the Libyan Revolution, I began taking a more honest path with regards to photography. It had to do with finding a voice. An interesting exercise that anyone can do is to take one photograph per day for a week. The idea is to be focused enough to only photograph what is absolutely necessary. What are the seven pictures that not only define the week, but yourself? What if you were to die next week and these were to be the last seven pictures of your life? This exercise can be an important analysis of the self in relation to life and photography.”

My seven photographs reflect a time in my life when I have recently retired and am reconfiguring my life after over 35 years of hectic work, plenty of stress but also lots of challenges and opportunities. My images show everyday life:  me starting my third module on the MA Photography; the boxes piled up for our move to the Isle of Skye this weekend; two images of everyday life in the market town of Tetbury in the South Cotswolds and finally three images showing our journey to Scotland; our stop in Callander and arriving at our new house. I think these images give a sense of my happiness and expectation of my new life feeling more relaxed and anticipating sharing my time between Tetbury and the Isle of Skye.

I found the guest lecture by Max Ferguson very interesting. He is founding editor of Splash and Grab and Director of Photography at Port magazine. He is also Freelance Photo Editor at the Financial Times Weekend Magazine.

He emphasised the importance of Instagram for photographers – we are doing more work on this in a couple of weeks’ time. I am interested to learn more about how I improve my profile in this way.

Ferguson also shared some of his personal photography including a current project called Burning the Caterpillars.

There were a number of learning points for me from Max Ferguson’s lecture:

  1. Consider setting up an Instagram account for my work
  2. Research whether there are any on-line or hard copy magazines about or based on Skye and whether there are any opportunities in this area
  3. Ensure when pitching for work to research the magazine to ensure it is appropriate for your work
  4. Ensure when submitting work only to present a small number of top images
  5. Continue with my CRJ/blog post my MA to ensure a presence and outlet for my work
  6. Follow magazines on-line
  7. Research magazines on-line that may be interested in my work through Antenne Books including
  8. Review my website in light of this lecture and other learning points from Sustainable Prospects

References

Ferguson, M, website: https://www.max-ferguson.co.uk/

Pritchard, L (2017), Running a Successful Photography Business, Bloomsbury, London

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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