I have previously considered a book and this continues to be part of my thinking but I wonder whether an electronic version might be better than a hard copy version? Having said that I am a great advocate of being able to hold a book and see and hold a beautifully crafted and tactile cover. But maybe, the electronic book accompanying the portfolio effectively as an Exhibition Catalogue should be the output for the MA and a printed version launching my work and looking forward would be better than committing to print at this stage? Given the changes in my style and approach of my photographic practice during the course this may be my best option.
I have reviewed and researched how a number of photographers talk about their practice including Awioska van der Molen, Jeff Wall, Don McCullin, Helen Sear, Jem Southam and Iain Serjeant. I have spent a considerable amount of time articulating and re-articulating the purpose and intent of my current work. I do not feel I am as articulate and coherent as some of my peers when I talk about my work and believe that a short video of me talking about my purpose, intent and approach would be really helpful moving forward post MA.
I have been working with a web designer and creator for almost a year hoping to bring my blog and website together in one place. It has been a challenge getting my ideas across and clarifying my thoughts about what makes a good website. I have a good working version but there is a lot to do and a great deal of leg-work to bring it to fruition. I feel this should be a priority and I need to take up the challenge and improve my technical skills to deliver on this.
But, apart from photography what is the thing that I have already determined I will continue post MA? Well, it is the Critical Research Journal – my blog. I enjoy the challenge of choosing a topic, reading and researching it, writing and adding appropriate imagery and publishing. I like the relatively short format of a blog, writing in a way that people not as involved in photography can relate to and the immediate interaction through the comments they make.
While thinking about the future of my blog I also reminded myself of what I might cover moving forward. We were introduced to a really helpful book in Sustainable Prospects entitled Blogging for Photographers: Showcase your Creativity and Build your Audience by Jolie O’Dell. She suggests that photographer’s should write about:
- your work
- your methods
- your subjects
After eighteen months on the MA I think I would add ‘your research/reading’.
And finally, I intend to create a 1-2-1 photographic coaching model to offer post the MA. For the course, I propose to determine aims and objectives, the format and approach and try it out on a few photographic colleagues to gain feedback. I am also upgrading my general coaching skills through a course at Henley Management School. This for me is a natural combination of my skills and interests to deliver something that is rare in a marketplace saturated with workshops. Whilst many offer individual workshop experiences these do not attempt to focus on an individual’s goals, hopes, aspirations and commitment to their photography, rather just teaching them how to be a better photographer. It is often not a lack of technical skills that hamper a person’s ability to achieve their goals but an inability to articulate, focus and commit to what for many is a hobby competing for time in busy lives. How do you carve out time, make the most of the time you set aside and be clear about what you would like to achieve by when? This would be part of the coaching experience.
O’Dell, J. 2013. Blogging for Photographers: Showcase your Creativity and Build your Audience. Lewes: ILEX.