The Producer’s picks for this week’s news relevant to the photography, art, design and production industries:
1) Editors Explain How to Pitch Your Photography Project to a Publication
For every photographer, there is a clear designation between paid, commissioned work and work that you need to do for exposure of some sort. If you’re looking to get the word out about a new project or yourself, it’s often a great idea to allow publications to feature you. Ethically speaking, it’s often a bad idea to pitch yourself and then demand payment simply because a story is about you and there is a practice in journalistic integrity to not pay for information. If your images are part of a great piece though, then it makes a whole lot of sense to ask for a licensing fee. With that out of the way, I highly suggest that any time that you have some sort of new project done and ready to use not only the power of social media and email to get the word out, but also publications. Gatekeepers often look at publications to help them find new talent and your work could be right on that list.
We spoke to a few editors at other publications about how photographers can pitch themselves and their work. And here’s what we had to say.
2) Gaia Tripoli on Editing Sergey Ponomarev’s Photos for a New York Times Feature
Here, Tripoli explains in detail how she edited and sequenced Ponomarev’s take, which included Polaroids, images of the landscape and village life, and videos.
Gaia Tripoli: “Sergey filed about 80 images which included some photos of the Polaroids he took of the inhabitants of Shoyna. He also filed several video clips. I first started identifying my favorite images and tagging them, just focusing on the jewels in the take. After that I focused on choosing my opening image.
“I love the opening image: it’s captivating, surprising and sort of mysterious to me. I thought it would make the readers wonder why this house is buried in the sand and want to read and see more of the story.
“My next step would then be to try to build a visual narrative: this is the moment during which I would analyze my first edit and then start comparing repetitive/similar images and choose my favorites. I am also focusing on what images I need to tell the story in the best way, both visually and content-wise. I would go back to the images I edited out in the first place to see if there was anything that I had missed.
3) How Set Design is Enhancing my Photography
Nearly 10 years into taking photos, it’s safe to say I’ve been bored of my own pictures lately, and have been increasingly open-minded in looking for new ways to keep my work innovative. Delving deeper into creative concepts, the best way I feel I’ve improved as a photographer is by exploring set design and focusing my efforts on the pre-production.
Portraits are my thing. For me, aesthetically, nothing is more interesting than a close-up portrait. Except it’s easy to feel unfilled as a portrait photographer, with the constant paranoia that you’re relying too heavily on a pretty model to carry you through and not extorting your photographic talent to its full potential. Although close-ups are still important to me and something I’ll always shoot, it’s important to move away from your comfort zone and prove, mostly to yourself, that your creativity runs deeper.
4) The Terrible History of Photographs (as presented by puppets)!
We got a kick out of this Youtube video chronicling the history of photography as narrated by fuzzy puppets, Glove & Boots. From prehistoric hand-paintings to the modern day selfie, it’s a fun retrospective on the great lengths our species has taken to say “I was here.”
5) Instagram Wants You to Know How it's Fiddling with your Feed
Instagram’s switch to an algorithmic-ally-sorted feed in 2016 didn’t go over all that well when it was first announced and opinions haven’t seemed to soften in the intervening years.
Instagram recently took to Twitter (of all places) to explain just how your news feed works.
6) Andy Warhol's Polaroid Pictures
In 1971 Polaroid introduced the Big Shot camera; featuring an integrated flash, viewfinder and fixed focus lens, it was aimed at shooting portraits – and was enthusiastically taken up by artist Andy Warhol. The camera was discontinued in 1973 but Warhol kept using it until his death in 1987, capturing shots of actors, artists, politicians, clubbers, and Factory hangers-on. He also used it to photograph himself, creating a self-portrait in 1979 in what he called his “fright wig” that measures a whopping 81.3cm x 55.9cm.
BASTIAN gallery is showing this huge self-portrait in an exhibition of over 60 of Warhol’s Polaroids, highlighting “the artist’s prolific capacity as a chronicler of his time”. “Alongside other friends, clients and Studio 54 dwellers, these photographs – initially preparatory works for Warhol’s iconic silkscreen portraits – reveal a lack of pathos or individuation, underlining the artist’s notion of an era where ‘everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we’re getting more and more that way’,” states the gallery.