The reaction to Friday's post has been a bit overwhelming, and it seems has touched on a subject we all want to talk about. The power of the social network has made it easier for all of us to communicate and this becomes complicated as so many aspects of this conversation can be exposed and analyzed. I was simply thinking out loud as an educator, sharing my thoughts of my own leaning curve.
I think what we are experiencing is the confluence of the downturned economy and creating work at a time where traditions and methodologies are rapidly changing. No other art form has had to readjust so quickly to change. That combined with an expanding population where every man, woman, and child owns a camera, we are questioning our journeys more than ever.
No matter how hard it might be to navigate the fine art waters these days, I have to say that I am so very proud to be a part of this amazing community. This was made crystal clear by my involvement with Life Support Japan. I was blown away by how incredibly caring, giving, and supportive this community is. Not only did photographers submit work to the sale, but so did gallerists and gallery directors. We supported each other in the purchase of images, we cheered each other on, and in the process, got to know each other better. A shout out in particular to Crista Dix who has worked tirelessly on this project since it's inception. This sale is just one example of the power of our community (there are still many wonderful images available)-- and there are so many others.
The good news is that we are making photographs during a time when a banquet of opportunities allow us to get our work out into the world. There are many dedicated organizations and galleries working hard to help emerging photographers get recognition, probably more than in any other art form. E-zines and blogs and other forms of social media have also given photographers tremendous exposure. And we have the ability to pick and choose from this banquet. We shouldn't take that for granted.
I also believe in Portfolio Reviews. This process is totally unique to photography. I think of a portfolio review as part of my education and they ultimately cost the same amount (or less) than a week long workshop. We are lucky to have the opportunity to meet with so many significant people in the photography world face to face and develop relationships and dialogues with them. I have had incredible experiences at portfolio reviews, and certainly will continue to attend when I have new work to present.
I thank you for all your comments, and I hope we can continue to share constructive ideas and feedback about our photographic lives. I learn something new everyday, and much of it comes from making mistakes, by talking and sharing, and critically thinking about my photographic path--I appreciate the ability for all of us to have this conversation, and to see where we head next.