Key Ideas

I’ve written well over 35 blog posts for this module so felt it would be a good idea to signpost some key blog posts that underpin my ideas and research throughout Sustainable Prospects.

In the below link, I have created a contents page of all of the posts created for Sustainable Prospects that also includes notes to summarise content and highlight key themes of research and ideas:

Assignments

WIPP – Towards a Resolution

Figure 1: Phil Hill (November, 2020) WIPP Justification and Development.

After working through a series of versions and some additional justification (Fig: 1) I have settled with a version of my WIPP, which I believe takes on board feedback and also is true to the project that I aiming to present (Fig: 2).

Figure 2: Phil Hill (December, 2020) PHO704 WIPP ‘More lonely ere’ spreads.

More space to breath.

Figure 3: Phil Hill (November, 2020) Early version of WIPP with images close together.

Key feedback was that my images were too packed in (Fig: 3), so I have sought to space things out so that they can be viewed in isolation and also some together (Fig: 4). This latest iteration continues the linear journey story structure but it is now laid out in a way that the reader can take in at a more subtle pace. I have also created my WIPP in 8×10 format to consider the 6×7 negative’s 5:4 ratio, which feels much more balanced than trying to place my images onto a standard ‘A’ size page.

Statement of Intent

I have now included some text to start the sequence off:

‘More lonely ere’ is a body of work inspired by Robert Frost’s poetry.

Located inside the M25 but not London and within the boundary of Hertfordshire but not the pastoral idyllic of the Home Counties.

This is a between place.

The project is a journey through a separated existence of individual rhythm to evaluate the idea of home and sanctuary; it forges a new relationship with spaces and the people I share them with.

Figure 5: Phil Hill (December, 2020) WIPP opening statement.

The text is a way to frame the project and set the reader off on the journey. I wanted to leave it fairly ambiguous so not to over explain, which has been a challenge of mine. I have placed references to the process, for example:

  • The title ‘More lonely ere’ translates to ‘More lonely before’ (ere being an old term for ‘before in time’), which suggests that by going on the journey the reader/narrator is less lonely than at the start.
  • Inspired by Robert Frost’s poetry – not specifically stating the poem ‘Desert Places’ where the title is from (1936: 44). Giving the reader something to discover, should they want.
  • Located inside the M25 but not London and within the boundary of Hertfordshire but not the pastoral idyllic of the Home Counties. This is a between place – I purposefully left Watford out of the statement of intent to continue the ambiguity and discovery for the reader. There is enough information of the location of the place and I aimed to provide a sense of its ‘in between status’
  • The last part refers to the personal connection to place that is part of the exploration. The idea of individual rhythm is one that I research from the Roland Barthes’ book ‘How to Live Together’ (Barthes, 2012) in which he considers the way that society lives in the same spaces but according to an ‘idiorrythm’ where we work, eat, sleep in the same towns and cities but rarely interact.

End plates

Figure 6: Phil Hill (December, 2020) Contact sheet of contents and titles for WIPP Submission
Figure 7: Jack Latham (2016) Back pages of ‘Sugar Paper Theories’
Figure 8: Jane Hilton (2013) Supporting information in the back of ‘Precious’

In this latest iteration, I have added a contact sheet of images at the end (Fig: 6) in a similar way to how Jack Latham did in ‘Sugar Paper Theories’ (Fig: 7), which adds some contextualising information for the images. Jane Hilton discussed this in relation to her book ‘Precious’ (Fig: 8), noting that she intended for the reader of the book to have to work for the information about each of the people she photographed (Hilton in Smith, 2016). I have discussed the need to not over explain my reasoning for the narrative structure yet felt that a certain amount of contextualisation once the sequence has been viewed without any text would be an interesting way of creating further intrigue into my process of putting the work together. Here I have attempted to include elements of the narrative structure and also further references to the poem of Robert Frost and the Edgelands that I photographed. I hope that some text would also bring the series further together in the way that I am creating titles for the images based on characterisations of the people and the place.

Constructed

This WIPP submission has become one of the most contrived and constructed sequences of images that I have created. The evolution from the way that I consider photographed and what they can do has fundamentally changed over the course of this module. One of the biggest takeaways for me, is in the use of narrative structure to construct my stories. This is a key element in the development of my work that I fully intend to carry forward into the FMP.

Bibliography

Barthes, R., 2012. How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of some Everyday Spaces. Translation ed. New York: Columbia University Press.

Frost, R., 1936. A Further Range. Transcribed eBook ed. s.l.:Proofreaders Canada.

Hilton, J., 2013. Precious. 1 ed. London: Thames and Hudson.

Hilton, J., 2016. A Small Voice Podcast: Episode 35 [Interview] (April 2016).

Working Title

Considering the feedback that I have received for the first iteration of my WIPP (Fig: 1), I wanted to create a title for the work that lends a certain ambiguity to the reading. As the work is in part inspired by the Robert Frost Poem, I looked again at how Bryan Schutmaat titled his work ‘Grays the Mountain Sends’ (Fig: 2), which was inspired by the poetry of Richard Hugo. His title is taken from a line in the poem ‘Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg’: “Hatred of the various grays the mountain sends, hatred of the mill,  The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls who leave each year for Butte” (1992). Hugo’s poem uses the idea of ‘degrees of gray’ to paint a picture of the ebb and flow of human relationships, which relates to Hugo’s own personal experiences prior to writing this poem (Potts, 2012). For Schutmaat, this is a translation into the relationship between the people and the landscape in his photo series.


Figure 1: Phil Hill (November, 2020) Peer Feedback on WIPP V1 blog post

Figure 2: Bryan Schutmaat (2014) Cover of ‘Grays the Mountain Sends’
A Desert Place vs Between Stars

Initially, I thought about titling this series ‘A Desert Place’ in a direct reference to the poem however, this could be quite obvious so instead I have considered the metaphor within the poem to see if any connections to my work can be made. A phrase that jumps out at me immediately is “Between stars – on stars where no human race is” (Frost, 1936, p. 44). Frost uses this line as a way of contrasting a vastness of space with the narrators own internal desert, which aims to create a kind of hope of putting one’s own personal challenges into a kind of perspective. According to analysis by Li Wang, this comparison “serves to aggrandise the speaker and the importance of his own personal desert” (2013, p. 2095). I can use the line ‘between stars’ as a way of emphasising the in-between nature of my images, or rurality of them. It also references the idea of connection to place.

More lonely ere

Another line from Frost’s poem is: “And lonely as it is, that loneliness Will be more lonely ere” (1936, p. 44). The word ere is a preposition meaning ‘before in time’ and I quite like the idea of naming the series ‘more lonely ere,’ to create a sense of the connection that I am attempting to explore with the sequence. This again is a way of placing me into the series and also an attempt of putting emphasis on the reader being the protagonist on the journey. As Wang also notes:

“It is an archaic word. As we have known that Frost’s language  is  so  simple  and  ordinary  that  the  common readers  can  understand  it.  But  this  only  archaic  word  appears  here  to  remind  us  of  focusing  on  what  the  adjacent sentences want to emphasize. It emphasizes the intensification of mood. The implied rebirth in the necessary melting of the snow and the re-emergence of the field as a real thing is an unassimilated lump of hope”

(2013, p. 2096)

I believe that this provides the best link between the poem, the metaphor and my images. Ultimately, my journey story is an intensification of mood from ‘the call’ at the start through ‘the journey’ and ‘the ordeals,’ toward a resolution and ‘the goal.’ Within the bleakness of some of the images that I am presenting, my aim is that is some kind of hope still, represented in the end of the sequence, and the goal (Fig: 3). The idea of ‘more lonely ere‘ essentially translates to ‘more lonely before,’ as to suggest that the act of completing the journey provides hope for a better relationship with place.

Figure 3: Phil Hill (November, 2020) Project Development and Narrative
Cover
Figure 4: Robert Frost (1936) ‘A Further Range’ book cover

I have taken further inspiration from Robert Frost and used the cover from the book ‘A Further Range’ where ‘Desert Places’ is published as inspiration (Fig: 4). Initially, I sought to emulate the cover but found that I need to develop this further and as I evolved the title, I aim to do the same with the cover. The basic referenced elements are there and I have change the colour to a green as a further reference to rurality and also included a three star symbol between the title and my name to visually represent the in-between element of the title (Fig: 5).

Bibliography

Frost, R., 1936. A Further Range. Transcribed eBook ed. s.l.:Proofreaders Canada.

Hugo, R., 1992. Making Certain It Goes On: The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo.. Re-Issue ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.

Potts, M., 2012. On Richard Hugo’s, “Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg”. [Online]
Available at: https://michaelpotts.livejournal.com/8861.html [Accessed 26 11 2020].

Schutmaat, B., 2014. Grays the Mountain Send. [Online]Available at: http://www.bryanschutmaat.com/grays [Accessed 26, November, 2020].

Wang, L., 2013. An Artistic Analysis on Robert Frost’s Desert Places. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(11), pp. 2092-2097.

PHO704 WIPP Peer Feedback

Figure 1: Phil Hill (September, November, 2020) Initial Work in Progress development

Figure 2: Phil Hill (September – November, 2020) Initial Work in Progress Portfolio development – PDF.

I have asked my peer group to give some feedback on my current iteration of my work in progress portfolio (Fig 1&2).

What I have found is that I am still trying to explain and add as much information as I can into the justification of the work. As a result, both Tim and Ross struggled with the ‘Journey’ concept in my work because I led with this explanation, which might have suggested that this is what the work is about when in fact the journey narrative is just the frame. Colin had suggested to me that I construct my story structure and then disregard it for the presentation, or at least keep it to myself. The structure is mine to disseminate as appropriate. Clearly, there are challenges to giving too many of the ‘secrets’ of my narrative construction away. This was supported somewhat, when I shared the same work with Kim and one of my work colleagues Ryan. I kept my justification very simple by stating: the work was inspired by the poem ‘Desert Places’ and an exploration of connection to place. Both of them were much more receptive to the work. My aim is to really consider the statement of intent for the work and see how it adds to the reading of the work, whilst supporting what I want others to see in it.

Ross Feedback

It’s tricky as I’m not familiar with the classic journey system for it. I think if that is important for you then you have to stick with it but I think there’s a better edit in there purely aesthetically if you were to mix the images in a different way. I think if they were all landscape format I would get almost a film still and maybe connect that in an easier way to the idea of the story. I find the mix of landscape and portrait more confusing if I am trying to think about it in that form but it’s the first time I’ve looked.

I am less drawn to the abstract images and the close up images personally. I prefer the more formal images that you create where there is a clear structure to either the portrait of the image of the object, tree, car, wall etc. I like that more topographic approach in your work.

I think the link to paths throughout do suggest at a journey but I find some of the images a bit confusing. The opening image is the only image taken inside, or I think it’s inside? The image of the hand with flower, although I really like it, seems out of place as well. I’m less drawn to the images where you are looking down as well as like I Said, I think your work is really strong when it has a formal gaze.

  • I attempted to justify the Journey structure first, which has created a challenge to the reading as Ross is attempting to resolve the sequence solely on this piece if information. This is quite valuable in the way that I will need to approach the statement of intent for the body of work.
  • I agree with Ross on The image of my Dad holding the Dandelion (Fig: 3). When showing the sequence to Colin he felt the same. I really enjoy this image but it does feel out of place in this sequence. I was keen to hang on to it because of the reference across Edgelands (Farley & Symmonds Roberts, 2011, p. 141) and one of the metaphors in ‘Desert Places’ (Frost, 1936, p. 44) however, the image is clearly aesthetically different to the rest of the sequence.
  • Ross did also mention that I might want to consider taking an image from each section and building it up, which is something that I might consider moving forward.
Figure 3: Phil Hill (September, 2020) Dad holding Dandelions
Tim Feedback

I have more questions than answers when looking at this.

  • This comment is actually great. Exactly what I want from my sequence. Using the journey structure I hope that the sequence encourages the reader to explore and investigate. I am not aiming to answer anything with the work, only present a narrative version, or ‘truth.’

Presented in this way, I do struggle a bit to take it all in. The individual images are great, really strong, but the question is it’s about how it all comes together.

Your first image, the one of the looking through the window, of me is the standout image. And great that it sets us off on a journey of the hero. Through the piece we meet experience the various encounters, and people who aid or distract the hero on the journey. But are they a distraction, to our own experience of what the hero is going through.

I like how you have structured the narrative in the screen shot, through the phrases. The ‘Call to Action’ etc., as I then can see more of what you are trying to achieve and how you have thought about it.

The questions that pop into my mind are:

Too many different sizes to the images – does this lessen their impact

What if you removed 90% of the portraits. What would you feel

The ‘Goal’ completes the journey started out by the first image

Is the ‘Journey’ happening too soon. Are we not going out from urban into countryside as the goal.

This has made me think that there are images of ‘paths’ and that there are images where the path is ‘blocked’ and therefore our journey through the piece is about us, through the hero, finding a path from inside to outside, and the goal.

  • As with Ross, I went to a great length in explaining the way that I structured the sequence. This is a clear identification of the need to withhold some information from the reader to illicit a more receptive response from the work. For Tim, I even presented him with the structure infographic (Fig: 4), which then feels as though took over from other aspect of what I am aiming to do with this work.
  • There is some work to do on the structure as some of the images in the different sections may not be working. If both Ross and Tim are saying similar things here then it is important not to dismiss the feedback because of the way that I described it – this is only part of what I need to resolve here.
Figure 4: Phil Hill (November, 2020) WIPP compared to narrative ‘journey’ structure.
Colin Feedback

Colin was responsive to the way that I have created my first sequence. There are clearly areas that need development and I am continuing to work with the series on my wall to make adjustments and edits to the work. A key area to consider from my tutorial was to continue working on the narrative to narrow it down a bit more – Think of a direction and build it into the narrative.

Narrative Developments

I consider the journey story as a frame and not necessarily to be followed in the strictest sense as it may lead to quite a ‘closed’ linear sequence that leaves little room for ambiguity and multiple reading. This felt confirmed by me aiming to justify my WIPP iteration by explaining this structure process. I am also not aiming to answer any questions with this work – raising some, more likely. I like a level of ambiguity in the work as it acknowledges that the reading of the work is not mine to control, I only aim to lead the reader on a poetic journey through the landscape.

Referring to the journey structure, the idea of defined elements of the structure, for example ‘the call,’ the helpers,’ ‘the hero’s companions’ do not necessarily relate to the embodiment of a lead character or person at all. These can be an idea, or particular imagery that suggests a means of viewing the narrative. Christopher Booker suggests as much when discussing the idea of ‘Overcoming the Monster’ (2004, pp. 31-50), in which stories will create language to paint a picture of “immense menace and evil” (p. 37) over actual embodiments of what we might consider a monster. The same can be said for any of the structural elements that I am applying to my sequence. Instead they should be represented by a visual language that I create through the edit of the work.

If I were to be pressed on the idea of a protagonist however, this is potentially a story told in the first person, in which the viewer becomes the person journeying through the landscape. Ultimately, I am going to use Colin’s suggestion and build this up using the structure and the trope and then remove it to the bare minimum so that the reader is required to look for it. Of course, when questioned about the work, I can build up the picture of the narrative once again.

Bibliography

Booker, C., 2004. The Seven Basic Plots. London: Bloomsbury Continuum.

Farley, P. & Symmonds Roberts, M., 2011. Edgelands – Journeys into England’s true Wilderness. London: Vintage.

Frost, R., 1936. A Further Range. Transcribed eBook ed. s.l.:Proofreaders Canada.

PH0704 – Oral Presentation: Developments

Figure 1: Phil Hill (November, 2020) Oral Presentation 1st Draft.

Figure 2: Phil Hill (November, 2020) Oral Presentation Version 1 script

I went ahead and started the oral presentation and for some reason thought it was still 10 minutes. I completely missed the part of the brief that said this was needing to be seven minutes. A lesson in carefully reading the brief, which is something that incidentally I tell the students that I teach constantly. However, I have found this in good time and was able to revisit my original supporting script and presentation and even though I have had to cut 3 minutes of discussion from it, I actually think it is better as a result. Some of the topics that I was aiming to cover were done so quickly, which is also reminiscent of the feedback I received for my written work from Source magazine. I tend to try and crowbar a lot into my work, which is to the detriment of overall quality. The 7 minute version is becoming much more concise and also a bit more refined.

I would have liked to discuss some of the topics omitted however I can expand on these through my blog, which is probably a better place for these discussions.

Oxfam A updates 12/11

Figure 1: Phil Hill (November, 2020) One Tree app mock-up walk through

Continuing to develop this idea in preparation for the upcoming presentation, I have created a mock-up of the ‘One Tree’ app that shows some of the basic functions (Fig: 1 & 2). Throughout this process we have been keeping a collaborative document for notes and research, which I have found an invaluable method on working on a project, especially when we are all remote (Fig: 3).

Figure 3: Phil Hill Et al (October – November, 2020) Live Brief collaborative team notes and research document

The app has been quite a departure from the photography that I am sure was to be expected for this live brief however, when we were putting together ideas for the brief and raising awareness of the global carbon impact of social media, it was quickly realised that this kind of campaign would effectively contribute to the problem so we felt it important to create some kind of solution. That being said, an app would also contribute to the problem but it also provides the tools to both raise awareness and also contribute to the solution. The information provided by such an app would support informed choices about how we are individually impacting the environment. We also consider that social media and social interactions are also a new kind of ‘everybody street’ that we might use to interact with others even more so than one’s own neighbors.

Project Development, Reflections, Narrative ideas

Figure 1: Phil Hill (October – November, 2020) Research project images for webinar and tutorial.

I have been aiming to continue photographing with a focus on how the landscape images are linking to my portraits. I decided to use this as my point of discussion during the peer webinar and see how the images are being read and also potential ways to take this idea forward (Fig: 1).

During my tutorial with Colin he noted that my images had a sense of the idealistic and romantic about them, which is something that I am keen to pursue. He also noted that I should continue to experiment as I am not quite there yet with how the work is coming across. This is where I started to look at the idea of ‘Edgelands’ (Farley & Symmonds Roberts, 2011) to see if there was a way that I could create better links however, I am still unsure if this is successful.

How I see this developing is through the narrative of the work is in the need to spend some time working on sequencing and my edit; overlooked for the sake of shooting more up until now. Colin essentially said the same as I need a structure in which the project can rest. Furthermore, I should create a narrative for the series even if, as Colin noted, ‘that narrative is wrong.’ This was something that came up again during the peer webinar, where Mike also noted that I should construct a story for the sequence, even if it is a made up.

Narrative ideas

Paper Movies

I like the idea of a constructed narrative utilising the images that I have already created. This is something that Todd Hido advocates, referring to the process as ‘Paper Movies’ (2014, p. 114), where he advocates that “The book can lead you to synthesize ideas and can become your permanent record of a body of work. When you pick up a book, you expect something from it. It has structure: a beginning, a middle, an end” (p. 114). I have previously been quite critical of photo books, owing to their limited audience of single demographics, which is supported by Simon Norfolk’s assertion that they only have appeal within the bubble of photography and is detrimental to the dissemination of that work (2019). However, perhaps I need to re-evaluate my position on this to use the photobook as a tool to create an effective narrative. Once this is resolves, it could provide a launch pad onto other ways to disseminate the work; and this is key to the way that I view the photobook.

In terms of how to approach my sequencing, Hido also notes: “I find it really helpful to work with pictures on paper, little printouts that you can move around on a table or on a wall. I’ve never found a fabulous pairing or a great sequence on a computer screen” (p. 114). I have been told this a few times during the MA, Michelle Sank is a big proponent of ‘living with the work’ for a while. This is something that I have attempted at various stages, however not really left those up for any length of time that could be consider valuable. During the last lockdown, it was also a challenge to print images so I had to become reliant on the screen. Perhaps, this is an area that could create value in the sequence and ultimate narrative of the work, so my intention is to fully ‘live’ with the images and see how they start to form, as Hido notes: “And then all of a sudden you have these chains of pictures that start to show the shape and structure of the story” (p. 114).

Rhythm

One other point that Hido makes with regard to the sequencing of his work is to think about music: “There may be motifs that appear and repeat themselves in different iterations in a long sequence. You can create a rhythm by being consistent from image to image and by paying attention to how the image hang together” (p. 114). Colin also made a similar observation during my tutorial when talking about the rhythm of a good photography book. How to relate this to the sequencing of my work, I am unsure however, feel that once the images are placed on a wall, this is something that will be important to consider.

Journey Narrative

One element that I use in teaching media, is the development of a strong set of defined characteristics that help form a visual image of a character within that story. This also includes the environment, as understanding the characteristics of the world in which a character inhabits will help to understand the way that the character will react to situations and events within that world.

Figure 2: Joseph Campbell (1949) Graphic depicting the ‘hero’s journey’ as studied by Campbell.

There is also the ‘hero’s journey,’ which although is potentially a cliché, could be a useful way to sequence the work and does lend itself very well to narrative construction and mythologies. There are different interpretations of this and the language used for each stage is hackneyed, yet the ideas that they present could be useful and present a method of creating a structured approach to sequencing (Fig: 2).

Additionally, my constructed narrative could also refer to Vladimir Propp’s character theory, which argues that stories are character driven and are the most important draw for audiences (Sampson, 2015) – useful to consider when placing my portraiture into the sequence.

Desert Places – Robert Frost
Figure 3: Robert Frost (1936, p. 44) Desert Places Poem

Earlier in the MA, I briefly looked at the poem of ‘Desert Places’ by Robert Frost (Fig: 3) after reading an analysis of Roland Barthes’ essays ‘How to Live Together’ (2012). It’s not something that I felt really worked at that point of the project however, I am keen to return to it and see if there is any way that it could relate to the work that I am making now.

The poem refers to a person travelling through the countryside on a winter evening who is overcome by feelings of loneliness (Wang, 2013). Li Wang creates a detailed analysis of the poem, referring to the metaphors it creates:

  1. Desert Places. It is the man’s moral and spiritual wildernesses.
  2. Field. It represents nature.
  3. Weed. It is the primitive things without trace of the man.
  4. Stubble. It’s the trace of the man’s presence.
  5. Woods. They are the people and society
  6. Whiteness. Open and empty spaces
  7. Snow. A white blanket that covers everything living.
  8. Blanker. Representing the emptiness that the speaker feels.
  9. Home. It is a place that man can feel safety and finds his own identity there

(Wang, 2013, p. 2094)

Figure 4: Bryan Schutmaat (2019) from ‘Good Goddamn’

Wang suggests that Frost is creating a personification of the landscape and people are essentially in the shadow of nature (2013, p. 2095), which is quite similar to the way that Bryan Schutmaat does the same in his work ‘Good Goddamn’ that gives a real sense of the landscape’s impact on the character awaiting incarceration (Fig: 4). We know very little of the detail of this character other than he is about to go to jail and the journey created by his interaction with the land creates a striking narrative to this series. Wang suggests that the underlying meaning of Frost’s poem is in the realization to the narrator that they are insignificant in the grand scheme of things however, Wang notes:

“If he does not want to live in the world meaninglessly like the nature, he should not have shut himself off to the world and let feelings as loneliness and coldness… run his life”

(p. 2096).

There are links that can be made to the themes and metaphor, which Frost creates. I especially resonate with the idea of the desert place being a moral and spiritual wilderness and how the woods represent people and society. Linking this to the idea of edgelands and rurality, there is potential scope to start creating characters from my existing portraits and also a character out of the land that is acting on them.

There are also links to be drawn to Barthes’ idea of how we exist in the same places but also separately, according to our own individual rhythm – or idiorythmically (2012, p. 132). I have equated Watford to a kind of edgeland town and during the last lockdown, I also felt that Barthes’ idiorythm reflected a general way society needed to remain separate. However, Frost’s Desert Places could be a more apt analogy and I will see how I can create a sequence around some of the themes here – especially as we are now in a new lockdown.

I am going to now focus on sequencing and seeing how my images are working together. The I can identify areas that need additional imagery or work to refine in other areas.

Bibliography

Barthes, R., 2012. How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of some Everyday Spaces. Translation ed. New York: Columbia University Press.

Farley, P. & Symmonds Roberts, M., 2011. Edgelands – Journeys into England’s true Wilderness. London: Vintage.

Frost, R., 1936. A Further Range. Transcribed eBook ed. s.l.:Proofreaders Canada.

Hido, T., 2014. Todd Hido on Landscapes, Interiors, and the Nude. New York: Aperture.

Norfolk, S., 2019. A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers [Interview] (12 June 2019).

Sampson, R., 2015. Debate: Propp’s Character Conventions In Modern Film. [Online]
Available at: https://www.filminquiry.com/character-conventions-propp/
[Accessed 06 November 2020].

Wang, L., 2013. An Artistic Analysis on Robert Frost’s Desert Places. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(11), pp. 2092-2097.

Professional Practice Developments

With the aim of developing my professional practice, and after the content from week 7, I have started to consider ways that I can improve the way that I am sending my work out to potential publishers, editors etc.

Key Takeaways from the presentation
  • Embedding images into email: Makes great deal of sense as editors will receive many emails per day, so reducing the amount of work it takes to get to those images is fundamental to getting my work seen
  • Portfolio: Having a physical portfolio is important as many people who see digital work all day appreciate the tangible qualities of print. What I personally like about a physical portfolio (a box of prints anyway) is the way that it allows the viewer to arrange and sequence work as they see fit, which allows a much more personal viewing experience. I have a box and sleeves, but have not updated the images within it. Something that I aim to update soon. The only caveat or course is the limit to face-to-face meetings that are happening now however, there is still potential to send portfolios for review if this is preferred.
  • Treatment: Not something that I have truly considered however, there is much potential to create a ‘treatment’ that highlights my unique visual language when writing proposals, for example.
  • Language: During the presentation Amy Simmons mentioned how using the language that is in a brief when creating responses and treatments. Something that I feel that I have been aware of but not sure, if I really capitalise on it. Considering this, I think it would be useful apply this tip when grant writing, which would really show consideration for their values. It would also be useful when writing pitches to publishers.

Much of the content within the presentation, I already knew, or at least was reminded of from my former practice as a freelancer. I have not been applying much of the tips to my recent sharing of the work, which linked to the amount of time that I used to do this regularly. The presentation was an important reminder to ensure that I am following some of the more effective ways of getting work in front of potential clients.

Keeping things a secret

Many of the photographer interviews that I listen to refer to certain projects and work, which is under wraps for the time being, or secretive until they are published. During Anna’s live lecture, she also mentioned that publications such as the New York Times would not publish anything that has already appeared on Instagram or personal websites. I have been quite keen to place everything that I have been photographing online, yet this could actually be detrimental to the success if my work – especially as I would also include a link to my website. My audience online is modest however, making the work freely available for public consumption would have an undermining impact on its monetary value, for both publishers and myself; whether or not my copyright is respected. Instead, it would be beneficial to share bodies of work after I have explored other avenues. This would retain its exclusivity and potentially monetary value. Ultimately, the work will end up online; it is just a question of timing.

On this note, I am going to pause the sharing of my work on Instagram and instead present it to potential clients in the first instance. I am also going to archive some of the images that I have shared recently to support the re-packaging and sharing of my carnival work and see how this affects its potential for publication.

Bibliography

Simmons, A., 2017. Week 7: Commercial Commissions with Amy Simmons, Falmouth: Falmouth University.