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  #51  
Old 10-31-2006, 04:25 PM
wanderlust wanderlust is offline
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Default Just my 2 cents

Hello everyone,

I completely agree with Darren. You have to COMPETE. There is cut-throat competition in every field and if you want to have a career in photography, the best time is NOW. I'm 31 and I've wasted years being a bum and not going out and trying to sell my work. Maciej, do it while you still can because sooner or later you'll be burdened by responsiblities towards your family and stuff. I am not married but still have rent, intalments to pay and look after my parents and things like that so I can't risk it out and start from scratch leaving the full time job I have right now. You have to face the competition. Your photography is great and there's nothing wrong with your writing. Writing skills will definitely improve if you work towards it (over a period of time of course). Don't let anything hold you back. Be more confident like Darren says and hard-sell yourself. If you dont believe in your own skills and capabilities, I doubt that the publishers will. Even if I can't leave my job and become a full time photographer, I will surely try and sell my photos to supplement my income.



Sohrab, I'd like to point out that the race against yourself begins after you've defeated others around you in the same arena (and I dont mean a local studio from an Indian village). Perhaps by "good work" you mean quality work which is good from professional photography point-of-view. But publishers want what they want and it usually isn't something that you and I think is "quality work". The only reason for them to pay you is if you can deliver something which THEY need. Two of my photos chosen to be printed in Outlook Traveller were (in my opinion) worst of the lot.

Let me explain it with an example: I'm a drummer too but couldn't take it up professionally since there just wasn't enough money in it here in India. I play drums as a hobby and my focus is on quality. I'm teaching myself to play and achieve perfection jazz and blues styles of drumming. Had I taken it up "professionally" I'd have to play what the crowd would want and that would be commercial MTV crap that you'd have to play over and over again day in and day out to continue to earn a living that way. In a big city like Delhi there's only a couple of bars that have jazz/ blues on their menu. In the professional scenario the very idea of doing "quality work" goes for a toss the minute you decide to do it for money(atleast for the first few years). Same applies to professional photography as well. You might have a whole bunch of photos that you yourself and other great photographers think is great work but there may be no takers unless the publishers think they'd help to sell their books.

I agree that Mark did a great thing by applying for internships and gaining experience but that doesn't mean he wasn't a part of the "RACE". He must have raced against hundreds to get the internship and the chance to get the jobs that he did ......... finally won that RACE. If you're trying to emphasize on the importance of learning, I'd say learning never ends. If he has spent a few years already and is skilled at photography, why not go ahead and sell some. After all photography is an expensive hobby. You feel it when you go travelling and come back to find out that a chunk of your income is gone. It doesn't go waste of course, but its high time the investments and effort paid off.

I dont think the "points" that a photographer earns along with the popularity over the internet matters to a publisher all that much unless they've contacted you through the website itself.

To get to the point of this thread: I'd say Maciej think twice before you give your photos for that coffee table mag.. If its just another coffee table book, then I'd say NAH dont do it!! I'm lucky to have got my first two photos published in Outlook Traveller Wildlife Guide and was paid Rupees 2,000. Even though it was like US $45 I couldn't be happier! ... Had it been a newbie like me in your place I wouldn't mind getting my photos published for free.

I probably stand nowhere close to any of you still hope my 2 cents count.

By the way, great thread.

Respect!

Biplav Arya
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  #52  
Old 10-31-2006, 09:30 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: some thoughts ...

yeah, Sohrab, but Salgado had been working as an economist for major organizations like the UN. He probably did not have too much problems getting access to major venues with subjects highlighting dire conditions, since he had been known as someone working to assess such problems. Maciej does not have the address/phone book Salgado had at the onset of his career.

Multi-media is cool, but heck, I am sorry, I really seem to understand Maciej wants to be a photographer, not a xmas tree on the net, with music, sound, interviews, videos, cool slide shows (how much time does it leave you to shoot outside, the site becomes the art, not the photography anymore). At the end of the day, whatever you propose, be it a rich multi-mediatic experience, or a one shot, must have impact.

I think Maciej needs to work on not diluting his great work with workalike daily shots. I can feel the tension lowering on his Pbase galleries, when he is basically filling up that week/day's quota of shots.

For us, who dig him like a buddy or a brother, that's not critical, but I would think a pro editor would pick on it, and maybe suppute he is "another trigger happy shooter who has not quite grown out of the fascination with the act of shooting for shooting, when he should work on a solid portfolio and rise to photographic maturity". Remember that it is easy now to google a name and see what you are doing (I have people/customers telling me now "I didn't know you were a photographer", not that I really am).

On the face of it, Maciej would have a job, or plenty of positive leads, given his popularity. But somehow, Maciej's own account as concerns his real ambition is sobering, so I think he needs to stop diluting himself with quantity over quality ( I mean by that, shots with a true narrative impact, Cardiff nights, for ex. need have more than 24 shots rather than 64), with swimming in the fluid and deep ocean of humonguous web sites, where the same person can applaud crap as much as great shots, in the same couple minutes, with a click. People watch a gripping shot from a aids orphanage, then some chick-peeping galleries, etc... That's entertainment, as the song goes.

Maciej's has got everything he needed to know and keep him going from the net, so I am maybe alone in that thought, but IMO, it can become counter-productive, to his end focus/purpose, his subjects impact, his energies, and vis a vis the publishing world to keep doing it at the same rythm.

Last, what we are bound to miss, if we do not have one, is a true mentor, a guru, someone that sees what we have to offer, but will assess all the flaws in the young armory. M. is right to think he needs someone to kick his ass. he will never hear being 3 times better than the rest in an editing room, but hopefully, there or next door, somewhere, someone will let him know they care and they can help him getting the best out of himself.

I read about Winogrand lately, one sentence from the intro made me smile recognizingly, and also realize it's lonely out there for a dude with a camera:

"For Winogrand, as for most ambitious photographers of this century, the essential, supportive audience was often small enough to gather around a cafe table"...

...Or a forum thread :-).
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  #53  
Old 11-01-2006, 03:17 AM
cgrindahl cgrindahl is offline
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Default Random Thoughts from Across the World

I've a good friend who works in large format whose work has appeared each of the last two years in the Sierra Club Wilderness Calendar. His name is George Ward. and his work is outstanding. Yes, he is doing landscape work that is quite different from your more intense urban work, but his experience is probably germane to your situation. Despite the fact that his work is regularly published he has yet to be able to turn his passion for photography into a professional career. It is a tough business! That's not to say you shouldn't pursue your passion Maciek. Yet I agree with those folks who've cautioned you about giving your work away on the hope it will give you future status and success. When I had an opportunity to license a few photos for a website another acquaintance who is a professional gave me the same advice. I watched him over the years as he hustled to build a career, getting photos into shows as he built his reputation. He even self-published his first book of photos. Twenty-five years later he is on the faculty at University of California in Berkeley and recently published his fifth book of photos. His advice was to never give photos away. He has hustled for decades AND been successful at creating a career for himself as a social documentary photographer. His name is Ken Light.
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  #54  
Old 11-01-2006, 04:17 AM
don_narayan don_narayan is offline
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Default Re: Random Thoughts from Across the World

Funny, I was talking to a professor today about shooting projects in prisons and he mentioned Ken Light. I have seen his work from the Texas prison and it is fantastic, really strong story telling.
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  #55  
Old 11-01-2006, 06:48 AM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: Random Thoughts from Across the World

I see Ken Light is part of the photographers whose work is represented on zonezero.

By the way, every once in a while I hear of a photographer who making some foray into the profession, being noticed, I can't help it, none of them is using the "all welcome" net sites we are familiar with, as a springboard. Last, where I was working last week, this young woman, who won a DSLR camera and a 3-day trip to Paris from NIKON to shoot Madonna in Paris. She entered the NIKON contest with an old slide scan done years ago. The Madonna Paris shots have been posted on the singer's website I believe, and this young woman will have a full feature article in the November issue of a popular San Francisco glossy magazine with national distribution. What is interesting is that it will not be about the Madonna prize shoot, but about her and her work on tatoo art. Her only exposure in the net is thru the website of her boyfriend, and you need a password to enter her gallery. I am definitely of the opinion that to this day, the net is not the best way to expose oneself, or gain recognition, to the profession and publishing houses, and that one should not spend too much energy on it, past one's very own website.
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  #56  
Old 11-01-2006, 10:09 AM
cgrindahl cgrindahl is offline
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Default Re: Random Thoughts from Across the World

I recall visiting Ken's basement dark room twenty years ago after he'd made a visit to the central California as he was preparing his first book "With These Hands" about migrant workers. He'd taken perhaps a hundred rolls of film. I recall viewing contact prints he'd made as he was selecting the few images that were used in the book. I bought a limited edition hard cover copy of that first book that came with a print of my favorite image. At the time he was making a living taking photos for corporation annual reports as he shopped his work around the country. Every time he got a photo into an exhibit his resume grew as did his reputation. He taught for years at the Academy of Art in San Francisco but I lost track of him until last year when I ran into him at a shop in Berkeley. He has worked hard at this craft for nearly forty years now. It is nice to know his work is recognized in the profession. Small world indeed!
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  #57  
Old 11-01-2006, 11:14 AM
P-S-I-G P-S-I-G is offline
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Default Re: photos for a book - would you agree?

Je réponds à Jean-Michel qu'il m'a convaicu. Amateur et totalement désintéressé, je n'avais pas pris conscience des enjeux autour de cette question et je pensais être plutôt enclin à accepter la gratuité pour le droit d'usage de mes photos à condition qu'on me le demande préalablement. Or, j'ai un tel respect des photographes professionnels, que moi aussi je crois qu'il ne faut prendre le risque de dévaloriser la propriété intellectuelle. Je me range donc du côté des arguments de Jean-Michel.
No fee No photo
Fabrice
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  #58  
Old 11-02-2006, 06:49 AM
oochappan oochappan is offline
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Default Re: photos for a book - would you agree?

Let's be realistic

If a company is looking for a specifique photo and they find thousands on the net for a particular subject, thanks to the so many digitals, there will always be a simple amateur that is happy that someone is asking his photo and he will give it away for free .... so don't dream about that as you are contacted on the net, you are only one of the thousand choices they got for free.

If you really want to become professional, take a course in a renomated institute, they launch and support their pupils in a profesional way, in Belgium we got such "Conservatorium" that is considered on the same level as a university and I can assure, the pupils that resort there get the best support on professional level and they get immediatly focus from the media.
Don't dream to launch yourself, it ain't enough anymore in the world of digitals to get a name. Auto-didactic looking around on trends, you are always a step to late, even pronouncing a strong renovating personality or using techniques to push your popularity on the net isn't enough anymore without professional support. The time of the auto-didactic pro getting in to NG is gone.

The question of giving away or not, is a strict personal one and the real pro's couldn't care less for that amateur in the struggle for the top. If you like that coffee is spilled on your photos then that is your choice :)).
Still business and popularity are different manipulable notions, personality and concept are more related to each others for creating art and have often nothing to do with the first two.
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  #59  
Old 12-29-2006, 12:30 PM
maggie1318 maggie1318 is offline
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Default Re: photos for a book - would you agree?

oochappan.... no need for the attitude.....this has turned away from the orginal conv.....bottomline....its up to you weather a few hundred dollars is worth or getting exposure......you at least need to get credit....stealing is stealing....its happening here...
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