It’s been my hope to update this blog at least once per week. Too much time has slipped by since my last entry, and as I write this, I’m keenly aware more than 20 days have passed. I’m obviously late. To my one or two faithful followers, I apologize.
The amount of photography work not done in recent months has been disappointing, but things are improving. A week ago Saturday, I shot a fantastic figure session with a lovely model and made an abundance of beautiful images. The following Sunday, I did a photo-walkabout-tour at The Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge with photographers and friends Kathy Thomas and Michelle Phillips. These ladies have worked with me in the past as models and assistants, and this next week I’ll be shooting a figure session with them together as models. I believe this will become the start of a new project, and I’m expecting more good work to come from it.
A camera in hand is therapy, at least for me, and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to spend a weekend with my cameras. It was nice.
The recent Saturday figure session has been through a series of tough edits. This shoot was all about me making amends, mostly to myself, for a difficult session from the first week of June with the same model. (If you’re interested, you can read about that session here.) The problems I experienced were all of my own making and while it was difficult to deal with them at the time, I’ve done quite well in stepping back toward the light if I do say so myself. The new figure work has brought me to my good place, a place where I haven’t been for longer than I was aware. I hope you enjoy these images from that session.
On that same Saturday evening, I stood at the magazine stand in my local Barnes & Noble Book Sellers skimming the latest edition of PDN. I’m not a typical PDN reader but one headline on the cover caught my eye. The article was about how online galleries and blogs of various sorts are changing the way artists are showing their work to traditional galleries, curators, and prospective collectors.
I definitely have a presence online. Along with this blog, I operate two websites which feature my photography. (My website links are posted to the right, under “Bill on the Web.”) Occasionally, I post work on Photo.net, Community Zoe, and Toycamera.com, and I maintain portfolios on three of the photographer/model networking sites. Exactly how much I’m benefiting from it all, I can’t say.
The question of how to best market myself has been buzzing around my brain lately. Mostly, it’s a question of how to introduce my work, particularly the figure work, to audiences outside of Savannah. The closest and most obvious “big” market is Atlanta and I did have a foot in the door there a few years ago. My first show was there; my first fine art photograph to be published was published there; and my first images to sell were sold there. Thinking of landed, brick and mortar galleries and not the internet, Atlanta seems a logical first step.
But are stand alone galleries in Atlanta – or anywhere for that matter - still viable? I think so, but either way I’m coming to realize it’s going to be a start over. I still have friends and acquaintances in Atlanta, but many have moved on. Galleries I used to frequent and have shown in are closed or under new direction.
Getting my work in front of more people more quickly is the main reason I started this blog. The PDN article highlighted several photographers whose careers ‘took off’ after their images were posted on one or two well read blogs. My work has been picked up by at least one blog that I’m aware of, so I’m still docked at the gate; still boarding passengers so to speak. But at least the passengers are boarding.
I’ll confess I didn’t read the PDN article from start to finish; but I did do more than just skim. I found myself wondering, is it true? Instead of sitting down with gallery directors and exhibit curators with my book of images, am I now expected send images to some blogger as email attachments and hope they’re posted and then found by these virtual gallery directors and exhibit curators? Do I produce my book on CD and send it out blind? Is that really how it’s being done?
It was then I realized I’ve not sat in a gallery office and showed my book in at least four years; that my most recent show was planned and executed almost entirely by an exchange of emails between me and the gallery manager. Oh my.
I’ve been caught. The market changed and I wasn’t paying attention. It’s time to catch up.