Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Photographers Forum Meeting Night

Thanks to everyone who came out to tonight's Forum meeting. As always, we saw some terrific work from some of the most talented artists in the Triangle. If you missed it, you missed a lot!

(c) Craig Ferroggiaro
We had two Artist’s in Absentia this month: Mark Power and Craig Ferroggiaro. Both are documentary photographers but are quite different in style and approach. We talk often about styles of photography and the types of work that seem more “popular” (read: more likely to be juried into exhibits) than others.

But is that really what it is?

I think that the issue is less about “popularity” than it is about creating work that stands out from the crowd. Documentary work is probably the easiest type of photography for artists to produce. After all, isn’t that why many of us pick up a camera to being with? To record our lives for posterity? To remember? I have a camera. I carry it with me. I take photos of people and things as I go. That’s not so hard. Right?

Except that to create meaningful work, regardless of genre, it is hard.

Why? Because, for one thing, everything’s been done to death… Everyone with a camera is out doing what everyone else is doing.

So, what to do?

(c) Mark Power
Keep making images! The only way to improve your work is to keep making it.

To quote Harry Callahan: “I guess I’ve shot about 40,000 negatives and of these I have about 800 pictures I like.”

That’s a pretty good crop.

And while you make art, share it. Get it out in the world. Get feedback. Take what’s useful and discard the rest.

How will you know the difference? Don’t worry, after you engage for a while, it will start to make more sense. But only if you keep doing it.

While trends in taste come and go, there’s a reason that, after over a hundred years, the chocolate chip cookie is still the most popular baked good in the world. While you may find them everywhere, when they’re very good, they’re very satisfying…

Both photographers have great websites with a lot of images. For Mark Power, go here. For Craig Ferroggiaro, go here.

I hope to see many of you at our next meeting!