How can the difficult economy help us?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by jp80874, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I thought we might pool our positive thoughts on ways we or fellow photographers have benefited in the bad economy. We might discover ideas that will help each other. I hope it is worth a try.

    In the five years that I have been learning photography as my retirement project, the peak reward has been a three month Cleveland museum show of thirty 7x17 images of the Ohio & Erie Canal. I owned seven frames and twenty window mats. The museum paid for the rest.

    The show was to end January 15, 2009. At year end the museum announced that over all funding was terrible and ten staff members lost their jobs. When I contacted the museum head to pick up the work, he said, “We would like to keep the work up longer. Is there any problem with that?” My goal for the show was the recognition and reference leverage toward other work, so it was great. I asked how long they wanted the work. They said until summer. At this point I am not sure what month that means to them, but I am not ruffling any feathers. The added reference is giving an entrée to talk to a second publisher about a book on this work.

    The lesson for me is that it is nice they like the work, but keeping my work up is allowing them to have something they want to show without paying for anything new. Museums and galleries all over are hurting. Maybe you can show them a way that presenting your work benefits them while you get the rewards you want. Coming from a forty year sales career I know that the best sale is one where both parties feel they have benefited from the transaction.

    Now, please tell us how we can learn from something you or a friend has encountered. This could snowball beneficially if we keep it positive.

    John Powers
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    this thread reminds me of an email i received from Tillman Crane recently. (Anyone else here on his mailing list?)

    It was a statement about using this time in a positive manner. At no time did he push for folks to take his workshop, etc. More, taking time to renew our passion for the work.
    If was a very thoughtful letter.
     
  3. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I suspect that this time will, unfortunately, present a host of opportunities for documentary photographers - as it did the last time. jp you're right that the museum gets something for nothing, however, without your generosity perhaps the museum would be left with blank walls. In this day and age when a proposal of $50mln to the NEA as part of a $850 bn programme is castigated as "pork" it may be that your generosity and the generosity of those like you sees museums through this difficult time. On the bright side, perhaps the recession, (scared to use the "D Word"!) will provide opportunities for a broader range of artists to show their work. As they say - every silver lining has a cloud!!
     
  4. Simplicius

    Simplicius Member

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    You suspicions are spot on, still nursing the bruises from falling off the "Celtic Tiger's " back. I was at the local city centre social security offices the other day. Its all there.

    Faces of abandon, anger, disbelief, mixes of suits and track suits waiting down the street to be given their paltry entitlement. It is my current project.

    Depression is more accurate for here anyway.
     
  5. katphood

    katphood Member

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    Photography and tough times have a long history together. Where would we be w/o documentary photography?

    There is something about tough times that make all the arts and artists stop and think about their relevance. Our hobby and profession, one could argue (and some often do), has no relevance, real or imagined. You can't eat your photos, at least not with the expectation of receiving much nutrition from it.

    Yet, it is relevant. We can record our times, with images, and allow them to speak to later generations. If you look at Dorthea Lange's "Migrant Mother", it speaks to you loudly about those times.
     
  6. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Have to agree. Documenting tragedy, (and this is, indeed a tragedy) is essential if we have any chance to avoid it in the future. It's a shame no-one revisited the WPA images 30 years ago to remember how they got there. "Migrant Mother" speaks to us loudly now about THESE times.
     
  7. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Ann, I fully agree with you, Crane's letter was wonderful to read. I've even gone back and re-read it once again after seeing your mention of it.
     
  8. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    It may well be that in times of hardship the ingenuity of analogue photographers will be tested as some may well not be able to afford proprietary developers and I can forsee an increase in interest with regard to brewing your own. Very effective developers can be easily and cheaply made from a few basic ingredients and simple vinegar or even water can function as a stop bath. This could spark a renewed interest in the alchemy of the photographic process. Who knows ???
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    matt,

    i tend to delete everything i can, but in the case of Tillman's email , i have stored it away for future review.

    a