On almost a daily basis, I see more and more the potential value of collaboration between creative minds. A friend and I decided last night to work on a book project together. I already have abou 5 other projects going on that involve collaboration with other people ranging from photographers to writers to musicians. There's something that I get from doing collaborative work that I just can't get out of solo work. Don't get me wrong - I love both - but bringing a second mind into the equation can raise the bar and result in some truly amazing end results. Granted, yes, it can also result in massive headaches and broken friendships, but I'm willing to take on those risks.
How many of you collaborate on projects? Do you see the kind of value in collaboration that I do? Do you see the opposite? Other thoughts?
I ask other people how a picture should be framed, if it is too light or to dark etc. That could be taken as collaberation I guess.
All photographs are a collaboration. A collaboration with nature, the arhitect, the people we are focused on. Whether voluntarily involved or not we would be nowhere without those elements that harness the light we capture on film.
I discuss my ideas with trusted friends who are generally painters, photographers and musicians to get their feedback before I start a project. Once the project is under way I ocasionally have a session with them when we look at the work prints and discuss whether the direction I'm going in is right or if I should consider a change in approach. I find these sessions are very helpful although they can be stormy for we all have strong views. The one certain thing is that I will always go in the direction that I feel is right, even if all my trusted friends think I should change and they have failed to convince me. I guess this is why they are stormy.
The problem is that some people "get it" and many people don't. Those that "get it" can recommend improvements but comments from those that don't get it are not usefull. Sometimes almost nobody gets it.
I don't get many of the paintings that I see. So much of the photography I see is illustrative rather than meaningful on several levels. It is those deeper ones that often puzzle people. Sometimes other artists are the worst source of feedback. I have a friend that got me into a local gallery that is very good at what he does. When ever I do something other than a straight landscape, he doesn't get it. I break a few rules now and then - It takes an open mind to see the benefit and sometimes it is the least likey person who can appreciate it.
i have had collaborations with a painter & a graphic designer to make images and books .. it started out as a lot of fun, but at a certain point ( in both cases ) we kind of left the projects on the "cutting room floor" so to speak. <ggg>
i'd do it again in a flash. its a great feeling to work with others to make something that has never been made before.
like seeing a print appear in the developer :)
I can see any number of collaborative permutations: one could try to translate a poem into a picture. Or, conversely, ask a poet friend to write something on the basis of a photographic image. There seem to be endless creative possibilities.
In fact, these kinds of collaborations -between artists of different media, that is - were quite common in the late 19th and early 20th century. It seems that quite a few classical music pieces were inspired by paintings.
It would be interesting to have two people - a writer and a photographer, for example- take a trip together and then have them produce a kind of web/photo blog based upon what they saw. I'm sure this has been done already.
California & the West by Weston & Wilson. James Agee & Walker Evans another example of collaboration between photographer & writer. In fact, writing/photography may be most likely form of collaboration with chance of success.
It seems that photographers (especially those of us that like to think of ourselves as "fine art" photographers) seem to think that if anyone else but us touch our precious prints that they will not be "ours." Hogwash. Working with others requires that some adjustment be made to allow the project to supersede the personal vision.
More examples of the collaborative? Strand's "Time in New England", any book of Atget's photographs and Morri Camhi's "Prison Experience."
Heck, for that matter any book of photographs is a "team" project.