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  1. #1

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    Thinking of starting a Canadian Film Photography Collective

    I've been toying with the idea of starting a Canadian film photography collective for some time. I like the idea of a group of Canadians who are dedicated to the film processes to band together and utilize the knowledge, resources and "hook-ups" we might have to further our exposure (pun intended). I'd like to band photographers (serious amateurs, professionals, etc.) who are doing their own documentary work and small projects that say something about Canada or have some kind of "Canadiana" spin. Not all our work has to be within Canada or have that spin, but as a collective, we would encourage doing work that is "close to home". The purpose wouldn't be like magnum, to get commissioned work for jounalistic purposes, but to focus more on small projects and galleries. However, the focus would be on similar documentary/editorial-style work in a Canadian context, but it could also be abroad for certain purposes (if we do a portfolio show). It wouldn't be limited specifically to that style, as much of Canada is defined by other things such as landscape, arcitecture, etc.

    ...question is...I don't know where to even begin, how to recruit other photographers (how many is too many?), how we would organize ourselves, etc, etc.

    My thought was that I have already completed a loose/rough "who we are" statement, mission statement, objective, values and a vision. From there I would finalize it into a solid and clear description, pitch it to community darkrooms, galleries that showcase a lot of photography, schools that have photography programs, etc. and get some people to apply, submit work, etc.

    Some forseen problems I have is that: 1. I'm not the greatest photographer, so what gives me the right to judge other's work and reject proposals/applications from photographers who are as good as myself. 2. Do collectives generally lose momentum, get lazy, have internal drama that causes the thing to collapse? 3. Not reaching out enough (we need representation all over -northern Quebec, Northwest Territories, Nunavit, Yukon, etc. -not just the major cities. 4. Digital. I'd like to leave it out of the collective because there's already Canadian photography collectives that are digital. But what about photographers who use both on a serious and equal level? 5. How do you have meetings with a collective of 12 people from across the country?

    This is a loose write-up that I just did off the top of my head. It will be modified. Any advice would be well-received.
    Who we are: A group of Canadian documentary film photographers.
    Mission: The ________________ Collective exists to showcase the work of film photographers in Canada.
    Objective: The ____ Collective will take on various documentary projects within Canada to promote in galleries and other artistic forums.
    Values: We will only display our with as a collective using film photography as our medium. We will strive, where possible, to showcase work that has a sense of Canada. We will encourage eachother and share useful information. We will support eachother any way we can for the better of the collective.

    I shot this idea to Colin Corneau in Winnipeg, who has been shooting a serious body of work that I've been admiring on Brandon, Manitoba. He loved it and felt it would "get him off his ass", even though I think he's been doing a good job at it. I think the collective would motivate us to get out and be more serious about what we do, while at the same time, be able to pool our skills together. For example, I have a darkroom, capable of developing 20 rolls of film at a time, 20x24 prints, lots of space, build my own quality picture frames and I'm a pretty damn good spotter. I have some Leica and Hasselblad equipment that can potentially be loaned out to members of the collective along with a stockpile of different film I may never use. I'm sure there's other people who bring skills, equipment, resources, etc. to the table and if we work together, we could come up with some pretty impressive results.

    I haven't thought it out to a degree where I'm very organized yet. Also, I just wrote this thread in beat style, so my ideas are probably all over the board.

    Any advice, expertise, experience or "good lucks" are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    Jordan Starr
    www.jordanstarrphotography.com

  2. #2
    CGW
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    You really need to repost this ASAP to the Canadian regional boards--otherwise, it will just collect dust here unnoticed.

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I think it's a great idea Jordan! Make it happen! And I hope that you will get some positive suggestions for how to pull this off. This really needs to happen.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    You really need to repost this ASAP to the Canadian regional boards--otherwise, it will just collect dust here unnoticed.
    I tried, but I have to pick a Canadian city to repost it. I don't know anywhere else to post it -seems most suitable here, but I agree, if it's not under equipment or something like that, it can be easily overlooked. Maybe I should have disguised the title as "digital is better..." just to get people clicking on it...haha.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    I think it's a great idea Jordan! Make it happen! And I hope that you will get some positive suggestions for how to pull this off. This really needs to happen.
    +1. A great idea. Let's make it happen!

  6. #6
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    Interesting to see where this goes.

  7. #7
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
    I tried, but I have to pick a Canadian city to repost it. I don't know anywhere else to post it -seems most suitable here, but I agree, if it's not under equipment or something like that, it can be easily overlooked. Maybe I should have disguised the title as "digital is better..." just to get people clicking on it...haha.
    There are only 3 Canadian boards. I you want to connect with Canadians, more will see it there than here. Otherwise it just slips into oblivion. It's a worthwhile project but it needs all the help it can get.

  8. #8

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    Cross post to Calgary and Vancouver subsections.

    Also, and it's just my opinion and this is APUG after all so take this for what it's worth, but do you really want to be film specific as a collective ? I get that people are committed to film (you should see my film cupboard) but it's also a hook and that hook can work against you as well. People who are serious about seeing important photography DON'T care about the media used, they just want to see good work. You may marginalize yourself, but I've been wrong about lots of things so ymmv.

  9. #9
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuhead View Post
    Cross post to Calgary and Vancouver subsections.

    Also, and it's just my opinion and this is APUG after all so take this for what it's worth, but do you really want to be film specific as a collective ? I get that people are committed to film (you should see my film cupboard) but it's also a hook and that hook can work against you as well. People who are serious about seeing important photography DON'T care about the media used, they just want to see good work. You may marginalize yourself, but I've been wrong about lots of things so ymmv.
    Dunno. I'm thinking tentatively that the film-only angle could work--provided the emphasis is on a shared interest in doc style shooting instead of the usual gear-fondling show+tell BS. Still, finding people into this type of shooting who also shoot film could be a hindrance. I'd like to see any local APUG groups around the GTA and beyond actually connect and meet more than once or twice annually at best. Maybe this needs help first?

  10. #10

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    Jordan, great idea. I own a gallery outside of Ottawa that has a lot of analog photography. If I can be of any help, let me know. The Gallery is 3 Yellow Tulips. Feel free to contact me there or at lightwisps.

    Best of wishes, Don

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