Monday, 14 May 2012

My first bit of journalism

Recently, I was asked by the Redeye Network to cover their National Photography Symposium, held at Somerset House in conjunction with the World Photography Organisation events. They asked me to write a blog post on one of the talks, and I chose to summarise the talk on The Print Market, which you can see here. It turns out that I got a few of my facts wrong, as Bill Hunt pointed out in his comments (but I'm pleased he took the time to read my post!) but the article seems to have sparked quite a few interesting questions and points by readers, which they have voiced on Twitter. Many point out the success of The Photographers' Gallery and their print sales, and it's true that this was never brought up at the talk. And there IS a flaw in the theory that photography only sells in art galleries; the success of the Michael Hoppen Gallery proves that. So I have been thinking about this, and I think it's more how a photographer markets themselves; if they see themselves as an artist, then they are more likely to sell. A colleague once recounted a story that he'd heard regarding an American gallerist who was showing photography. When a client asked him if the maker of the works was a photographer or an artist, the gallerist asked why he wanted to know. The client said, "If he considers himself a photographer, I won't buy one. But if he considers himself an artist, I will."
True story... Obviously the gallerist told him he was an artist and it sold.

On another note, it's worth checking out the book WM Hunt has just published, called The Unseen Eye. It's a beautiful, thought provoking collection of photographs in which the subject is not looking at the camera. A truly fabulous collection.

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