A story about photography

We were delighted when Guernsey-based writer Ric Carter sent us this story, inspired by the Guernsey Photography Festival, and we enjoyed it so much we thought we would share it with you too. It’s about a nervous aspiring photographer who battles with his shyness to photograph people in the streets of St Peter Port for his project (sounds familiar doesn’t it?). Big thanks to Ric for sharing it with us.

Enjoy!

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EXPOSURE

by Ric Carter

 
He was sitting on the bench behind town church – the one outside the Albion, across the road from the harbour.  If he could sit like this all day it would be fine, but he had come to town for a specific purpose and, worse, he had told everyone about it, which meant he had to go through with it now.  He had been struck by an idea, and ideas had a way of worming their way around his brain until he just had to go through with them.

There was no way of knowing if he was doing this right.  He had dressed in a suit because he thought it might make him look more professional, but now that he watched the Saturday morning shoppers flocking into the town centre from the car park on Albert pier he wondered if it just made him look unapproachable instead.

He had pinned a badge with a picture of a camera onto his lapel.  It seemed like a nice touch.  He wasn’t sure if it was something a real photographer would do, but it seemed like a good way to start.  And the camera on his badge looked like it was a good one – it had the pleasing bulk of old technology.  Beyond that he didn’t – if he was being honest – know anything about the machine.

And what about the machine in his hands?  He wondered if it mattered that it was digital and that he had little knowledge of how to use it beyond pointing it in the right direction and clicking.  It was the idea that counted, he told himself – the idea behind it all.

It had come to him a few weeks after reading about the Photography Festival.  The idea didn’t hit him instantly, that was never the way ideas worked.  You couldn’t go fishing for them, you couldn’t brainstorm them, you just had to wait until they came out of the blue and hit you in the chest.  Then it was up to you to make something of them before they dropped to the floor and broke.  No, he had read that there was going to be a photography festival and he had noted that there was a theme and he hadn’t thought much of it at the time.  And then, a few weeks later the idea had hit him.

He would take photographs of the bottoms of people’s shoes.  Lots of different people.  Lots of different shoes.  Ordinary people.  Ordinary shoes.  It would be a great study of everyday life.  He had picked through his own shoes and gazed at their worn-away soles.  The more worn they were, the more interesting the photograph would be, he decided.  He would try and pick people who looked like they would have shoes which were old and badly worn and full of marks with stories to tell.

Strange to think that back at the moment of the idea’s genesis he had actually been looking forward to approaching people to take photographs of their shoes.  It would be something different, it would take him out of his comfort zone.  In fact – he thought as the idea developed in his mind – the story of him, a non-photogtapher, heading out onto the streets to approach people would probably be more interesting than the pictures themselves.

So, it wasn’t just about the idea.  It was about the process.

Now he was in the process of putting his idea into action.  He watched the people walking past him and tried to summon the nerve to stand up, to walk towards them with his camera in his hand, and to ask them if he could take a picture of the bottom of their shoes.  It was ridiculous!  What would these strangers say if he asked them?

A sudden rush of panicky worries flooded his mind.  Would they think he was some kind of pervert?  Was this even legal?  Should he have invested in a strap so that he could put the camera around his neck so that it looked like he knew what he was doing?

Someone he knew – a former colleague from some old job he had been stuck in some time way back – walked past and he nodded and said hello, probably blushing a little.  He could have stopped them, he thought.  And then:

No, it would have gone against the whole point of the project.  Yes, at least it would have been a start.

He wished he was back at home at his desk, describing fictional human beings rather than sitting on a bench in town and looking for real ones.  Even sitting on a bench with a pad of paper and a pen would be better than this – at least then he could have got on with the job of chronicling everyday life, which was kind of the point of it all anyway.

He loved the wonderful anonymity of pen and paper.  If there happened to walk past him a man who, in some way, reminded him of a tamarin monkey, there was nothing to stop him jotting it down for future reference.  But if he wanted to document this with a camera, he had to stop the man and ask to take a picture and then probably embark on a conversation in which he would have to explain that the gentleman’s likeness to a tamarin monkey was the whole reason behind this interruption to his day.  In his experience, conversations like that never tended to end well.

There was only so long he could sit on the bench without doing anything to start his photography project.  Presently he decided that time had run out and so he stood up, trying to look as though he had been due to meet someone and had now waited long enough. He looked at his watch, sighed, shook his head.  The charade performed, he wandered off, thinking that perhaps he could find a more friendly place to look for subjects.  Or somewhere he could take refuge for a few hours.

His feet, taking over navigational duties from his brain, lead him towards the library.  This was not, he realised as he moved in automatic, the next place he would try and take photographs, rather an admission of his complete and total failure.  He would hole up in the library for a few hours and read a good old book.

The librarians, used to seeing him around, nodded as he passed through the lobby and made his way up the stairs to the first floor.

He took a seat in the window and sat with his pen and paper and tried to make some notes of vague thoughts which had filtered through his mind that morning.  Inevitably, the constant traffic of people passing through Market Square drew his attention away from his writing.  All of those people were wearing shoes, he could not help but think.  At least some of them would have been ok with him taking pictures of their soles.  He considered heading back outside to try his hand again, but knew instantly that it was a bad idea.

“Morning Rick, you alright?” his thoughts were broken by the sound of one of the librarians discovering him in his window seat.

“Not bad thanks.”

“Been out taking some pictures?”

They both looked down at the camera which sat beside him on the seat.

“Yeah, kind of.”

“I like your badge.”

“Thanks.”

The librarian wandered away to re-shelve some books or make tea or perform some other Saturday morning task, and the writer tried to get back on with his work.  He found himself gazing at the camera on his badge – the old-fashioned camera.  If only he had one of those he thought – he would be able to tell everyone that he loaded the film wrong, or… there were a hundred things that he, a novice, could get totally wrong with a camera like that.

Who was going to believe he had gone wrong with the simplicity of his little digital camera?

He turned his attention back to his pen and paper and managed to scribble down half a short story about a cafe on a Saturday morning.  It wasn’t any good but the words had flowed so easily that just the act of writing it down cheered him.  Settling back into a medium with which he was familiar was like slipping on an old pair of shoes.  Shoes that had been around the block and were worn through.  He decided to write about the project on which he had embarked that morning – a fictional account of a hot-shot photographer charming passersby with his wit and getting them to kick up their heels for him to see the soles of their shoes.  Scratch that.  He decided to write it as it had been – a catalogue of failures.

As soon as he started to write, he realised that this was going to be a better piece of work than the one he would have created had he actually managed to take some pictures that morning.  After all, who would want a load of pictures of the soles of strangers’ shoes taken by a fool with a digital point-and-click?  This record of his struggles, his incompetence shot through with the hope and enthusiasm of his initial idea, was far more interesting.

His failures seemed to make more sense once he was writing them down.  Where in reality he had sat there in a blind panic, on paper he could ascribe himself rational fears and make sense of it all.  It all made sense to him now – the idea, the process, the execution.  He had just started it the wrong way at first.

He got to the end of the story before he remembered about the photography festival and the fact that his original intention had been to send his pictures to them.  He had planned to make a virtue of their amateurism – perhaps even reference it in the title of the work.  Could he still send in his story?  It still chronicled his idea, and his attempt to create something.  He wasn’t sure if it was the done thing, but decided that he would send it in – what was there to lose?

There was one last thing he needed though.

He needed at least one picture, just to illustrate the story.

He approached one of the librarians.

“Um, strange question I know, but… would you mind if I took a picture of the soles of your shoes?”

“The soles of my shoes?  What for?”

“It’s a, um, a kind of project for the photography festival.  I just need one picture, that’s all.”

“Ok then,” the librarian agreed.

The writer fiddled around with his camera, trying to make sense of the settings.  The sun was streaming in through the tall windows of the library now the room was bathed in light.

The librarian sat on a chair and hoisted his feet up in the air and the writer knelt on the floor, pointed his camera at the soles of the librarian’s shoes, and clicked.

The two of them squinted at the screen.  The picture wasn’t very good.  The light was all wrong, or perhaps he had taken the picture too close.  Or, the background didn’t look right.  Or something.  He wasn’t sure.

“That what you were after?” asked the librarian.

“Yes,” said the writer, unsure.  “Yes, I’m sure that will be fine.  Thanks very much.”

He left the library, his camera in his hand and his story in his pocket.  He was blushing slightly, glad that he had not tried to take such hopeless pictures out in the street with members of the public.  Glad as well that the rest of the day was stretching out ahead of him, the sun shining and a freshly written story in his pocket.

 

You can read more short stories by Ric Carter at http://digestivepress.wordpress.com/

Hurry, before it’s too late…

We’ve all done it: there’s an exhibition you keep meaning to see, but you don’t get round to it and before you know it, it’s too late.

Don’t let this happen with the 2012 Guernsey Photography Festival, it’s too good to miss!

You might have seen images in the Press, in the programme or on the blog, but the exhibition spaces themselves are well worth a look. The Rotunda really showcases Mark Power’s ‘The Sound of Two Songs’ and the former Josef’s salon is the perfect setting for Bruno Boudjelal’s ‘Disquiet Days’, for example.

Mark Power exhibit at the Rotunda © Carl Symes

Charlie Swainston's tour of The Rotunda © Carl Symes

Bruno Boudjelal exhibit at former Josef's © Carl Symes

Grab a programme (they’re available at all inside exhibits), take a look at the map and please go and see the fantastic displays, there’s only a week left! Alternatively, Charlie Swainston will be giving a tour this evening at 7pm, meet at Market Square – no booking required.

Kiana Hayeri exhibit at 11 Commercial Arcade

Malika Gaudin Delrieu at former Solo Shop © Carl Symes

 

Mustafah Abdulaziz at former Solo shop © Carl Symes

National exposure for our Festival

At the opening weekend I was at all the talks, frantically scribbling away as the photographers spoke about their work. Gemma Padley was doing the same, although she asked lots of questions too: she clearly knows her stuff! I was delighted to see her article in the British Journal of Photography.

Gemma talking to Klavdij Sluban © Adam Prosser

Gemma is Deputy Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, although she worked as an intern at the British Journal of Photography for whom she wrote this article. If she looks familiar, it might be because she played Penelope Clearwater in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Anastasia Taylor-Lind – Exceptional women

Anastasia (that’s AnastAHsia not AnastAYsia) had an unconventional upbringing: her family travelled in a horse-drawn wagon until she was 9 – even though they settled in Devon and Anastasia enrolled in conventional school, they continued to live in the wagon until she was 14. Anastasia couldn’t wait to get out of Devon; she went to Newport to study Documentary Photography and since then has travelled the world.

Anastasia as a child - and now © Carl Symes

The War in Iraq was the first conflict that happened after Anastasia became a photographer. Her first project was to photograph women who were fighting against Saddam Hussein. Winning a prize of £7K, she used the money to go to Kurdistan, where female guerrilla fighters were active.

Anastasia’s personal projects remain focused on women doing exceptional things in gender-segregated communities. ‘Women of the Cossack Resurgence’ fit the bill perfectly, with the added bonus of horse riding: ‘I love horses almost more than photography!’ Sharing dorms in Cossack cadet schools with girls as young as 14, Anastasia has captured intimate portraits of young women finding their place in the world. Like the girl in combat clothing, folding a silky nightdress to put under her pillow.

Anastasia Taylor-Lind © Adam Prosser

The story behind ‘The National Womb: Baby boom in Nagorno-Karabakh’ is intriguing. This landlocked territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but not as a state in its own right. Years after the bloody civil war led to the displacement of several hundred thousand people from the region, the de facto government sought to replenish the population with the Birth Encouragement Programme. Since 2008, families have been offered cash incentives for having children, and if you have six you are given a house.

So where does ‘Siberian Supermodels’ fit in? These young women have a desire to escape the confines of their lives in Siberia, to travel and to do something exceptional. Trained how to pose, sashay and apply make-up since the age of five, girls parade before agency scouts, holding cards bearing their name and vital statistics. Hopes are dashed in an instant – for every success story there are hundreds who are not selected. ‘This can only be damaging for girls who have been brought up with a heightened awareness of body, image and self,’ commented Anastasia.

'Siberian Supermodels' © Anastasia Taylor-Lind

Whatever her subject, Anastasia aspires to create beautiful pictures – do take a close look at her exhibition, which is on display by the Liberation Monument; you’ll see how she has more than exceeded this goal.

Ivor Prickett – The periphery and aftermath of conflict

Ivor has a wide range of editorial assignments to carry out – for which he uses a digital camera – but he also pursues his own personal projects, using a medium-format film camera.

Ivor Prickett © Adam Prosser

We’re exhibiting ‘Days of Anger’ at a former boutique on the North Esplanade – find it next to the new restaurant, Red.

Yet this exhibition is quite different from what Ivor usually does. Did you know that, at the end of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992-95, the majority of Serbs in Croatia were displaced – the largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II? Like most of us, Ivor thought of the Serbs as the ‘bad guys’ so from 2007-8 he travelled back and forth to photograph those who had returned to Croatia as well as those still stuck in Serbia as refugees. Ivor, with the support of a translator, got right to the heart of the stories of the people who live in the aftermath of upheaval and conflict. ‘It’s an amazing world where people let us into their homes to photograph the most intimate things,’ he said.

Ivor & a photo from his Croatia project © Carl Symes

‘Between Enemy Lines’ in Gali, Abkhazia explores the same theme of displaced persons wanting to return to their homeland. ‘Often their life is better in the place they are displaced to, but the pull to go home is very strong.’

Ivor was living in Beirut when the series of protests and demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa known as the Arab Spring kicked off in Tunisia. Although not a news photographer, Ivor found it impossible not to react and had the urge to go to Egypt, arriving in the middle of the revolution. ‘Days of Anger’ takes place not in the main square but in the back streets, evoking what it felt like to be there.

‘Free Libya’ was next, Ivor following rebels in March 2011 as they tried to advance along the coastal road. Returning in July, Ivor found the people disillusioned, with Gaddafi still in power. ‘I was in the background exploring daily life and what happens during the course of conflict. People still have to live.’

It was fascinating to hear about what motivates Ivor and what he gets out of his work: ‘It’s a great excuse to explore the world in a deeper way.’ It’s a privilege for us to be able to share that understanding and see beyond the news reports.

The audience at the Performing Arts Centre © Carl Symes

The colourful world of Ricardo Cases

Ricardo’s exhibition at The Gallery is guaranteed to put a smile on your face: it’s quirky, vibrant and presented in a unique way. It was great to hear him talk about ‘Paloma al Aire’ as well as some of his other projects.

Paloma al Aire © Ricardo Cases

Ricardo describes himself as a nervous person who lacks memory and concentration, so finds the camera to be the perfect tool for him! He told us that for his first 20 years athletics saved his life, and for the next 20 years it was photography. Ricardo likes to photograph what’s around him and said, ‘The camera can give you clues as to who you are and what you like. Photography is the most democratic and accessible form of expression there is.’

Diana translating for Ricardo © Carl Symes

‘Serrano Boogie’ is the photographic essay of a street in Madrid during a period of transition: Calle Serrano is an important street, symbolic of high society, yet all of a sudden it was being remodelled and the capital’s elite had to live with workers, fenced-off areas and facets of society they didn’t usually have to deal with.

‘La Caza del Lobo Congelado’ (Hunt of the frozen wolf) also addresses a process of transition: the way hunting has changed in Spain. Many aristocrats, not having the funds to maintain their estates, have been forced to sell parts of their land to members of the class who used to work for them. Urban dwellers seek the thrill of the hunt, so they can say, ‘Lo maté YO’ (I killed it myself). The hunting reserve becomes a stage where men pose surrounded by deer corpses, in an attempt to feel like Neanderthal man.

Looking at 'Belleza de Barrio' © Carl Symes

‘Paloma al Aire’ also explores relationships between Spaniards and animals. ‘Colombicultura’ is a kind of subculture: before Ricardo’s project, lots of people in Spain had no idea it existed. A female pigeon is released and flocks of garishly painted male birds fly to her, competing for her attention. When you see the exhibition you’ll love the way it’s put together, and the book is also done in a kitschy, engaging way.

Blank Paper is a collective created by Ricardo and six friends who share his obsession, with schools in Madrid and Valencia. We can look forward to ‘El Porqué de las Naranjas’ (The why of the oranges), a project which doesn’t yet have a theme. ‘I wander around where I live – the photos will tell me the theme.’

Gracias a Ricardo – ha sido un placer de conocerte y de aprender más sobre tu trabajo.

Kiana Hayeri – Intimate portraits of changing lives

I was looking forward to meeting Kiana and hearing about her projects, having interviewed her late last year for the blog (if you look at the blog archives for October and November 2011 you can see both parts of that interview).

The Gallery is looking fresh and colourful, as we were surrounded by Ricardo Cases’ images – in fact all of the photographers appearing on this evening’s triple bill had come along.

Jean-Christophe introducing Kiana © Carl Symes

Kiana won last year’s Guernsey Photography Festival competition, for which there were over 100 entries. The prize money allowed Kiana to continue her project, following Iranian teenage girls as they prepare to leave Iran, then showing their lives in their new homes in Australia, Toronto, Montreal and California. The girls are dealing with the transition from childhood to adulthood, whilst also emigrating and facing the culture shock of their destinations.

Kiana herself was surprised by the intimate access she was given, but she had built a relationship with these young women and they clearly trusted her. It was often hard to tell where individual images had been taken, which was deliberate: ‘I want the viewer to be challenged and think about it.’ After the 2009 uprising it became necessary to get permission from the Ministry of Culture to be allowed to carry a camera outside. Kiana took most of her Iranian photos inside – ‘It’s restricted but I have to be creative, it’s a challenge.’

© Carl Symes

Iran’s culture is layered and very complex, something Kiana is keen to get across as her homeland is often misrepresented. Teenagers typically lead a double life: one with their friends and one with their family. In Iran there is also a contrast between private and public life. ‘My parents are open minded, but many aren’t – a lot depends on your family,’ explained Kiana.

© Kiana Hayeri

Two fascinating facts are that 75% of the country’s population are under the age of 35; and 60% of university students are female. ‘Women are highly educated and it’s getting better all the time. This kind of change – freedom of speech, women pushing boundaries – has been happening for over 30 years. It happens over time and I have hope that society will continue to open up for women.’

The restrictions are significant and ‘Your Veil is a Battleground’ shows this: women buying wigs because dyeing your hair results in a fine; underground ballet classes because ballet is deemed too Western and is banned; driving in a car with a man who is not a relative or spouse – you can be stopped and asked to provide documentation to prove this; parties with the opposite sex, where alcohol is present. The rules are being flouted all the time; Kiana has even photographed a 14-year-old girl who is really pushing the boundaries, wearing a blond wig and blue contact lenses out in public. The religious holiday for mourning an Imam gives everyone a chance to socialise on the street: ‘They wear black – but look fashionable.’

The 14-year-old girl Kiana met © Kiana Hayeri

‘Your Veil is a Battleground Phase II’ shows women in two contrasting portraits: the first bare shouldered, make-up free; the second in full make-up and jihab. ‘The culture is all about image – women wear full make-up to go grocery shopping – so I admired these women for showing themselves exposed.’ Everyone agreed that they showed confidence, even defiance.

Lastly, Jean-Christophe asked Kiana if she felt she was losing her identity. Although this was troubling for Kiana at times, now she is assured: ‘I’m Iranian/Canadian. I’m an insider in Iran but I can step back from it. I learnt to deal with it and now I like it.’

Please go and see Kiana’s wonderful exhibition – it’s at 11 Commercial Arcade (what used to be the Ray Anthony shop).

Caroline

Klavdij Sluban – Art without compromise

Klavdij Sluban doesn’t see being a photographer as a profession. ‘I started as a teenager, I wanted to do photography with my guts,’ he said. He knew what photographers he liked so decided not to go on any courses, apart from learning how to print his work, knowledge he still feeds off. Klavdij is uncompromising: ‘I refuse assignments, only doing ones which give me total freedom. To make money from photography means you could have been a hairdresser or a banker – honest ways of making a living… well maybe not a banker.’ Exhibitions can bring money later, but creating his work without compromise is vital.

© Adam Prosser

Klavdij lives in France but originates from the Balkans, so that’s where he started. He explained the challenges of producing a coherent body of work: ‘It’s easy to take 500 photos in a day but a series of 50 photos that have a link is difficult and takes me five to seven years.’

Winning the European Publishers Award for Photography in 2009 is something of which Klavdij is justifiably proud. The prize, having his book published in six languages, was ‘the most beautiful way to end a project.’ ‘Balkans-Transit’, which is on display in the Market Place, is nothing like the illustrative photos you see in newspapers. With deep blacks, half-light and backlit silhouettes, it is absolutely mesmerising.

Klavdij Sluban © Rachel Luff

We got to see a short documentary about Klavdij’s work with adolescents in young offenders’ institutions in France and Russia (he’s also done this in Central America). Klavdij was as uncompromising with his students as he is with himself: ‘I had high demands – they had to be fully available for three weeks.’ It was clear that the youths he worked with got a great deal from their collaboration with Klavdij – not least self respect, although he insists, ‘I don’t have the false hope I’m making it all better.’ The film made you realise that prison isn’t like it’s portrayed in American series: ‘It’s nothingness most of the time; when something happens it’s short and violent.’

Klavdij has been working in the Kerguelen Islands near the South Pole, which is a French base, inhabited by eight military personnel and a scientist. The journey takes two weeks by boat from Réunion in Africa. Klavdij’s characteristic humour came across when talking about this project: ‘I don’t love their regimented way of life, it’s difficult for me. The photos don’t really depict what I saw but they do depict my awful feelings about it!’

A future project could be a collaboration with our very own Jean-Christophe, who runs workshops at Guernsey’s prison. Watch this space!

© Rachel Luff

Bruno Boudjelal – A quest for a sense of belonging

Last night at St James, Bruno Boudjelal and Klavdij Sluban provided wonderful insight into their work. First to speak was Bruno, who was in conversation with Tom O’Mara of Autograph Autograph ABP, who work internationally to educate the public in photography by addressing issues of cultural identity and human rights.

Jean-Christophe welcoming Bruno © Adam Prosser

‘Disquiet Days’ (Jours Intranquilles) is a project that has been evolving since 1993. Growing up in France, Bruno was unaware of his origins: it was only when he needed his birth certificate that he discovered that his father, known as Jean-Claude, was Algerian and was actually called Lemaouche. He also found out that his own birth had been unacknowledged by his father, who abandoned his French mother when she was pregnant. Bruno’s mother was thrown out by her family – although they acknowledged Bruno when he was born, giving them their French name, Sombret (by which Bruno was known for the first year of his life), it didn’t stop them putting him in a home for illegitimate children. ‘I’d hardly been born and I’d already been abandoned twice; by my father and then by my mother and her family who couldn’t accept me as one of them,’ said Bruno.

Tom and Bruno in conversation © Adam Prosser

In ’93 Bruno went to Algeria on a quest to find his place in the world. A friend gave him a camera, asking Bruno if he wanted black and white film or colour. ‘I said great photos are black and white, so that’s what I chose.’ He didn’t consider himself to be a photographer, although he soon found that giving himself that title made it easier to carry out his project.

Algeria in 1993 was a violent place – it was too dangerous to cross the country, but Bruno fulfilled this ambition in 2003. ‘Everyone asked me what I was doing and said I should go back to my country, France. I said Algeria is also my country.’ On his second trip Bruno was accompanied by his father. ‘It felt like a gift, a reconciliation, for my father to go back to Algeria.’ Over the course of ten years Bruno wrote a diary of his travels and thoughts – facsimiles of this are reproduced in his book. As Tom explained, ‘The diaries are key to the book – another level of experience which made the book more than just a photographic record.’

© Rachel Luff

By 2003 Bruno was at peace with the story of his family, who had welcomed him with open arms and given him the sense of belonging he had missed. Watching a slide show of Bruno’s work, we could appreciate that it is his story, his family’s story, but also a portrait of daily life in Algeria.

As Jean-Christophe pointed out, in Great Britain we generally don’t know much about Algeria – so don’t miss Bruno Boudjelal’s exhibition. It can be seen in Church Square, in the building which was Josef’s hairdressers.

© Adam Prosser

So you want to have your photo book published?

There’s something special about a book – and a beautiful photographic book is something you will return to again and again. If you’re a photographer who’d like to see their work printed in a book, chances are you were at the enlightening talk given by international photographic publishers Dewi Lewis Publishing at Guille-Allès Library this lunchtime.

© Carl Symes

If not, here are a few tips:

Don’t expect to get rich from a photo book. Retailers demand huge discounts and print runs tend to be small. You could, however, make money from raising awareness of your work – leading to exhibitions, print sales and commercial work.

If you ask a publisher what they are looking for, they might not be able to tell you, but when they see it, ‘it comes and hits us between the eyes.’ It’s all about your idea: is it fresh? It doesn’t have to be something new, but the way it’s presented has to capture their imagination.

Find out about Portfolio Review Sessions.

So your book is published. Do you (a) sit back and wait for the rewards or (b) spend the next three months getting involved with the publicity for your book, working hard to get noticed? I don’t think I need to give you the answer to that one.

The digital landscape is something which needs exploring, but getting that special something about a photography book to work digitally is a challenge. Dewi is sure that ‘in a bedroom somewhere, a 16 year old will come up with a new language for a digitally printed book.’

If you want to make money out of photography, be careful about what you put on the Internet. If you’re a keen amateur, go for it – it’s a great way to get your work out there.

Check out ‘The Brothers’ by Elin Høyland. This is how the life of these two elderly brothers in rural Norway can be summed up: ‘Collecting wood, chopping wood, burning wood.’

Thanks to Dewi for all the inside information!