Our Crazy Industry

August 3rd, 2010

Well, the craziness of re-editing my work and developing my new website is over. It had to be done. Its a fascinating time in our industry when we all have to reinvent ourselves to meet a tough economy and changing market demands. The response to my new website and the new portfolio have been very positive. I guess this was a mid-career make over  with the purpose of raising the bar artistically while also looking for new representation to support that change. When approaching a project like this, I like to be self-reflective. Ive had a 20 year yoga and meditation practice and know the power of looking inside for wisdom and insight. I know I can take pictures and run a business, but I always strive to do better and to stay relevant.

For me, that means figuring out what I respond to, what makes me happy, what photography I like from others and what other art and music I like. All of this gives me a perspective, not only on myself, but on our society and where were heading visually. The other issue that has been interesting is not only finding inspiring work, but to observe how new work is being presented. Since the print world is changing, not only is there cool art out there, but following the changes in presentation is equally as fascinating. Conceptualizing what those changes look like is fascinating also.

I dont think weve even begun to see the visual changes ahead. I think photography will become this hybrid thing on peoples devices that will incorporate the beauty of the still images in composition, content and feel, but then it will additionally be able to move, inform, and help you act. Thats the key, whats going to drive all of this is either bringing more information to the reader  or getting the reader to act on a purchase. One of the available forms of digital magazines that I like comes from: http://issuu.com/ They currently have many magazines available on line such as Victor and the very progressively designed NU

These digital magazines are the closest thing available to a fully formed non-print periodical, and they might not exist if they had to survive the economic model of a printed periodical. Finally, heres a second photo rag that always has great work: http://www.visuramagazine.com get much inspiration from this magazine, especially from the images of Henry Horenstein and the portraits of Cheryl Koralik

In updating the site and my work, Ive also decided to get some third party advice from a consultant friend, Allegra Wilde. For me, this outside perspective was transformative, not only in being a reality check, but having her validate my own work that I personally feel inspired by. Those works were then added to the site and our presentations. By validating that work, Ive been going out seeking more of it to look at from the outside and shooting more of it myself. Allegra helped make the process successful by reaffirming the realities of our industry, but also by putting out there a refreshed vision that is not so specialized. She helped me organize the work to show the vision, not to strictly promote commissioned work. I hope you enjoy what you see.‚   -Michael

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One Response to “Our Crazy Industry”

  1. Great post Michael, and you’re so right, the industry has changed dramatically in just the last few years. I was an film initially, then slowly made the transition to digital…now blogging has opened things up even more…we can so easily just copy one another, especially with presets and actions, without really knowing what we’re doing at a core level..influences from others is great, but finding your own look and style is an even greater challenge…I actually try to be selective about photographers and other art I look at, so the influences are genuine, and so I dont’ get sucked into the copying mentality!