Atlanta Celebrates Photography's annual portfolio review was October 12, and although I am biased, ACP runs a kick-ass event. The vibe among participants and reviewers was so positive, and I felt like I was able to have really quality interactions with the photographers. (It also helps that ACP gives a few minutes' break between reviews. Review events that make reviewers sit through six reviews in a row without time for a bathroom break. . . well, let's just say it's difficult to concentrate.)
I saw some really interesting work both at the portfolio review and at the portfolio walk, and I was also excited to meet some really talented reviewers.
But since I'm all about innovation and empowering photographers to create opportunities for themselves, two meetings really stood out for me. In the first, I met with local photographer Shannon Davis. Shannon attended a workshop David Bram and I led last year at ACP, and she said it really inspired her to think about different ways to present and promote her work (yeah!). She is currently working on a project about how people present themselves to the world - by what they wear, the expressions they make, the way they want to be viewed - and she wants to present the images on t-shirts. I love this idea. She says she is not interested in taking this work to the wall and thought putting the photographs on t-shirts added an extra layer of meaning to the project.
The second super creative idea to build an audience was a book put together by photographer Forrest Aguar. Forrest participated in my workshop the day after the reviews - Create Demand for Your Art. At the end he showed me this beautiful publication called Ikigai, where he collaborated with ten different writers to put text to his images. According to Forrest, "Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means 'a reason for being'. Everyone is considered to have one, but it is only through a deep and lengthy search of self that it can be found."
Collaboration with other artists, especially ones who work in other mediums, is a great way to grow your audience. By inviting ten writers to participate, the book will automatically be of interest to each of those artists' fans, thereby exposing his photography to new people he would not automatically have access to. It also helps that the book is lovely, well-executed, and limited to 60 copies. This project has a lot of potential to go in many different directions, and I hope Forrest keeps moving forward with it.