It is my most favorite time - five days, four nights, working intensely with a small group of photographers who are talented and driven. David Bram and I tag-team, co-teach, and create sideline entertainment with our crazy banter that is all beginning to feel like some kind of choreographed photography production. And maybe it is. That is certainly the goal - that by the end of the week we have produced a handful of photographers who are ready to take on the world and have the tools (and a plan) to reach their goals. To fill you in, this is the description:
In these four-day, five-night retreats, small groups of photographers will have the opportunity to strengthen and package a portfolio of work and develop a plan to strategically launch a project.
David Bram and Jennifer Schwartz work with participants to achieve the best edit and sequence of their work, write a powerful artist statement, develop a plan for getting exposure, tackle social media, and identify target collectors and galleries. Other topics include creative project funding, publishing, museum collections, setting editions and entering competitions.
David, Jennifer and the participating photographers (5 maximum) share a house and meals. Photographers are invited to participate based on their work, experience and willingness to share and explore as a group. The intimate nature of the retreat is designed to foster community and create dialog around the work, as each participant brings different perspectives and ideas.
Sounds awesome, right?
I am just home from our third photographic retreat. The first two were in Astoria, Oregon (as will be the one we are doing in April). You can read about those hijinks here and here. This retreat was our first in New Mexico - at a secluded ranch two hours from Albuquerque. And secluded it was. No cell service, which was both liberating and terrifying, and wildlife for days (perhaps you saw my facebook post about my encounter with a huge bobcat). But the beauty of New Mexico is magical, and we all settled into our little ranch home like we had been there for years.
We dug right in, and before long we were one tight bone-collecting group. In addition to learning about the fine art photography world and working out the kinks in portfolios and polishing statements and websites, we made adventures and friendships and made plans to revolutionize the known world. It was epic.
Some highlights -