Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.
Magnum Professional Practice workshop: my thoughts and three things learnt.
For those of you who do not know I was thrilled to have won a bursary for a place on Magnum’s Professional Practice workshop with Ideastap and what an opportunity it was.
One of 10 photographers who won, in a class of 15 others, held in the immense new Central St. Martin’s campus this workshop consisted of 4 lectures a day from leading professionals from McCann and Erickson, Panos Pictures, Smith Design, The Independent, Oxfam and of course Magnum Photos.
I highly recommend a Professional Practice workshop to all emerging photographers starting their own business. All the information was tailored specifically to photography and creating a profession: from print sale markets to working for NGOs to working for newspapers and book design such a wealth of knowledge was handed over in just two days.
Two things struck me. First, was the reassurance. Some of the things that we were told I had already heard or was inclined towards anyway but having that clarity given on subjects that otherwise seemed a little hazy was very reassuring. For example on charging blogs and publications for my work, some people didn’t understand why I wasn’t charging more on some occasions. Therefore, having the usual figures paid for gave me the confidence to know that for where I was at this was a good place to start.
Secondly, a lot of old (and new) projects started to awake in my mind as over the weekend we were given the tools and information that would help make them possible. I can see projects from start to finish clearly in my mind and, you know what? I’m going to do them.
So just before I share three things I learnt last weekend, thank you Ideastap and all the speakers at the Magnum Professional Practice weekend and a special mention to Thomas Mayo who recommended I went in for the competition.
Three things from Professional Practice weekend:
– 5 Great photographic galleries in London
– ‘A photographer is his own worst editor.’ It seems logical but I did not realise how well-known this was. By edit here it means selection of images rather than retouching/manipulation, whether that be for books, portfolios it is always better to get someone trustworthy to help. I had this problem when editing for my website–in fact it probably still needs a good cut back. Find someone you trust and get them to help. I’m really lucky because I often work in the same place as creative people I trust and lots of good friends also who are designers, in marketing, have a great eye. The person doesn’t have to be a photographer.
– Photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg shoots his pictures by moonlight. For this project he has been working with the aid agency Oxfam in Kenya to document those who are being offered assistance to find a new sustainable lifestyle. It is a video about solutions and the photography is fascinating because it captures something that would stay hidden from the eye without the use of Alejandro Chaskielberg’s camera and mind.
Lastly, an extra one, a message was sent out to work with other photographers. Not to be too precious about our ideas and to share things with good people. I met so many great photographers that weekend, all wonderfully talented (check here and here) and we’re creating a group to stay in touch. Oh, and Twitter, and essential tool to running the world and connecting…of course.
Hope you have enjoyed and let me know if you have been on, or heard of, any really helpful workshops recently!