Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Photoblogging Hierarchy

Recently, someone contacted me with a rather simple, and rather good idea for starting a new blog. He had also contacted several other photographers and bloggers to participate in his project. I told him I'd be honored to take part, but that I wouldn't at all be surprised if general response and participation were less than enthusiastic, being that he was a relative newbie and that the online photo "establishment" can be rather clique-ish (as in high school). I just hoped that wouldn't be the case.

About a week later he replied that response had, in fact, been considerably less than forthcoming- perhaps for the reasons I had stated, and that he was now considering working with unknown, "amateur" photographers in a somewhat revised format.

Although his original idea was not something radically unique (it has certainly been done on many an occasion), there was no such site (far as I know) that was devoted exclusively to it on a regular, consistent basis. Unfortunately, egos being as they are, people were not going to give an unknown that chance- someone who could not immediately guarantee furthering and advancing their work.

Funny how we treat our own.

6 comments:

Ian Aleksander Adams said...

It's sort of my feeling that some of this has more to do with general lack of time for internet related things, versus ego. As much as some of us love the internet, it seems like many of the "top" photography blog people are currently working on large offline projects, installing shows, curating stuff, etc.

The last 6 months seem to have been pretty slow in terms of response time, in general, and I think some of it has to do with people struggling to figure out how they can support themselves instead of just put time into this. I know personally, since I just graduated college and am still just job hunting, that it's pretty tough out there right now for those surviving on freelance income (many of the blogosphere).

The entire atmosphere seems to come together in a way that makes people hesitant to take on new projects. I've had lackluster response to some of my ideas in the past, but never got the feeling that any of it was due to ego. I can understand that participating in a new online venue doesn't seem that useful to someone who is already heading their own already successful (read: time draining) venture.

TMC seems to have experienced similar things, judging by the latest post by Jake.

However, for all the trouble we may have getting cooperative ventures off the ground (without in person co-op, it seems that things cemented with some kind of local contact seem to work better, group blogs, etc) there is no lack for new content being created constantly. With the limited time I have between tutoring, doing tech support, freelance website work, and trying to find homes for my own photographic work, I've rarely thought "man, I wish I had another blog to read" - though I still subscribe to anything interesting I come upon.

I've sort of unofficially put my community projects, both blog (not my main one), curation project, and zine, on hold until I can find steady employment. My freelance schedule just doesn't allow me to devote much of my mind to it, unfortunately.

Stan B. said...

Ian- all very valid points. And I understand that I put the reader at disadvantage by not actually describing his proposed project since I wrote this without first notifying him. Let's just say his proposed blog was very much aimed at exposing and publicizing new or already known work and providing a bit of background on what went into it. Very much about the work, and the artist- what every/any photographer pines for. Who wouldn't make the time for that? He was volunteering to provide the venue- so I have to ask myself, and anyone else, there's obviously something else at work there...

Stan B. said...

Nice to learn that none other than Andrew Hetherington has since dropped him a note of advice. Sometimes that's all it takes folks...

phillhunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cafe Contrast said...

Hi. I'm the subject of the post. I appreciate Stan posting this. Both he and Andrew gave me a lot of tips on how to improve on my original idea.

I think with sufficient work on my end, Cafe Contrast will become compelling and photographers will want to contribute their "making of" stories. If I can find 91 people willing to describe how they made four of their works, that's a new story every day for one year. That's a lot of content--hopefully enough to build a big audience and give contributors exposure that they would not have gotten otherwise. But first, I must get the ball rolling.

JB

Stan B. said...

Good Luck, JB! Look forward to your success- and to those who participate...