photographers as photo archivists

Museum Bhavan studio

Dear Aspiring Photographers
I think a new job oppurtunity has emerged in these FB discussions about how to earn a living with photography in a time when everyone is taking their own photographs.
I wonder if some of you might consider  offering  an archiving service to people who are making lots of photos with their phones, but are too busy to actually back them up and organise them in folders.  Especially young iphone parents photographing their newly born children. I wonder about the future of these images stored on passing phones or clouds even.
Whole archives/histories risk disappearing, each time a phone is lost or crashes, if they are not backed up continuously.That memory garden needs constant tending.
And the same service is required for people who are not as technologically savvy, but are still photographing on their phones and ipads.My mother for instance, probably yours too.
You might even offer to make prints from time to time, archival prints ofcourse.
Personally I think this is a great way of keeping memories technology proof.Make a few prints each month.
Iphone Parents might even hire you as a monthly ‘memory’ retainer, which would be best scenario. And give you all the time to pursue your own photography and find your own voice in this new language,
photographers as photo archivists

Dear Aspiring Photographers – IX

Dear Aspiring Photographers – IX

DEAR ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS – comfort zones – VIII

Dear Aspiring Photographers,

My third advice to you is to GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. This is something I learned from Photojournalism, having to go into worlds that I otherwise may not have ventured into, and being open to all that CHANCE brings.

For example, I went to photograph Rahul Bajaj on a Fortune magazine assignment of Business Family portraits. He was shocked at the “little lady” Fortune had sent to photograph him. Anyway, the grandchildren were not back from school and he asked me to go visit his factory. I said Mr Bajaj, “I am a Family portrait photographer, I am not here to look at Factories,” and then I thought, why not, if he is asking me to. I went into the dispatch hall and my jaw dropped open. Over 10,000 scooters were in one hall waiting to go.

And there and then started my Factories obsession, which turned into Blue Book, in another “CHANCE”. Standing above a very high factory tower in a harness, I ran out of film, the sun had set, I had some color film in my bag, I thought I would shoot in color and print in BW. My contact sheets came back all BLUE. I realised I had finally found my own small way with color, and went on to make BLUEBOOK, which then moved into DREAMVILLA.

P.S.- I mean get out of your comfort zone physically, but also in your head, and that brings me back to Literature, to reading, to Cinema…

Submitted by dayanita on Fri, 07/31/2015 – 11:55

DEAR ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS – comfort zones – VIII

DEAR ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS – cinema – III

Dear Aspiring Photographers,

Along with my second advice to focus on literature, I would also suggest the study of Cinema.

To see and ‘study’ as many classics as you can, again as a way of enlarging your life experience but also a way to understand narrative, lighting, framing, editing and sequencing.

For the ones who want to do a formal education (especially all of you who ask me where to study photography), I would recommend a BA in Literature or Cinema studies. Then you have something more to bring to your Photography.

Ask me for advice and this is what you get, no easy ways in my book.

Submitted by dayanita on Fri, 07/17/2015 – 18:36

DEAR ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS – cinema – III

Dear Aspiring Photographers – on reading – II

Dear Aspiring Photographers,

My second advice to you is to READ.

To read the history of the medium, of course (Geoff Dyer, John Szakowski, Sontag, Barthes…) but also fiction, poetry, non fiction, shayari, biography: what ever your interests are, but do read. Read to gather that immense life experience to bring to your work. The kind of experience decades of travel might bring. Then it might be possible to find a voice of your own. Read also to study form, to understand editing, sequencing, and withholding. All key words for me in my work.

Many of you write to ask me to look at your work, you write to ask if you can intern with me (I am sorry I do not reply to each one of you, so this is my reply). I would say to you: choose very carefully the people you show your work to because once you decide who your mentors are, you have to listen equally to their criticism as their praise. Many of my most formative conversations have been with writers, thinkers, publishers, very few photographers.

Reading and conversation are my two keys, for those of you who ask me for my advice on how to be a photographer.

****

Post Script:

* On Restraint – Restraint the beauty of art by Chandrima S. Bhattacharya in The Telegraph

Submitted by dayanita on Thu, 07/16/2015 – 18:05

Dear Aspiring Photographers – on reading – II

Dear Aspiring Photographers – jobs -I

Dear Aspiring Photographers,

My first advice to you is, please get a job.

Yes, photography is magical and addictive and a language of its own, thats why we all get hooked. When one cannot find the words, there is always a photograph. But it’s challenging times ahead for Photography as a career. Photojournalism (as in paying photographers to go out and get the story) is, unfortunately, no longer the need of the hour. I am not even sure what it will mean to say one is a Photographer, some years from now.

But if you had another job (another source of income), then you could really push the limits of what photography can do: use it as raw material, as a tool, challenge it as a medium and its brief history. And, most importantly, find new forms for it. In a way Photography is just starting, it is finally democratised, and many new forms/structures will emerge.

That in my very subjective opinion on what Photography as a career is now. A question many of you seem to be asking me.

******

Post Script:

*please remember this is my very subjective opinion, to all those who are desperate to make careers as photographers, at huge costs to themselves and their families, when that very notion is changing completely

*the idea of the photographer as we thought of it until now is going to change, photography will be used in very different ways, by a range of people. It is becoming the universal language, it set out to be.

*Photography as Passion will always be there, the image was our first language,and even more so now than ever before. Photography as a Profession needs some hard thinking. New Professions using Photography perhaps?

Submitted by dayanita on Sat, 07/11/2015 – 20:23

Dear Aspiring Photographers – jobs -I