Thursday, June 9, 2011

I love photography, the Flash Foward Festival & more reflections

Things are happening so fast and this project is becoming so exciting, I can barely keep up with it all.   I continue to thrive from meeting more and more interesting people, both in real life and on Facebook.  A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Jenny (who also happened to be in Boston  from West Virginia on Saturday) texted me, "I've decided my life's call is collecting amazing people".  I think I'm joining her on that call.

Oddly enough my friend Jona who lives in Los Angeles, e-mailed me a link to the Flash Forward Festival in Boston sponsored by the Magenta Foundation.  Her friend Alan was presenting at the panel discussion called "The Future of Photobooks" and she thought I might be going and if I was, I should introduce myself to Alan.  (This is why I love Facebook and why I love this project). I was planning on being in Boston to shoot, but hadn't heard of the festival.  And out of pure luck my shoots ended in time to only make it to that event.  I booked it to Somerville to drop my car off, walked to the T and headed to the North End (through a farmer's market!) and got there just in time for the talk.  I wish I had known about it earlier,  because I wouldn't of scheduled any shoots and cleared four days to attend all of the FREE workshops, exhibits and lectures (and brought a busload of photographers from Maine down).

The Future of Photobooks Panel:  Andy Adams,; Michael Itkoff, Daylight Magazine; Miki Johnson, Hey Miki; Shane Lavalette, Lay Flat; Alan Rapp, AR Studio; Bruno Ceschel, Self Publish, Be Happy and moderated by Stephen Mayes, VII Photo.

I have 9 pages of notes and have been struggling for days now trying to figure out how to sum up how amazing it was to listen to a group of smart and talented people who love photography, love the book and genuinely want to connect and share their wealth of information.

Andy talked about a global photo community and online community organizing and using blogging & FB; Miki talked about Simon Roberts' audience participation blog & book project "We English"; Shane talked about how LayFlat started and funding & cultivating community and merging online & real life events; Michael presented on Aaron Huey and his project on the Pine Ridge Reservation  (ironically my parents spent time organizing there in the 70's); Alan talked about Candela Books and the presevation of the work of Gita Lenz, the realities of the traditional publishing world vs. self publishing, and books are both ideas and beauty; and Bruno talked about how working collectively is cheaper and brings change (which I know so well from embarking on 11 years at Bakery Photo Collective) and that photo books will always exist as long as photographers have something to say and have FUN making them.  My emphasis on fun, because I was just telling a friend how much fun I was having with this project, to the point of feeling guilty.  Why is it so ingrained in our society that work isn't fun?

I encourage all my photographer besties to join the FB group Andy created, FLB and to watch the discussion and read the live feed comments.  And of course,  to click on all the links in this post -- I promise you won't be disappointed.  It is so easy to get lost on the internet and FB that one of the other major things I came away with was a list of fantastic resources relevant to the work I am making.

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