Category: Marketing

December 6, 2010

Prints for Presents

Filed under: Collector Prints,Marketing — mas @ 2:29 pm

This image, as well as many others on the website, is available as a print for immediate shipment. Contact the studio, library@photonphotos.com, for information or to order.

Catalog 101114056

August 2, 2009

Filed under: Marketing,Skylight of Man,Work in Progress — mas @ 10:42 pm

090616054

St. Paul Farmers’ Market.   Feel free to make an offer via email. michael@michaelashapiro.com .

October 23, 2008

Doing it Right

Filed under: Marketing,Uncategorized,Work in Progress — mas @ 5:16 pm

I just re-watched Eddie and the Cruisers II, in which the main character says, “if we can’t be great, we should quit.”  Part of me agrees, and if I felt that I’d already exhausted all possibilities for and definitions of greatness, I would have to re-evaluate my endeavors, but I haven’t.  I have a couple of photos that I think might be great, at least in my eyes and as objectively as I can manage.

As I look at the images, I notice that the best are black and white.  I started shooting color about three years ago (more on that another time) trying to break free of my often compulsive traditionalism, and I’m still going to work with it and, of course shoot color for clients, but when I want to make “truthy” (to quote Steven Colbert) photos, I make them black and white. No matter what I think about marketability, I have to do what feels right, what will give my work the best chance to be great.

This one is certainly not one of the greats, but it kind of reminds of Tom Waitts.

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September 7, 2007

The Problem with Photography as Art

As I look around at what has been happening in the art photography world, I see some confusion. (or maybe I feel it – there’s a big difference with confusion) In the early days of small format photography, there was no such thing as a “series.” There were photographs. The two great Magnum photographers to whom I best relate, Bresson and Erwitt, made photographs and except for a personal style, there was nothing the same about separate photographs. The men found photographs they wanted to take and took them. Then they moved on.

Now, everything has to be a “series.” Everything has to be new and groundbreaking. Guys, there’s only so much ground to break and still make photography. I’m not talking about art using light as a medium to paint with; I’m talking about capturing the moment, the one thing that photography can do that nothing else can.

So what about new and innovative? Here’s what Bresson, the publically acclaimed master, said, “Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s own originality. It’s a way of life.”

I’m not saying I don’t or won’t shoot series, because I do, but often I’m shooting whatever captures my attention. Does this mean that photograph is not worth hanging, because there aren’t 24 more just like it? If the gallery wants unique, it would seem that one such photo would do a better job of meeting their requirements than 25.

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Oh, and by the way, here are some from the same evening.

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Perhaps we could serialize and call them, “Falling Behind.”

Later,

MAS

April 18, 2007

On Being an Artist

Filed under: About Artists,Marketing,publishing — mas @ 4:56 pm

I recently read a blog post by a photographer who had just returned from one of those big time review sessions. In the post he says, “Here is what I learned about my work…” I found something about that simple statement unsettling.

This man has been a photographer for, I’m guessing, 35 years. He shoots commercially, and he has had at least three long term art projects going since I met him about 15 years ago. While I can understand learning something new about your own work, hopefully on a daily basis, it seems somehow sad that an artist in his position repeatedly pays thousands of dollars a year to have experts dictate the level of acceptance of his work.

It may be that I, myself, am scared of putting myself into a position like that (although I have), but intellectually, there are things that bother me about the process. Artists are supposed to develop their own body of work as individuals, not try to conform to the dictates of magazine and book editors. When editors treat art and artists as commodities to be ordered as you would order a sofa, something is terribly wrong in the world. It seems to me that the art world would be better served if editors spent more energy on educating their public than on educating the artists.

This, of course, brings to bear the reality of magazine and book publishers needing to stay in business. It is sad that National Geographic has had to resort to sensationalism,(Compare recent covers to covers over 4 years old.) and Aperture concentrating on photographs of and by political and entertainment industry celebrities to sell magazines. I am certainly not denying the positive aspects of showing work to other people to get feedback; that’s a necessity, but it seems as if art is getting lost to the world of commercialization.

October 11, 2006

Artist Statements

Filed under: Marketing — mas @ 9:27 pm

The only thing worse than pricing work is writing artist statements. It seems to be in vogue to tell all about the spiritual aspects of making art, taking pictures, interacting with your subject. On one hand, I think that kind of explanation is best left to the critics, but on the other hand, collectors seem to want to know what the artist is thinking. Maybe it’s a small price to pay to encourage collectors to make it possible for us to make art.

I’ve been trying to write a new statement. One artist suggested that a good statement should be honed down to one sentence, although hardly anybody has ever done it. (Anybody know of artists who have managed this?)

I’ve been writing down ideas, and the only conclusion I’ve come to is that each body of work demands a different statement. Here are a few ideas I’ve jotted down

1. I try to capture a certain ethos. I want the viewer to share my own emotional reaction to an image.

2.I try to capture a grabbing facial expression and/or body language.

3. I’m fascinated with chiaroscuro.

4.I use photography as part of the discovery process by examining the new and exotic and seeing the mundaine in a new way.

I’m having fun with this process, but I’m trying not to let the words intrude.

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