Who Buys Photography

It is every photographer’s dream to sell their images. I used to dream about an agency or a large commercial company seeking my work. I remember how excited I was when I sold my first image. There is so many of photographs out there, yet, the agency found mine. There was something about it that worked for their client’s website and they wanted it.

As our group continues to work on the brief for CityID, we are also getting to know each other better. We work as a team and need to deliver as a team. We had a rather rough start to our project. We lost one of our cohorts early on due to personal demands and being in four different locations (and 3 time zones) has proven to be challenging to schedule video conferences. But we tried to put together a presentation as best reflecting the story as we could.

We were so unprepared for our first tutorial and afterwards very embarrassed by the words we heard. They were harsh, but motivating words. Words, that really prompted us to step up to the plate and build the story for the client. Words, that we needed to hear to take this brief seriously enough to dream that perhaps the agency will select our photographs for their publication.

We scheduled regular weekly conference calls and set out a plan to build a library of images. There were four of us, each in a different location, Colorado USA, Ontario and Alberta Canada and Malaysia. Four locations and four different uses for a vehicle. Four different American Dreams.

As we dug more into the research of the agency’s work and the brief idea, we became more passionate about it. I think we also understood each other more and recognized each of our individual strengths and input into the brief. We took the ownership of the brief.

Our second meeting with the professors was a complete opposite of the first one. We were better prepared, we were confident in our story and we were hungry to sell the photographs to the world.

We also became more self critical and braver to discuss our own photographs within our group. It is one thing to received feedback from the tutors. Peer feedback is equally important, both to give and receive. We all learn from each other. I can’t think how often my peers made me reflect on and question a certain aspect of my work that I didn’t notice before; how fast I would write referred names of practitioners recommended by my peers and how eager I was to browse through provided resources.

Participation in this brief proven to be a very valuable experience. It helped me better understand story telling and gave me an opportunity to work on a topic that was very different from what I usually photograph. It also gave me confidence to approach different genres of photography.