Working with others on photography related projects is not a topic that I have given much thought. Going through this week’s materials made me reflect closer on terms of collaboration, participation and cooperation. I realize that although I generally work on my own, there is a whole array of working with others (directly and indirectly) involved in my work.
Pros of working with others
- expanding your own knowledge and abilities
- venturing into the unknown
- expanding your communication skills
Cons of working with others
- flexibility and adjusting my own timelines to meet the demands of the team
- limitations in terms of following my own vision for the project
- possible communication issues
- locations of team members
Our team consisted of three of us, located in Alberta Canada, Ontario Canada and Malacca Malaysia. When we set out to prepare our zine, we (the three of us) communicated via What’s App. The topic for our publication was red barns. Why red barns? As I drive to work every day I see a lot of red buildings and barns along the road I travel. They differ from one another in design, but the red colour unites them all.
I began wondering why red colour? What made the farmers select that particular one? It was time to do some research.
When we began communicating, we realized that red barns were not popular in Malaysia. Our Malaysian photographer provided beautiful images of a red buildings with comments that in Malaysia there are no barn like structures, but there are these very iconic red buildings re-used now as a church, museum and tourist attraction center. These are the only RED buildings in the whole of Malaysia.
That added a twist to our project and we decided to create a publication depicting red buildings in our respective areas (Alberta Canada, Ontario Canada and Malacca Malaysia) and combining our images for one forum to present this collection.
How did our collaboration work? Not bad considering creating a zine was a new experience plus the distance and time constrains played a role in construction of the zine.
Ultimately we produced a collection that led me to future exploration of other methods of presenting my work. This experience was also very valuable in terms of defining collaborative process with others for my future projects.