Week 4 – reflection

Taking a look back at early work to see if there is a thread running through to present day work has been an interesting part of this week’s tasks.

The first photo I took, if memory serves me well, was aged about eight with the family Polaroid camera. It was of a wooden hut that housed an outside loo. I remember always being fascinated by that camera and I still have it, although I often use my Impossible Lab now to combine my iPhone pics with instant film. It was kept on the top of my parents wardrobe and I was only allowed to use it on rare occasion (the toilet pic was a holiday error – I was probably trying to photograph my brother) but I think that intrigue with the Polaroid camera probably lay the foundation for a future interest in photography (while taking accidental photos of toilets did not, luckily, develop any further).

Not being able to put my hands on my work from my days at my first college in the late 80s, I decided to share some of the earliest cyanotypes I created. These have led to an ongoing love affair with the process.

Although I can see that my work has evolved from then to now, I hope the naivety my earlier pieces have does not get lost as I continue to grow with this process.

Both are now framed and hand on my walls at home – they are like old friends.

We have also been challenged this week to consider a marketing strategy and plan for our practice that covers the next ten weeks of the course.

You would think that given my current day job as a communications and marketing manager, I would sail through the task of sharing a marketing plan for the next ten weeks of this module.

Not so. Once I started to visualise all the things I could do to I realised that I’m was not thinking about just my MA project but including it as part of my participatory photography business, ShutterPod.

Therefore, I have reigned in my ideas and focused solely on how this project will be taken to market. It will form part of my wider ShutterPod marketing plans but will be an element of it, as will ShutterPod be an element of my future art practice.

By the end of this module, I want my Harena Now to have gained traction and recognition within a number of topic-relative disciplines. That is my goal.

My objectives to achieve this are:

  1. Make connections with two local and one national/international environmental art/science groups
  2. Build interactive engagement via my social media channels, particularly Instagram
  3. To fine-tune my new website as my main place to share my work

The how (or strategy) is:

  1. To begin a social media ‘quiz’ about sand and what it means to people.
  2. To connect with professionals, galleries, curators and photographers that support my photographic preferences.
  3. To email, call, message a number of individuals connected to the sand crisis story, including those working within the industry.
  4. To apply for grant funding to take a research trip to visit a design organisation looking into the sand crisis.
  5. To continue to promote my work, and engage with the work of others, via my established social media channels.
  6. To join more online visual networks such as Lens Culture/Vimpt to help spread the word.
  7. To contact photographic magazines/journalists to raise the profile of my work and the sand crisis.
  8. Connect with a glassmaker to discuss installation ideas for final show.
  9. To produce a film (oral presentation) that I am happy to share with a wide audience beyond the MA as a means of promoting my work.

This is a simple outline marketing plan – a place to start and base the promotion of this particular work on.

I will endeavour to monitor how well my approaches to others are received, how effective my social media is in securing interest, and who engages with the work, and which I will update at the end of the module.

I already have marketing and business plans for ShutterPod, but I am now reworking this to reflect my photographic practice overall, of which ShutterPod will be a strand.

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