Week 9 – reflection

It has been good to feel as though I have some time to truly reflect on my project work, and make further considerations for the future.

What I am learning, more than anything, is that having a full-time job (even one as a communications/marketing manager that affords me good skills for business development) is truly hindering my ability to achieve all I want to. It’s just boils down to how that impacts on the time available to me.

I have to accept that for now though, this is how things are, and keep working towards making changes as I can.

I need to stay focussed on my own goals, which, for me, is to create (or be part of) a photographic venue in Cornwall. For me this has always been around attracting people to Cornwall so that it becomes part of the photographic exhibition circuit.

But I am also now considering a tweak, or addition, to this idea due to my discovery of the GroundWork Gallery in King’s Lynn and its dedication to working with artists that respond to environmental matters within their practice. I live in the same village as the base for Surfers Against Sewage, down the road from an eco-park, not too far away from the Eden Project etc. so there is ample interest in the environment in this part of the world – it’s a thought to delve into further.

ShutterPod has been put on the back burner for a while, but I want to grow this element of my working life as it has always been important to me that art is accessible to all. This will still focus on alternative photo process workshops, particularly for those using health and/or social care services.

And at the same time, I want to develop my individual practice, to share how I see the world through my visual interpretation of it.

Listening to Amy Simmons, integrated art producer at M&C Saatchi, has provided some insight into a world I began working in some 30 years ago – advertising. Her focus has been on how work is commissioned, the shooting process, sourcing talent for briefs, and a ‘treatment’.

A treatment is essentially a means of providing an insight into your thought processes for a more open brief; it may be used when there are more than one photographer in the running for a job. It would cover info such as your lighting plan, model choice, mood boards etc. You would be paid for it too.

Amy set a challenge to create a treatment with the following outline:

This is for a European department store who is trying to break into the UK market, so that’s the client that you need to have in mind. The target market is UK shoppers, any gender aged 20 – 30. The brief itself is a campaign about how people have intimate and personal relationships with inanimate objects. You should focus on an item of your choosing within the treatment. It can be clothing, a book, a piece of art, food, electronic item, basically, anything that someone might purchase in a department store.

The deadline is a couple of weeks away so, if time allows, I will get to it. It is now miles away from where I want to go with my future photography life but there is useful information in Amy’s talk that can be transferred across to my work such as how to present a portfolio.

The module leader tasked students with taking the time to review their websites, social media and portfolios. She suggested close attention be given to how you will present your portfolio; the edit and responsiveness on your website; and how to use social media most effectively.

On the student board for this on Nov 20, I wrote:

I am hoping to be able to find the spare funds to invest in a good quality physical portfolio in the coming weeks. I am looking to print copies of my original pieces onto postcard style eco-prints, which will be displayed in a box and can be left with whomever I am showing the work to. 

I have a new website at josiepurcellphotography.com – I am working on keeping this up-to-date as my project progresses.

I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for my ShutterPod business. I am considering creating a separate Instagram account for my personal practice. 

I have already spoken with Veronica Sekules, the owner of GroundWork, a new gallery based in King’s Lyn that is dedicated to showing work by artists who have a strong interest in environmental issues. I hope to have an initial Skype chat ahead of going to meet her in the New Year.

Since then I have sourced presentation boxes for my eco-printed portfolio images. I plan to send one to Veronica Sekules to help develop our conversation about future exhibiting.

For now though, to keep my sanity, I am sticking with my ShutterPod social media channels to promote my personal work. I may come back to this decision in the new year. I hope to develop my website’s commerce section over the festive break and will be looking to sell clothing/fabric from work that I do not necessarily intend to display within an exhibition context.

It was good to read that a fellow student had viewed my website and said: “I have taken a look at your new website – looks really good and I like the layout and navigation (and the content of course!).  I have just signed up for SS myself so may ask your advice.”

This has been a handy bolster in confidence and much appreciated.



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