It’s been a hard week for the photography world. We lost the amazing Mary Ellen Mark, who I had previously put on my list of 99 Photographers (who photograph people) I love. I was fortunate enough to hear her speak at the Palm Springs Photo Festival less than a month ago where she shared her new book that will be released this fall, she also shared her thoughts about her favorite images she has taken over the years. Her connection with people was simply amazing…something seen so rarely in this narcissistic chaotic new world of social media. I feel so lucky that I was able to hear her stories so recently.
In addition to the loss of Mary Ellen Mark, the photography world struggled with the “art” of Richard Prince. It was actually this that got me thinking about how we support other artist in our community. Everywhere I looked photographer’s were outraged at Prince’s theft of images….and honestly my first thoughts were the more viral this gets the more money and notoriety Prince will get in the long run. It’s the age old idea that there is really no such thing as bad press. My point with this is though there are so many artists struggling to get their “real” and “original” work seen and unfortunately so many people (including myself) are wasting their time ranting about things they dislike…rather than the art that needs to be seen. Photographer’s should be supporting each other more. After all this I made a promise to myself to stop being so self absorbed as an artist and really start to support others whose work should be seen. Starting now I on my social media & blog I will actively sharing work by other artist that I feel needs to be seen and when I can contributing (even if it’s a small amount) to people projects that matter.
Every week here on my blog I will also share one project from another artist that had an impact on me…feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to share your project. This week the amazing Will Jack’s photographed BB Kings processional through Cleveland Mississippi…he decided to offer a small print in exchange for a $25 donation to the photo program in the Art Department at Delta State. If you are interested feel free to donate at https://www.deltastategiving.org/Fund/Give/71…if you ask me that a small contribution for an amazing piece of art!
I also want to start working on projects that matter more…that are more about documenting people, not just this fantasy world that presents on social media. My first project will be a continuation of “Strangers On A Train” which I started last year. In early September I will travel over 6000 miles across the country documenting the people I meet along the way. If you like more info on this project feel to visit it at http://igg.me/at/strangersonatrain/x/10907240 or follow me on instagram the first week to see the whole project while in the works!