Photography and Social Media – Summary

I’m giving a talk to some photography students today, about how to use social media in their practice and development. A key part of the talk will be about using social media to aid collaboration.

As part of the talk, I’m going to be updating ST84Photo with some relevant content for them, and hopefully also for all my readers.

It’s a work in progress. So, if anyone has recommendations for links to add to this, please post and I’ll update this list as we go.

First up, I’m compiling a list of some useful places on the web to get involved in:

Phonar is an online photography course run by this cool guy. Jonathan is a tutor at Coventry University, and has developed several free, online education programmes for photographers. I’m really excited by what he’s been doing with this, and was hoping to participate in this course before I realised just how little time I had for it. There are other courses planned throughout the year, so I’d recommend following him on Twitter (by clicking the “this cool guy” link) to keep updated on new programmes so you don’t miss out.

Flak Photo Network on Facebook – house rules state no self-promotion should happen here, but with a global membership of nearly 3000 photographers and photography industry people, this is a brilliant place to ask questions about photography practice, key works, and the business of photography today. The group feels a little skewed in demographics towards art and documentary photographers, rather than commercial photographers, but everyone is welcome and it’s a knowledgeable forum.

4am Project – this is a project developed by Karen Strunks which asks photographers to go out on specific dates at 4am and make photographs. The work is submitted to the 4am Project site, and people often organise offline events to meet up and do the project together. There is something great about being out photographing at an ungodly hour, and knowing there are a whole bunch of other people doing precisely the same thing.

Street Photography Now Project – this was a year-long online global participation project, run by The Photographers’ Gallery, Sophie Howarth, and Stephen McLaren. I was the Community Manager for this project. It ran via Flickr, and each week an Instruction was given by a photographer featured in the book, Street Photography Now. Members would then spend the week shooting their responses, and providing each other with peer review. Additionally, many of the photographers who issued Instructions provided feedback on a shortlisted set of submitted images at the end of the week.

SPN Community – the second year of the Street Photography Now Project. Year 2 is being run by community members who were active participants during the first year of the project.

Some Useful Tools:
Flickr – yes, everyone knows about it. I’m including it because it’s one of the better platforms for project collaboration for a few reasons…
(1) You can create private groups, so you can share work with a select group of other photographers without making it available to the whole world.
(2) Notes – you can add multiple notes on the photos, which is great for e.g. highlighting alternative crops, or notating specific details in the image that work well, or could be improved.
(3) Personal Sets, Group discussions and comments on individual photos – this feature could be improved on, but still, for a group project the ability to comment on individual shots, whole sets of images, and discussion forums as separate entities can be used effectively to manage discussion to make relevance easy to spot. For a group project culminating in e.g. an exhibition, the discussion area can be used for the logistics of planning the exhibition, general banter and so on, leaving the discussion of specific images to the comments sections on individual photos and sets.
(4) Galleries – as a flickr member, you can create galleries of images by others. Again, this could be improved by allowing larger galleries to be created, but it is still useful in editing a final sequence from a larger group of images submitted to a group.
(5) It’s free – while much of the functionality of Flickr can be replicated on a private website, Flickr is free and easy to begin working with. This makes it perfect for the early development of long-term collaborations, and for one-off projects where custom website development may have prohibitive costs.

Google Docs – allowing you to collaborate remotely on word documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoint presentations. This can be useful for tracking the logistics on projects, while keeping all records in a space that makes it open for viewing by all group members.

Photographers (using Google Street View and/or Google Maps in their work):
Mishka Henner
Michael Wolf’s Street View Mahattan
Michael Wolf’s Street View Portraits
Jon Rafman
Discussion by Joerg Colberg of GSV work
BJP discusses if GSV is photojournalism

Some blogs that are great for current debates:
David Campbell

And some galleries and magazines:
F Stop Magazine
Source Photographic Review
Troika Editions
Hotshoe Gallery

  1. #1 by Paul Treacy on December 12, 2011 - 10:44 am

    Hi Sara

    I just wanted to mention a new outfit, The UK Street Collective at where we blog the best of our street photography.

    We are in the process of adding to our current number of 4 photographers and we are working on a mission statement to define our goals for the future.

    Thank you.

    Paul Treacy

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