OpEd: Some New Work From….

“Here we are now, entertain us”

Since I started LPV and began following photography on the web, I’ve been keenly interested in the way that photographers publish and present their work.  Often you’ll see a blog post pop that says, “Photographer X has some new work on their site” you should check out.  I never really thought about it much until the other day when I saw that same type of message pop up several times around Daniel Shea’s new work ‘Plume.’

It’s a work in progress, so I can understand perhaps the reluctancy to promote too extensively.  But as a start to a project, it’s really impressive.  As I thought about it, this seems to be the type of work, from the type of photographer that should be debuted exclusively on a prominent blog or website. I would find this to be far more interesting than the typical post that presents a selection from a “photographer that the blogger loves and thinks everyone should know about.”

I’ve heard many photographers say that the web really isn’t great for presenting work and that it’s better suited for facilitating conversation.  There is certainly some truth to that and to be blunt, I’m starting to consider many photography blogs to be more PR than publishing.  Like, I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there are certainly some publishers and bloggers that are presenting and publishing photography in interesting ways, but for the most part everyone (including this blog) are following pretty much the same template.

I’m curious to see how things evolve. I think photographers who have a new body work that they’ve been holding back from presenting on the web should think about pitching it as an exclusive to blogs they follow and admire.  These type of features would benefit both the photographer and the blogger. And I think it’d create a more entertaining blogosphere.  If part of the purpose of using the web is to market and promote work, then why not add some buzz? Get people excited. Build anticipation.  Teaser trailers, exclusives rolled out over a week, spanning different publications.  You get the picture. Of course, you’re dealing with a rather jaded audience that more than likely has revulsion to hype, but I don’t think it has to be gratuitous.  After all, it is the web, why not experiment?

On that note, if you’re a photographer with a new body of work that you think would be a good fit for La Pura Vida, please shoot us an email.  We’re always on the look out.


  • http://www.ianaleksanderadams.com/ Ian Aleksander Adams

    absolutely – directing is only so useful. I don’t think a quick link is ever really a bad thing, but it’s hardly original content or much farther than the webrings and link pages of the early internet. I like the term “First Look” or things along that way.

    It’s like thinking about the presentation of your portfolio – easy and cheap or finely crafted.

  • bformhals

    Sure, celebrity culture is on the extreme. But the demand is so crazy for those stories that an exclusive is worth a ton of money.

    There aren’t that many blog/zines that could pull off or make it meaningful. I’m kind of thinking Deep Sleep, Seesaw, lens culture, Ahorn. Burn Magazine already does it to some degree I suppose with certain photographers.

    Exclusive might not be the best word either. “First Look” or something along those lines might fit better. But the point for me is that the way you package and present the work can change the perception of it. I just don’t see why we accept that someone directing people to a portfolio or project is the most interesting way to consume and experience photography.

    We’ll see what happens. I’ve been in contact with a few photographers about featuring new work. Could be interesting, surprising.

  • http://www.ianaleksanderadams.com/ Ian Aleksander Adams

    Part of me feels like I associate the idea of “exclusives” with celebrity culture and magazines fighting over the biggest cover story. You know how when a big video game comes out there are these super positive exclusive reviews? They kind of make you question the legitimacy of the magazine – they want more exclusives, are they willing to always be kind to big titles in return?

    It’s funny, because we feel like blogs are more real, but only because they admit their bias so much up front. “Here’s some shots from this pal of mine” etc somehow seems more honest than presenting someone we know as an exclusive find.

    I don’t know – hesitancy might have to do with phrasing. I think the idea of working with a promotional venue (blog or magazine) to put your work out there in an interesting and involved way is totally a good idea.

  • bformhals

    No, once it’s on the web, then it’s not exclusive. Clearly the bigger the project and bigger the name, the more involved it can be.

    If it’s an early stage photographer, well, then they might not gain that much and might look kind of silly. On the other hand, it could boost a relatively unknown to the next level if it hits the right blog.

  • http://www.ianaleksanderadams.com/ Ian Aleksander Adams

    I’m not sure how it would stay exclusive past the first couple of minutes, but it would be nice to debut it with a big interview or something. Most people wouldn’t copy the whole thing.