Symposium with John Spinks and Guy Marin
Where to start?
The talks with John and Guy were aimed to give us insight into the two very different lives of their lives as professional photographers. During the morning, they both gave an overview of their photographic practice and projects they have previously done and some continuously working on. One thing I found fascinating about them as a pair was how different their approach to photography was and their life based around photography. I felt as though Guy has had his career much smoother than Johns as he barely spoke about the negative side and described the moments he was a bit stuck as hurdles he came across and was just overall very positive, whereas on the other hand, John spoke rather negatively about his experience in photography, although he enjoys doing what he does, it seems as though he had quite a slow start and stresses that it is a constant battle to try and earn money when you're starting out. Both of what Guy and John spoke about where very eye opening as it gives a view of your fantasy dream job and the realistic pointers about it.
Notes from Symposium and group chat
>Moved to Turkey in 2011
>“City of dreams” is an investigation on how turkey gets power, which initially is through soap operas, actors etc. — Recreating an idea of a city
>A place represented differently
>(Unsure which project) — Images are taken during film sets but is a natural moment captured while on set, so images are unique and not necessarily what the film captures.
>Guy speaks about how his projects didnt cost him a lot, Guy has been very lucky in terms of being awarded funding for his projects which enables him to relax about the things that would naturally stress you out such as money and travel and spend more time focusing on the work that needs to be produced.
>Magnum emergency fund.
>St. Brieuc photo, reported festival.
>”Put yourself into your work and connect the dots”
Group chat with Guy Martin-
This was a group chat with guy where we had the oppertunity to ask Guy any questions we liked about his career and advice we may have had.
We started off speaking about exposure on social media, Instagram in paticular.
>Instagram- post roughly twice daily, so people know you exist but are not too annoying. -find your audience.
>Anistasia- “Black squares”, Guys friend who become noticed through Instagram by documenting her photography projects.
>Agency: Not for everyone, but it makes you apart of something bigger.
>Guy Martin for inspiration reads the news to see whats going on in the world.
>Really make your projects your own.
>Enter competitions, grants, awards.
>When contacting people you want to get into business with its best to try and summarise what you are trying to say/want in two sentences so its straight to the point. — Guy also mentioned the elevator advice where you are in an elevator with the person you'd dreamt of working for and you have until you get in and they get out to explain your project and sell it to them: Guy asked us individually to give an example of our current project, it was a tricky task but made us think hard about what it is we actually want from the project. Guy actually loved my idea and said he would fund it if he could! (AMAZING, YAY!)
>Europe accommodation is cheap!
>Know people, such as editors of magazines, newspapers, websites etc, know what they're doing and keep in the loop.
>Don’t be afraid to show your work.
>Ian Pariee Scholoship.
>When John left college he didn't really know what path he wanted to go down so he turned to assisting photographers. He said his was really beneficial for him as he learned a lot and got to know people that he works with today.
>Where you come from is very important, don't be afraid to let this feed into your work.
>While working for Vogue he said he has a whole team behind him in order to help with styling and creating the right image- He said that commercial photography is often like this and everyone has an opinion which he tries to take into consideration which can of course be very distracting and hard.
>Vougue only pay 150 for one page, its essentially only good for exposure and getting your name out there, but its not really worth the hard work that goes into it.
>Througout Johns career it seems that practice was very important to him and if he didn't keep practicing and trying he wouldn't of got where he is today.
>To this day he still assists Stephan Shore, a landscape photographer.
>Mixing between jobs is the best way to earn a steady pay as you can never rely on one thing when paid work is hard to come by.
Group chat with John Spinks-
The same with Guy, we had the opportunity to speak with John and ask him questions and gain advice.
>Be organized in what you want to do, try to have a plan.
>Being technically efficient is very important, I feel from what John spoke about this might have slowed him down while trying to build a career.
>When assisting, it is important to know your place and your job, and ESPECIALLY knowing when to not interfere. — 1 year is a good amount of time to assist someone.
> Johns advice when dealing with people higher or lower than you is always, be nice and work hard, this will make people trust you and be in on a chance of being contacted again for more work.
>He questioned us on money in jobs, will the money be stable and how can I make it? Also, where is my work displayed?
>When building your career, take your time.
Overall I found these sessions very helpful, I appreciate the honestly that Guy and John spoke even if wasn't what we wanted to hear. Although whichever route ou go down it will be hard work and daunting at times its made me so excited to finish uni and get out there!!