Getting Out There
This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.
Probably some of the most terrifying words you’ll ever hear as a photographer if you are anything like me. What if no-one will like it, what if I get a bad review, what if they think I’m ridiculous? Just a few of the thoughts that might arise at the idea of showing your work to outsiders.
My level one student Gill Golding is getting herself out there and it may not be as scary as it first appears.
Image by Gill Golding
Gill is passionate and enthusiastic about life and photography, if you have met her even once you will know what I mean. She exudes joy for learning and for the advancement of others’ and her own photography. This is why it’s so nice to see her move forward in her work and start to go places. To take that literally, she is going to start the Goldsmith’s MA in Photography and Urban Culture this year after getting herself on a short course last summer, immersing herself completely and falling in love. She has been developing her interest in Urban Regeneration and although it hasn’t all been plain-sailing, progression is what counts and the ability to recognise what works, what doesn’t and why.
Someone saw Gill’s work who is involved in iAVU (International Association of Visual Urbanists) where Gill is a member and featured her work in the first issue which you can see here (just scroll down a little). Gill also presented her work to a group called Crossing Lines who meet to encourage each other and give critical feedback. All this takes nerve and I asked Gill a couple of questions about the process.
How does it feel to be getting your work out there? Is it as scary as it might first appear?
There are so many emotions involved in seeing my work out there. When I was approached and asked if I would like my work to be included I was nervous because the work is so close to my heart and I still have so much to learn! I wasn’t going to say no however!! I was really worried that my work wouldn’t be good enough and that everything would have to be changed. That didn’t happen!! Then there are the issues about once the work is out there, people will interpret and have their own opinions which is very strange. When I saw my work there, the thrill and excitement was amazing matched with a sense of disbelief. I had to keep looking to make sure it was still there!!! I’ve been given such an incredible opportunity and I’m so grateful for it.
The advice I’d give other students is about getting out there and making things happen. I think it’s really important to find out what is going on locally or in the nearest city and becoming involved. I began by participating in local Brighton groups and then set up a Photo Projects group which I continue to run. Last summer I decided to join and participate in groups and activities in London. I’m a member of several organisations, go to workshops, talks and courses, visit exhibitions, talk to people and more recently am beginning some collaborations with other photographers. Getting out there in this way has helped me to not just develop my skills, but also to engage with work that others are doing and that has been invaluable because my thinking has become wider and therefore my approaches are changing.
I’m forever amazed by it all!!!
With Gill’s critical eye and determination to produce coherent and interesting work the learning curve has been steep and now she is finding herself bypassing onto a Masters. Although we will be sad to lose her it’s really exciting to see students benefit so much from OCA and it encourages us all to see the potential of what might be…
What’s stopping you?