Researching the photography industry – the blogger
As a mature photography student, after lifetime of working, the thought of finding work experience as part of my SYP course felt uncomfortable. That is not to say that it wouldn’t have been helpful, but I think of it as something for young who have never experienced the workplace, let alone a multitude of them. Fortunately, the OCA foresee this predicament and offer a research-based alternative that must include discussion with a practitioner in a chosen area. In this post, I share my pseudo-work experience.
A benefit of studying with the OCA is the freedom of choice offered to explore and express your own ideas, even if others do not always share your enthusiasm for them! However, I chose to research the photography blogger and ended up having some great video conversations, discovering some surprising information, and getting helpful tips on running a serious blog.
In 1998, the early years of the internet, there were only 23 blogs and no blogging platforms to help the would-be blogger. By 2020, there were around 600 million blogs. I categorised photography blogs into 6 types – guesses in the comments below! And found four bloggers willing to be video interviewed, covering some of the categories. One pulled out at the last minute, but that is just part of working with busy people and research projects.
Johnny Mobasher runs the blog www.streetphotography.com that is a rich repository of images and texts on the subject. He shared a fascinating story about how he obtained the highly desirable domain name, and Bruce Gilden’s thoughts on it during an interview for the blog. Robin Whalley runs two successful blogs – www.thelightweightphotographer.com and www.lenscraft.co.uk/ – one to share his interest in mirrorless cameras and the other to share well-written technical information on photography. Subscribers find his free blog posts so useful that he successfully sells eBooks – I bought one many years ago when I first started using Photoshop! Janet Broughton runs www.definitelydreaming.com and told me about how motivations can evolve – what started to share series of her own work (outside the constraints of social media) changed into a small business. Finally, Carole Evans runs artist blog and website www.caroleevans.co.uk and doesn’t think of herself as a blogger but has created the perception of a content-rich site.
My research provides insights into the the role of the blogger, along with interviewees comments. But for this short post, I just summarise the ‘one piece’ of advice each offered for new bloggers:
- Clarity of purpose – be clear on the reasons for blogging and plan how to achieve objectives.
- Commitment to doing – the important thing is to start; don’t try to do everything at once or worry about perfection.
- Create strong content – focus on relevant and regular content creation without being too distracted by the work of website maintenance.
For a mature student, from the unpromising assignment title of ‘work experience’ came something useful that will help me develop my own practice by better managing my online personae with a blog acting as a hub.
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