Estimate

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – BUSINESS CHALLENGE

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For week-8 Challenge we have been asked to create an estimate for the following client’s requests:

A small communications agency contacts you and would like you to give them an estimate. They are re-branding Broadgate, an area in London, and need 25 images to use for printed materials, social media, web, tube ads and potentially billboards. The license term is five years. They think you can do the shoot in two days”.

It took me a while to understand the best way to create a coherent and consistent documentation since I have never worked for a Communication Agency as a freelance (but as an employee, only). I opted to observe the work done by those peers with more experience in this field and the related Tutors’ feedbacks. Moreover, I checked online, on websites like Skyscanner and Booking.com, to provide credible costs and different pricing guides for the UK Market, trying to maintain a competitive profile while covering all costs and preserve a certain level of profit.

Hereafter,  my estimate for this Commission:

Pre-shooting fees:

  • Location Scouting (2 days) – 250£ per day: total 500£;
  • Related travels-costs (from/to Rome) – (price valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) total: 200£;
  • One-night accommodation during scouting period – (price valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) total 180£;
  • Project planning and pre-shooting meeting – total: 150£;

Creative fees:

  • 2 days shooting (Photographer fees) – 500£per day: total 1000£;
  • 2 days shooting (Photographer’s Assistant fees) – 150£ per day: total 300£;
  • 1-day post-production for 25 images/covering the creation of files for print and web including metadata and keywords (Post-production’s Assistant fees) – total 150£;

Costs coverage and permits:

  • 2-people travels-costs (from/to Rome) – (price valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) 200£ per person: total 400£;
  • 3-night accommodation (price calculated for two rooms/three nights, January 12th – 15th 2018 and valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) – 400£ per room: total 800£;
  • 2-day meals (for 2 people) – 30£ each person per day: total 120£;
  • Permits – Expenses not included, to be covered by the Communication Agency: total TBD;
  • Lighting equipment rental – 250£ per day: total 500£;
  • Instruments/Photographer/Assistant Insurance costs – total 430£;
  • High-Vis Jackets (2 units) – 20£ per person: total 40£;

 

COSTS AND FEES (VAT NOT INCLUDED): 4770£.

VAT (Calculated in accordance with Italian Legislation) 22% 1049£.

COSTS/FEES VAT INCLUDED: 5819£.

ADDITIONAL FIVE-YEAR LICENSE COSTS – 10%: 581,90£.

TOTAL: 6400,90£.

 

References:

Booking.com, official website https://www.booking.com

House Peter, The Guide To Pricing Commercial Photography Part 4: License Fees, on Fstoppers, September 2013 issue https://fstoppers.com/business/guide-pricing-commercial-photography-part-4-license-fees-8713

London Freelance Fees’ Guide, official website http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/index.php?&section=Photography

Skyscanner, official website, Italian version https://www.skyscanner.it/

I can hear you now – Assignment Photography and Fine Art

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – INDIPENDENT REFLECTION

Susan Carr, in her “The Assignment Photographer: understanding the value you provide”, defined Assignment Photography as “the visual representation of the concept” (Carr, 2008) that communicates the client’s message. Unfortunately, we live in the era of Stock Photography and this is why, as the author herself stated “sustaining an assignment business becomes very difficult” (Carr, 2008). This is why Assignments photographer must represent an added value for their customers, starting by having those necessary qualities to face this profession, such as: a unique and distinctive vision, the ability to interpret clients’ needs and to protect them and their products, the capability to tailor licensing, customer service’s abilities and digital expertise. Personally, I feel the urge to improve those skills related to the creation of a proper and correctly compiled documentation; this alongside those necessary business strategy and marketing-related abilities necessary to be a consistent professional.

My current project could be related to Assignment Photography, but with a slighty different meaning compared to the more general one because, even if I am the creator of the concept, my images must respect those standards and rules defined by my Professors and Tutors at Falmouth University. My images must have a defined quality and my work must be cohesive, coherent and its images must have a certain quality to pass each Module: my project must be sustained by clear argumentations and submitted following precise rules.

For sure, it would not fit into the category of Stock Photography because of its delicate subject matter: my photographs and videos do not follow commercial standards and are not created to be sold. For instance, even if my attention if often focused on facial expressions and body language, I always try to avoid any cliché in the creation of my imagery (often typical of Stock Photography) because they want to represent the inner world of those individuals I portray and not to create any form of generalization in what I represent.

I presume that I could identify potential customers for my work, but they would be realities like Fine Art Galleries, Charities working to sustain people with Mental Health-related and Social problems or, as previously stated, a potential sponsor for a future PhD: all realities very distant from the Commercial environment. My work could be considered as easily sustainable because it is not strictly connected to a “local Market”: thanks to its subject matter that represent the vast majority of individuals and Communities out there it can cross cultural and geographic boundaries, especially thanks to those Social Media that make Photography distribution easier, nowadays.

Even if in my current practice I am more a Generalist since I have also created Fashion and Documentary Photography projects, “I can hear you now” is more related to the world of Fine Art and Portraiture. Due to the artistic environment they are related to, during this module I realised that there are some challenges I will have to face to distribute my work: I must be careful in the way I share my images online in order to respect a higher standard that these fields require and the same thing is valid concerning printed materials. To be considered for a potential publication on Fine Art Magazines or to be exhibited in a Gallery, the quality of my printed images, as well as their digital equivalents, must be properly processed: to respect collectors and curators’ standards it is essential to face some “technical challenges which most Commercial photographers do not have to consider” (Kauffman, 2008), to use Kim Kauffman’s words. The American Photographer also emphasized those differences in pricing Fine Art works and in the creation of the related contracts. Suggesting, of course,  always to create written documents to protect our work, he pointed out interesting facts I will have to consider when I will decide to distribute my photographs or videos. While if I will involve Charities into my project I will have to consider usage as one of the terms to establish a price, if my printed photographs will be sold for display only (galleries or private collectors), this should not be considered, but to raise the value of my imagery I will have to keep an eye on the costs of realization (considering those mentioned high-quality standards) and I will have to consider the creation of a limited edition only, since it is commonly considered as an added value. Of course, not all the images I am currently creating can be sold since, as said, the subject matter of my project is quite delicate; but in those “protected environment” I mentioned above I might consider it: in that case my sitters would be fully respected and my work would become more sustainable at the same time. Its sustainability is very important since I am working to support my sitters using Photography as a tool and to enhance empathy among people: a financially sustainable project would mean the possibility to photograph more and more, expanding it in the future and potentially helping more individuals.

In my specific case Networking and Reviews could be crucial for a future potential distribution of my work, this is why I am currently examining all available possibilities for Portfolio reviews, also outside Falmouth like the ones periodically organized and managed by LensCulture, and to join Specialty Groups and Specialized Listervs at the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). These last two networking-related “platforms” do not only provide discussions’ opportunities, but also the chance to exhibit, obtain resources  also for students and emerging photographers: definitely something to carefully consider at this stage of my project. Applying for Photographic Contests is also essential to generate interest in our work because, as Francesca Genovese, the Director of Francesca Maffeo Gallery, pointed out while discussing the Gallerist’s perspective in her interview managed by our Professor Anna-Maria Pfab “As an established space, you have very different rules and you have much more fluid relationships with other photographers and other contacts and recommendations. In the beginning, it’s very much about looking, researching, seeing what is going on. Social media as well as print. Going into lots of exhibitions, graduate shows everything. You need to look at who is winning awards, who is getting a lot of press and air time” (Genovese, 2017).

 

References:

American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Specialty Groups www.asmp.org/community/specialty.php

American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Specialized Listervs www.asmp.org/community/online_comm.php

Carr Susan, The Assignment Photographer: understanding the value you provide, in Professional Business Practice in Photography, Chapter 12, ASMP, 7th edition, 2008, USA. pp. 97-98.

Genovese Francesca, in Anna-Maria Pfab’s PHO704: Week 10 Photography and its Fine Art Markets, Francesca Genovese Interview, released by Professor Anna-Maria Pfab on Canvas online Platform, “Sustainable Prospects” Module, Week 10, MA Photography, Falmouth Flexible, Falmouth University, Cornwall, UK. PDF transcription, pp.1.

Kauffman Kim, Fine Art in Susan Carr’s The Assignment Photographer: understanding the value you provide, in Professional Business Practice in Photography, Chapter 12, ASMP, 7th edition, 2008, USA. pp. 107-108.

Working on Feedbacks: WIP

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – INDIPENDENT REFLECTION

During these last weeks of the “Sustainable Prospects” Module, I am focusing my attention on those Assignments I will have to complete before Week 12 will come to an end. The most important one is definitely the Work in Progress Portfolio (often defined as WIP): it counts for the 60% of the final grade and it is the element that defines our practice and its progression and evolution in time. What I am including in this document, as well as its previous versions, and the related formative feedbacks are what will define the Portfolio I will release online on my CargoCollective and my LensCulture profile pages and, as soon as I will realise it, on the project’s official website.

The main difference between this WIP and the ones created for the first three Modules of this MA, is the focus not on the creation of that imagery related to the act of screaming itself, which is what always identified my work so far, but on the generation of still images and videos connected to the stories behind those screams.

What I am currently doing is adjusting it in accordance to the feedbacks and opinions I am receiving from my Professor and Tutors each time I provide them with a draft: this will not only allow me to include, to exclude, or to create images that might respond to the taste of a skilled and experienced audience, but it will also train me in arranging Portfolios for different purposes, reacting to the Market’s requirements or in accordance to my interlocutors tastes and needs, since the one I would submit to the attention of an Art Gallery would not correspond to what I should submit for a potential publication on a Magazine. Another important point is that this phase of my work allows me to identify those photographs and moving images considered “stronger” and my weak points, so that in the future I can better identify the best, and strongest, direction to follow.

Since my work cannot be considered as a simple display of photographs but a path to follow, divided in sections recognizable thanks to the different visual solutions and techniques used alongside their distinct contents, sometimes it can be very difficult to provide the idea of a cohesive body of work avoiding written explanations.

As written several times into this CRJ, “I can hear you now” has an introductive section made of videos (in which the subject matter becomes more and more clear proceeding in their analysis), a connective part in which those in motion images start having the same contents and style of the stills, a series of Sequences created using long-exposure and contact sheets’ technique (the action here is frozen in frames), a series of Confrontation sheets to help viewers to analyse and identify my sitters’ emotions with the support of texts (used also in some videos to improve the sense of cohesiveness), a series of black and white triptychs, the starting point of the whole project, in which I commonly portray my subjects before-during-after the act of screaming, photographs depicting short stories and details (with texts, again) that represent what’s behind those screams.

The tricky job is to provide, then, a sense of progression and continuity in connecting all these sections: a very difficult task, especially when our Professors and Tutors have a lot of students to evaluate and a brief period of time to work with us.

But what will happen when I will have to create a Portfolio to be presented to an audience external to Falmouth University for a specific purpose? In that case, of course, I will select only a part of the project, in accordance to who my interlocutor is and what his requirements are and then I could provide a link to an official “I can hear you now” website.

In my case, I would evaluate an exclusively printed portfolio only to submit my work for a potential publication: since the video section is very important in its development, for different purposes I will always present (with or without a printed series of photographs) an online version.

At the moment I published only a small selection of images online, mostly using Social Media, because before publishing an official Portfolio I want to understand how viewers on different platforms will respond to my current practice compared to the previous one.

Market, Audience and Commercial aspects

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – INDIPENDENT REFLECTION

During one of the weekly activities, we have been asked to identify our Market and our Audience, while describing how we intend to commercialise our work.

While into the Discussion Forum I presented some examples of how I managed my past commercial work, especially the one linked to Wedding Photography, in terms of pricing, I think that my “I can hear you now” project should not be considered as a commercial one: this is why I never contemplated the idea of selling prints of my work since its subject matter is quite sensitive due to the fact that I usually portray my sitters during a moment of release of their inner discomfort. Selling those specific images would seem like disrespecting their role in my work, their trust in me during the portrait phase.

On the other hand, I am now following a brand new direction: I am creating “Behind a scream” portraits that could be consumed both as single images or as parts of small stories. My intentions would be to create small self-published books containing those images and a few sentences that start a small narration referring to those photographs. Those images, in my opinion, could be sold because, even if they portray the stories of some people I portrayed and those stories I am being inspired by, like the suicidal of a very dear friend of mine, they don’t directly use the identity of my sitters, but I created them by asking one of them and another woman to recreate those situation in the most symbolic way possible. The people I portrayed, in this way, would be “protected”, as they deserve to be.

I am still analysing what the best way to publish and distribute them might be, and I don’t deny that I would be interested in displaying my work in a small Gallery, using it to participate to Art and Photography contests, also to receive further feedbacks or reviews and in its publication for a Fine Art or Photography Magazine.

Moreover, I am currently using “I can hear you now” to find a mentor for a potential PhD related to its subject matter, so that I could further develop it in a brand new research connecting Photography and Psychology/Sociology.

I had the chance to discuss my work by contacting the Italian Ministry of  Education office dedicated to Researches’ funding to understand if scholarships and funding for this kind of research could have been available. After a positive response, I opted to contact the President of the Boarding of Professors and Researchers in Clinical Psychology for all Italian Universities and, hopefully, I will have a meeting with him in the future to properly discuss how my research might fit into the Academic environment related to Psychology since I am not a Psychologist myself. His perspective and professional expertise will be crucial to understand the future of my project and mine.

I guess, then, that this could be considered as a different way to “sell” my work: not for money, but to develop my research by generating a stronger scientific background to engage a constructive discussion around the topic, which has always been my main aim.

My audience and my market do not coincide: the first one is still anyone who want to face, also individually speaking, my subject matter. I would also say that I am definitely interested in a collaboration with non-profit Organisations linked to mental-health care, and all those Art-related realities that might empowered the consumption of my work.

At the same time, my market should be considered a potential tutor for a future PhD.

Innovative Distribution

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – CREATIVE CHALLENGE

This week we have been asked to try to find a new, innovative and alternative way to distribute our imagery avoiding to publish it in a magazine or newspaper, online or to make prints. At the beginning I was considering to create a limited series of hand-made Box projectors for Smartphones by following the instructions of a tutorial I found on Youtube:

“$3 Box Projector”, HouseholdHacker, Video tutorial released on HouseholdHacker Youtube Channel on June 2011.

Since my project is not only constituted by still images, but by videos as well it could have been a good alternative way to share my material. After considering this idea, anyway, I realised that, even if fascinating, it would have not involved a wide audience and so the distribution potential could have been not high enough to cover the price of realisation and distribution. Moreover, since for this activity we have been asked not to share a work published online, I would have had to send the video, to be projected using the box, via e-mail using Wetransfer: that would have been risky in terms of Copyright protection and in terms of control of the use that might have be done of the video itself after its distribution.

I decided, then, to completely re-think the concept of alternative distribution and Inspired by an experiment done for the European Institute of Design (IED) by Susanna Farina, a Fashion Designer I had the chance to work with, and Rachele Bonato, I decided to consider temporary tattoos as an alternative way to distribute my work in different Cities of the world.

Susanna and Rachele’s small project “Si usano gli specchi per guardarsi il viso e si usa l’arte per guardarsi l’anima”, English translation: “You use glass mirrors to see your face, you use work of Art to see your soul” (Shaw, 1921), created for their exam of Phenomenology of Contemporary Art, meant to reproduce famous Art pieces on skin in order to present a different way to join Art and souls, analysing that George Bernard Shaw’s quote they also used as title.

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“Si usano gli specchi per guardarsi il viso e si usa l’arte per guardarsi l’anima”, selection of images from the project. ©Rachele Bonato and Susanna Farina, 2017.

In my case, the same procedure could become a new way to present and “consume” my project generating further interest on its subject matter.

Doing some online research, I found an Italian distributor that creates temporary tattoos that last for, at least, 7 days on the skin http://www.labottegadeltatuaggio.it/ and that also create photographic reproductions. The cost for a 7x10cm reproduction oscillates from 7 to 10€, but in case of multiple orders and those mentioned photographic reproductions, the price can be discussed.

What I would like to do is to ask 10 friends living in different Cities, and Countries, in which I previously created my work (such as London, Los Angeles, Paris and Milan) to wear their own portrait for seven days on their skin. Under those portraits there will be the url of my project’s Instagram Profile, so that everyone who will see those tattoos could have the chance to visit that page and to better understand what this project is about.

I would like to make my project becoming more international, this is why I would like to involve those people who have been my sitters and actually live in different parts of the world: asking them to do some networking for me and to show those temporary tattoos to the people they will meet during that week, I might catch the attention of a wider audience and, at the same time, each one of my sitters would both work as “human canvas” and promoter. They could also ask those people they meet to take a snapshot of their temporary tattoo and to publish it on Instagram with the tag #icanhearyounow: in this way, I would respect what required, meaning not to publish that material online, because I will not have the necessity to do so, since viewers’ themselves could do that for me making become that “Innovative distribution” experiment viral.

 

References:

Bernard Shaw George, Back to Methuselah, As far as Thought can be Reach, Chapter V, 1921, Constable, London,UK.

Bonato Rachele, Farina Susanna, Si usano gli specchi per guardarsi il viso e si usa l’arte per guardarsi l’anima, June 2017, Phenomenology of Contemporary Art project at IED Institute, Turin, Italy.

La Bottega del tatuaggio, official website  http://www.labottegadeltatuaggio.it/

 

Oral Presentation: basic structure and list of contents

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – INDIPENDENT REFLECTION

During the last two weeks I analysed those contents that necessarily had to be shared while discussing my Oral Presentation. Of course, many topics still need to be touched and so, at this stage, I was only able to compile a list of contents that should be developed during my brief dissertation.

I would start with a brief introduction of the project, talking about:

  • What is I can hear you now (define the work/general);
  • My project, born from personal experience (why I created it/what are its aims/similar experiences in others and support for them and viewers while supporting myself);
  • Why the act of screaming (meaning, social exclusion, sense of awkward, research done);
  • Why this work can be significant as piece of art and for participants;
  • Why those different styles in portraying those screams;
  • Focus on the idea of avoiding clichés (facial expressions) and visual references;
  • How I developed those new symbolic images to portray what is behind those screams: details and “conceptual” portraits (interaction with images: viewers can end those stories in their minds, movements of the heads to read them, visual and conceptual references).

Then, I focused on those materials created during this module, even if I will have to wait for those new contents that will be shared during next weeks of this Module, so to have a complete am clearer point of view of what I will learn. I would definitely opt for a comparison with my previous work:

  1. Differences in the used techniques (triptychs, confrontation sheets, contact sheets, behind a scream images),
  2. What I kept and what I further developed,
  3. What changed in my methodologies and why/comparison with previous modules;
  4. The involvement of different professionals (a neuropsychologist, a doula and a historian/researcher at this stage);
  5. The involvement of other artist for a collaboration (future contents that I already planned).

I will surely discuss how I developed some ideas:

  • The creation of a video portraying one of my viewer becoming a sitter while watching my self-portrait video (I am filming a girl who will look at my video while, potentially, projecting some of my images directly on her. Aims: to detect and portray the emotional reactions of the audience while consuming my work) + Visual and Conceptual References (Why they fit into my project and how);
  • The creation of details (images + texts that symbolically portray those emotions behind a scream. Brief explanation of the use that will be done of those images) + Visual and Conceptual References (Why they fit into my project and how);
  • The creation of “conceptual” portraits (single images and sequences + texts to narrate small stories that represent those emotions behind those screams and that can be used to create videos related to the same contents during next Modules) + Visual and Conceptual References (Why they fit into my project and how).

And how I used what explained during Module 4:

  • Business and Marketing plans (how they have been useful for my project and how they can be further developed);
  • Networking and Social Media related topics (the potential role in the project);
  • Currently evaluating a PhD as a potential future working experience since my work is based on research mostly and it could become a starting point to further investigate those potential uses of Photography as a tool for Psychological Research and how it could be used as part of the therapy to face some psychological Disorders.

Something necessary to the development of my project “I can hear you now” will be a brief analysis of what worked and what did not work, focusing on all aspects of my project:

  • Long-exposure contact and confrontation sheets (feedbacks/why);
  • Details (feedbacks/why);
  • Conceptual portraits (feedbacks/why);
  • Experimental approach (feedbacks/why);
  • Video (feedbacks/why);
  • Research (feedbacks/why).

To conclude, then, I will present what are my purposes for the future, like:

  • Improve my video-making skills to produce higher-quality video materials;
  • Collaboration with more artists;
  • Further experimentation with images;
  • Increase interactive elements in my research;
  • Enhance and reinforce the scientific perspective by analysing my works with other professionals;
  • To submit my work for Portfolio reviews/Magazines/Photographic contests/potential small exhibitions to achieve further professional feedbacks.

There are a lot of things and topics that must be analysed while creating an Oral Presentation in order to meet all those requirements and Learning Outcomes necessary to pass this assignments and to effectively present my work. I will have to pay attention to those topics that are absolutely vital for the presentation itself and to be brief, but exhaustive, while touching those points that need to be indicated but that do not require a long-time attention because less important compared to others. Focusing too much on the wrong topic might take me to fail the assignment, in my opinion, because at this stage it is important also to be able to effectively discuss our project and its implications and developments.

POST-SUBMISSION UPDATES

Since this module is focused on the sustainability of our projects and, more broadly, our practice as photographers, I opted to include information extrapolated from my Marketing and Business Plans and from the article I wrote about the website I would like to create for “I can hear you now”.

The use and impact of Social Media, our strategy for the future and the potential Market for our works have been also clearly defined, with an eye of those possibilities that are now open due to my collaborations with other Artists and Professionals from different areas of expertise.

Visual, conceptual, cultural and artistic references have been provided in order to generate a stronger context to the materials produced so far.

Meet Someone New – A night walk into Vatican Galleries

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – PHOTOGRAPHER’S PLAYBOOK

For this assignment, we have been asked to meet someone new and interview this person about the place where he or she lives and make notes about his or her impressions. What we had to do was to use these information as a guide for a piece of work that is rooted in someone else’s vision of a place: but avoiding to photograph the person we have interviewed.

“This activity is aimed at showing us that by taking on a co-author, you will engage with a more pointedly collaborative model for your work, one that can perhaps present people in more inclusive, complex, and empowering ways”.

Since I just moved to Rome and I live nearby Vatican City, I decided to participate to a guided night walking tour of Vatican Galleries, which are about twelve minutes on foot from my house. I wanted to see the most famous attraction into my neighbourhood and I wanted to portray it by following the words of my guide Ferdinando, who has a MA in Fine Arts and who dedicated his past studies to Vatican Galleries: this to portray what he was showing us during that visit and, basically, to make my viewers “relive” that experience and guide them with my images as I have been guided by his words. His explanations have been driven by his knowledge acquired thanks to years of studies, adding a sort of “further level” to this small project.

One thing must be said: it is strictly forbidden to take photographs inside the Cappella Sistina, this is why I only portrayed it from the outside.

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“A night-walk into Vatican Galleries”, Slideshow. ©Dayana Marconi 2017. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

 

References:

Brown Michael Christopher, in Jason Fulford, Gregory Halpern and Mike Slack The Photographer’s Playbook, 2014, Aperture Publications, NY, USA.