For my phonar project I’m wanting to explore gay culture and I’ve been struggling to think of how to explore it photographically. So far I’ve been reading articles and trying to ground myself with a concept, so that I have a direction to take the project in. What I’ve been struggling with though is how do I get into this community of the ‘gay scene’, I want to explore gay culture through other peoples stories but don’t know how to start a dialog with these people.
The talk from Marcus Bleasdale addresses this problem I’ve been having and has started to make it a bit clearer. Bleasdales first bit of advice for this would be to understand the issue, to ground yourself with a concept and this will allow you to connect with what is happening. Then you start to engage, because its this engagement and passion that is vital in creating a significant body of work. But a body of work is something that may not happen on one visit, it takes persistence and for you to revisit the project time and time again, to cover previously missed opportunities.
Although I am still not clear as to how exactly to make the first steps in gaining access to this community, I feel I am on the right track in researching the project. It is becoming clearer to me that to create something significant then I’m going to have to carry this on after Phonar.
Bleasdale also talks about engaging a wider audience, not just people that will already be interested in the project but also people that may not have considered looking into the project. As photographic practitioners today we aren’t faced with the same challenges as the profession once faced, we don’t have to get an editor interested to consider publishing our work, we already have those tools available to us. We can self publish and take control of who our work reaches by utilising the various online platforms that exist.