Updated: Dec 18, 2021
Has my audiences had an influence on my image making? The simple answer is yes.
In the spaces where I share my work (predominantly on social media) I have tailored my style and subjects to gain more reactions and followers.
After posting images into Facebook groups and receiving thousands of 'likes,' I wanted to continue what I was doing because it felt great and I loved the images I'd produced. Then the reactions to my images slowed down and became almost non-existent yet I was producing the same kind of works. It then started to feel like my works actually may not be that good after all and I realised that I had become caught up in the instant gratification society.
This is part of the reason I now produce imagery that I like. I am my audience. I still share my works so that anyone who wants to be part of my audience can be, but I don't want to force people to consume my images.
I have also slowed my work down. I do not use mobile phone cameras for my work, it's too instant and takes the artistry out of the practice (in my opinion). I still shoot with DSLR's and even a mirrorless camera but by far, I prefer my analogue cameras.
Since getting back into analogue photography, I have seen there is a huge community still practicing these methods worldwide. This is the kind of audience I aspire to appeal to but also I want to inspire young people who have never seen these practices (except maybe in the movies).
I am unsure of which institutions I’d like to engage with specifically. I’d like to compete in competitions and engage with manufacturers.
As I am already a professional instructor (in an unrelated field), I feel my skill set will only need minor adjustments to be able to teach photography so connections within schools and colleges would also be a major advantage.
For competitions and working/engaging with manufacturers of photographic equipment, I will need to continue to strive for technical perfection as well as building a strong portfolio.
Practitioners that I see standing out are the likes of Ansel Adams and his work with the US government in relation to the protection of national parks. Also Henry Fox Talbot for the his contribution to photography and how the early audiences were actually from other disciplines (politics and sciences).
Ansel Adams, Yosemite, (n.d), https://erickimphotography.com/blog/ansel-adams/