Monday, June 9, 2008

Santa Fe

Well I survived another portfolio review session. I think I came away with the same conclusions about my work as I did after the Fotofest reviews in March: I need to photograph MORE. I was so impressed and somewhat jealous of several of the projects I saw in Santa Fe. The quality of work as a whole surpassed that of the photographs I saw during my session at Fotofest. Even more important than the feedback I got on my work were the relationships I made with photo editors, gallery and museum directors as well as photographers from all across the country. It might sound so silly however it truly is inspiring to meet the photographer behind the photographs. I too seemed to have my own fan base out there. I met several people who recognized my work when I handed them a card featuring Sale–the floral vending machine image.

I find it funny that during these type of events people tend to form little groups. I'm not sure exactly how or why certain photographers group together. Is it a common theme among the works? Is it a shared background or city? I happened to be one of the few participants not from New York. Although I still think of Brooklyn as home I was happy to be representing Texas. I found myself surrounded by several wonderful female photographers who gladly shared their work and critiqued my own. And of course there were a few male photographers who braved to look at my Repository project. One photographer named John mentioned he'd seen my work on Center's site and had grown up in a family of gynecologists. It was quite wonderful talking with a man about the work and him knowing more than me in some cases about the subject matter and terminology.

It was great running in to familiar faces such as Mary Virgina Swanson, Ann Pallesen Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching, Michael Mazzeo, Carrie Villines and Rachel Dunville. I also had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Small who'd I'd exhibited with and Jennifer Boomer whose work has been introduced to me by photographer Timothy Briner. This little world of ours seems to get smaller by the minute.

While I didn't have the opportunity to personally meet all 100 photographers and see their work at this years reviews I met several passionate photographers who I seemed to gravitate towards. I would say the person whose work was most closely related to my own was that of Katie Almanas. She too makes work which is extremely personal to her involving a medical theme. Yet her take is quite unexpected, beautifully composed and at times quirky. Katie's work was actually introduced to me at the review by photographer Rebecca Sitller Schrock who like Katie uses food as one of her subjects. Although looking at Rebecca's images on the website is nothing compared to seeing her large scale color photographs which are really exquisite. I do hope she wants to trade one day, hint hint!

I can't leave the boys out......I did see several great projects by male photographers such as Jason DeMarte, Eric Percher, Colin Blakely, and Ben Handzo.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their work with me and who were kind enough to look at and review my work. If nothing else happens which I really do hope something BIG comes from my meetings, I have one or two new projects in mind as well as some idea of how to continue current works. Now all I need is to find funding!