PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTIVES

Sunday, 21 April 2013




Photography isn’t traditionally considered a team sport. But, taking their cue from established member-run agencies such as Magnum, VII and Noor, emerging photographers and curators are exploring new modes of cooperative working. Photographic partnerships, artist-run spaces and, overwhelmingly, photo collectives are on the rise.

The two young photographers behind Fourteen Nineteen met aged 16, when Lewis Chaplin featured some images by Alex F. Webb in an online magazine he was working on. “We came together because there was a lack of a platform for younger photographers and artists to have their work displayed,” says Alex. “We were doing similar things and had similar concerns about representing our generation of photographers but once we did it it together, it worked out much better,” Lewis adds. They now run an online gallery, a publishing imprint and an annual photography book market, among other projects.

Often collectives grow organically from student friendships – as in the case of documentary photography and film collective Aletheia Photos. “At first it was a case of us wanting to keep in touch with each other and carry on the community aspect you get at university where you get feedback on your work,” recalls Aletheia's Dan Giannopoulos. Having a forum to swap constructive criticism helps ensure you don't stagnate creatively after leaving formal education. Aletheia has recruited two further members but the spirit of the university 'crit' endures, albeit with a professional flavour. “I’m able to say, ‘I don’t like this image’ or, ‘You need to go back and shoot it this way’ and we all appreciate that we’re not doing that to be negative,” says Dan. “It’s because we want the work on our site to be the best possible quality.”



Image by James M. Turley, on a Creative Commons license.

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