As some of you know, I’ve been struggling with a leg injury for the past couple of months. It’s been quite a big source of frustration – not least because it means I can’t get out on any photowalks or do any photoshoots at the moment. I’ve ended up having to put a few things on hold, including Bristol Trans Portraits which was due to return this month.
While I can’t take new photos, I’ve been trying to look for new and different ways to engage with my photography, and this brings me to my first bit of news!
I’m so, so excited to say that back in January the Royal Photographic Society invited me to be part of their Critical Friends group – a small collection of photographers appointed to review diversity and inclusion within the RPS. There are some really interesting and passionate photographers involved in this group – read more about them here if you’d like to see who else is involved!
We’ve had two meetings so far, which involved some general introductions and broad discussion around the topics of diversity and inclusion. I’m really looking forward to future meetings, so we can start getting into the details of how the RPS needs to improve and what actions it can take to do so. My impression of the RPS has always been that it’s a very middle-class, white, male-dominated organisation – much like the whole of the photography industry in this country! I’m hoping that my perspective will be able to highlight some of the barriers facing working-class photographers, along with providing insight into the experiences of queer/trans people in involved with photography.
On another level, I feel as though I’ve already learnt a lot from being part of this group, simply through listening to people whose experiences differ from my own. Until January I wasn’t aware of the existence of the Disabled Photographers’ Society; its Chairman, Tom Molloy, has really opened my eyes to some of the industry barriers facing disabled photographers – something I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t really considered before. One of the most mind-boggling things discussed in our first meeting is that camera companies don’t make left-handed DSLR cameras! This is not merely a frustration for those who are left-handed but, as Tom explained, makes photography pretty inaccessible to anyone with an injury or disability involving their right arm.
Once we’ve had a few more meetings, I’m planning to do another blog post summarising some of our discussion points. In the meantime, if any of my photography pals have anything you want me to raise, DM me on instagram or pop me an email!
Another way I’ve been engaging with photography recently is by sorting through my archive to figure out which images can be used for stock! I’ve been wanting to investigate stock photography for a while, but it’s one of those things that I never quite got around to – if nothing else, my leg injury has at least given me the opportunity to finally do it! I’m now a contributor on iStock and Arcangel, and I think I’m going try and register with Alamy as well. I have no idea whether stock photography will be worth it or not; microstock websites like iStock give pretty low commission, and the general opinion seems to be that it’s getting harder and harder to make money out of stock photography. We’ll see how it goes – whatever happens, it might make for an interesting blog post in the future?
My last little piece of news is more of a teaser than anything! I’ve had a few new shop ideas, including some postcard designs that are in the works. I might even make them into badges and magnets too, because that sounds fun! I won’t be announcing them properly until they’re finished but here’s a quick sneak preview of how they might look: