Looks like A Photo Editor beat me to this with a post earlier today, but M. Scott can attest that I first zeroed in on this comment by Alec Soth on the (newly revitalized) Magnum Photos Blog last night (Seattle time).
“When the photographers ask you why they should participate in such a thing, what’s the answer?”
What a great question Mike. Here is my thinking in a nutshell:
If Magnum is still around in ten years, I think it will be because Magnum has learned how to become its own producer. Rather than waiting for some new online magazine to rise from the ashes of print media, Magnum has the opportunity to become its own content-provider. But to do this, Magnum needs to learn how to work in quick-moving media like this blog. I see the Magnum Blog as a kind of training camp for things to come. (Such as InSight, but more on this later).
Beyond the ‘if we’re still around in 10 years’ sentiment (damn I hope they’re still around in ten years), Soth brings up an interesting point about the idea of an agency, or any group of photographers, getting together to produce the work themselves and provide their own outlet. Beyond being a really smart idea, it might just be the only way we survive as photographers in something like the model of the past. We can attest: it is damn, damn hard to get work out there.
In some ways, this is exactly what M. Scott and I are trying to do here with dvafoto… provide an outlet, develop our own audience. And not just for our own work, but to develop this for the work that we love and think needs to get out there. Reminds me of what our friends over at Luceo Images have also been talking a lot about this last week or so about collaboration and sharing and this is manifested in their own collective. Read for yourself at Kevin German’s blog Wandering Light, but also on the blogs of Matt Slaby and (coming full circle, huzzah!) A Photo Editor.