Tag Archive: luceo images
Kamerades is a new collective of photojournalists based in Belgrade who have come together to help develop independent photography in Serbia and to work on group projects documenting contemporary stories. They are currently working together to photograph the Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections, which will take place on Sunday May 6, 2012. These six photographers are contributing their own hard-edged and sardonic vision of the Serbian electoral process and how it reflects Serbian society. They call the project “Dirty Season”.
I think it is an important step for this group and Serbian photography in general to work on such collective projects, with financial support, and to have a community of like-minded photographers working together to get photographs published in their own voice. It is not easy, especially not here, but I admire their energy and efforts. With this in mind I had a few questions for the Kamerades crew about their formation and backgrounds. Given the timeliness of their new project with the elections this week, I chose not to show a portfolio of their work but this current electoral group project which I am so excited about. It is an incredible portrait of Serbia during this election cycle.
Kamerades is Saša Čolić, Nemanja Jovanović, Milovan Milenković, Nemanja Pančić, Marko Risović and Marko Rupena. As a group they regularly post to the Kamerades Blog including updates to the Election story, which they present without captions or credits.
So how did this group of photographers come together? Where did you meet?
Jovanovic: Marko Risovic, Milovan Milenkovic and I participated in a photography lecture supported by World Press Photo back in 2009. That was the first time that we showed some of our work to a group of people larger than three. I was swept by Marko [Risovic]’s Legionnaire story for example and one thing led to another. Milovan suggested that we meet and talk about doing “something” for Serbian photography, even if it means taking only baby steps. After two years of meeting in various pubs and places that would be too generous to call restaurants, speaking and inviting over 20 people to join us, this is what came out of it.
Pancic: Milovan Milenkovic and Nemanja Jovanovic initiated the idea that after our work when we have free time, we can meet at the pub and discuss our work. At first point it brought together a large number of photographers, but over the time there were six of us remained and those were the most persistent ones. During this period, which lasted some two years, we have become a collective. It’s started to affect in a positive way to all of us as photographers, but we also became close friends. In the end we decided to launch a website that allowed us to show our work to the public.
What backgrounds as photographers do you have? Freelance, agencies, newspapers?
Jovanovic: Probably every possible background you can think of! In Serbia, you don’t get a paycheck doing and specializing in only one kind of photography.
Risovic: All of the guys in Kamerades collective were working for Media outlets at some point. At the moment few of us are trying to freelance. In Serbia. Can you imagine?
Pancic: Some of us are working in the agencies, some try to be freelancers, and some in the press.
Was there a moment when this group came together and decided that it was time to work collectively? What was it? What gave you guys the idea to work together?
Jovanovic: Yes. The idea was not so clear in the beginning, but it was there all along. From start we were determined to “push each other forward” and to try to do what we like for no other reason. No money, no awards, fame or glory were important, only escaping our everyday routine which included participating in the inevitable decline of journalism, photojournalism and photography in Serbia. The collective came as a logical solution.
Risovic: Being colleagues, working next to each other for years, we were silent witnesses of degradation of photojournalism in Serbia. We realized that sitting and despairing doesn’t lead us anywhere. So, we decided to pursue some action, and besides hanging around, talking and drinking in the pubs, we tried to be constructive. As Nemanja said before, it was a process, but it was clear from the very beginning that we all have common goal.
How did the website come together? What are you hoping to accomplish with the website (that is, to sell work? to share pictures? promoting yourselves, promoting Serbia, just looking bad-ass, etc.)? Where did the design and logo come from?
Jovanovic: It took some time. We are not experienced in that kind of stuff, so we were learning the basics, step by step. We were lucky enough to be 6 people with completely different interests, knowledge, personalities, approach in photography, but we somehow clicked perfectly together, and it resulted in the fact everybody got their part of job. Mostly Sasha who whipped and pissed off rest of us (or, took the piss out of the rest of us), and Milovan who did logo and design details after approximately nine million e-mails and discussions about the same issue. Also, we had a lot of help from friends, like our colleague Darko Stanimirovic who did the website. A lot of people gave different advices, Matt Lutton among them [ed: happy to help guys!], Donald Weber from VII agency and our friends photographers, designers and editors from Serbia and abroad.
Selling our work is every photographer’s job of course, but with this portfolio we mostly seek attention and hope to sell something in the future, maybe to get some assignments that would suit our style/wishes. And looking cool is one of the goals, of course! We are pretty much terrible musicians and we couldn’t be rock stars, so we took cameras. Chicks love it!
Pancic: As I said before, the website has come as a result of our meetings during the past two years. One idea that keeps us together is that we want to show our work to world around us, we believe that as a collective we have a better chance to get more publicity and through joint actions provide us new projects. Logo design came from a smart push by Milovan Milenkovic, multitalented and good looking guy.
Risovic: Basic thing that bothered us from the beginning was the fact that when you simply google documentary photography and Serbia together, you don’t get any of the serious websites with representative work. There are great documentary photographers and photojournalists in Serbia. Believe us! We hope to change this with our website. And to look badass, it goes well with the fame.
Read on »
Students, there is no reason not to enter Luceo’s Student Project Award. There’s no fee, there’s a cash prize, if you win you get mentorship from a member of Luceo, and the judges are top notch. Luceo is an organization that puts its money where its mouth is. I know this firsthand. You owe it to yourself to apply for this prize.
And you don’t have much time left. The deadline is 11:59pm EST on May 15, 2011. Submission information is available on the Luceo site.
Two collectives are putting their money where their mouths are and supporting new journalism. It’s great to see this kind of effort and monetary support rising up from within the ranks of photographers.
Luceo Images’ Student Project Award is due real soon, but you still have time to submit. From the call for entries: “Central to LUCEO’s mission is our belief in the importance of long-term projects. We also understand that developing photographers need support. To advance both of these causes, LUCEO has created the Luceo Student Project Award, which will be disbursed annually to a talented student photographer in support of a significant and developing body of work.” One winner will receive $1000 to pursue the project as well as direct mentorship from one member of Luceo Images.
MJR’s film grant aims to support film-based projects, and will grant $500 to one photographer. More than that, the group wants “to start a conversation. This is where the information/drinks evening, portfolio reviews and the winner’s event come into play – it’s all an opportunity for us to get to know you and for you to get to know the wider photographic community.”
I know many photographers worry that their work isn’t good enough to win these sorts of competitions, but the only sure way not to win is not to enter. You lose nothing by entering, and gain valuable experience of editing a story or portfolio. If you’re even halfway thinking about entering, do it!
Be sure to check out more calls for entry on our photo calendar.
David Walter Banks (previously interviewed) wrote in to tell us about the upcoming Luceo Images and MJR publication and one-night exhibition at 25CPW in New York City. The event will take place Thursday, Janaury 21, 2010, from 6-10pm at 25 Central Park West at the intersection of 62nd Street. The folks at Luceo and MJR are good friends of dva. The groups both have a ton of photo mojo, and it’s great to see their efforts combined. I asked Banks a few questions about the publication and event. His answers are excerpted below:
dvafoto: What got Luceo and MJR together? How long have you been working on this project?
David Walter Banks/Luceo: Various members of LUCEO and MJR have become friends over the past couple years, and had some time to spend together at LUCEO’s last two biannual meetings in NYC and then again at the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville. The show and publication have been at least 6 months in the making that I can remember….
Why a publication?
Both groups have strong editorial ties as well as work that leans more toward the fine-art world, so the publication was a mix between the two. The idea was to create something tangible and lasting instead of just a one-night event. It’s also the concept of taking the idea of a magazine, and creating a limited edition collectible art piece out of it. A publication that in our eyes warrants large-scale reproduction and display space on a gallery wall. To this end, the focus is more on the print piece instead of the show itself, but the catch is that you have to attend to receive the publication.
Will we be seeing new work? Whose work will be in the show (all the photographers in each collective or just a selection?)?
The piece and show will feature work from each photographer involved in the two groups, as well as the craftsmanship of the designer and editor we had the good fortune of collaborating with. The show will feature some old work and some new, but certainly all in a different presentation than before.
The release says “Issue One” — will Issue Two also be Luceo and MJR, or is the first issue testing the waters for something bigger? When will we see #2?
We’re not ready to announce anything yet, but the door is open, and this will certainly not be the end of our collaborations with MJR, who have been the driving force behind the publication….
I wouldn’t say the show is just testing the waters, because I do believe it is an end and not just a means, but it is a sign of what’s to come. Both of these groups have similar feelings about collaborating and building bridges within the photographic community and beyond. I believe each group will build from this experience and take that forward into future endeavors.
Luceo is: David Walter Banks, Kendrick Brinson, Matt Eich, Kevin German, Tim Lytvinenko, Daryl Peveto, Matt Slaby
MJR is: Mustafah Abdulaziz, Ying Ang, Matthew Craig, Julius Metoyer, Gareth Phillips, Brandon Thibodeaux
Matt Slaby wrote in to tell us that our friends over at Luceo have just unveiled a new site. More cohesive than the old, the site feels much more like a cooperative whole than before. In the email, Slaby called it “a big step” for the group, something that “really gets beyond just being a collective and into something that’s a lot more cooperative and a lot more interesting.” Great to see these folks doing so well. And in case you missed it the first time around, here’s an old interview we did with two of Luceo, Matt Slaby and David Walter Banks.
Luceo Images has joined the fray of print sales online. Their anniversary sale includes 4 prints from each of the 6 Luceo photographers. Lots of good pictures there.
I’ve also noticed a few other photographers getting into online print sales lately. Davin Ellicson has some prints from his great Maramures project available through Anzenberger. Stephen Voss has an Obama print for sale in a limited edition. Gallery owner Daniel Cooney has a new edition of his Emerging Photographers’ Auction up at iGavel, featuring Susana Raab among others. (PDN previously talked with Cooney about the auctions) Christopher Barbour launched a limited edition print sale to help cover his rent. It sounds like the resurrected JPG Magazine will be getting into prints, too. By far, though, my favorite print seller has got to be Zoe Strauss. Any picture on her website can be had, in 7×9 color xerox form, for $5. She also has an annual print sale/exhibition where the $5 xeroxes hang underneath I-95. Here some images I found on flickr of the 2006 exhibition. And, of course, the big guns are over at Jen Bekman’s 20×200, which is a pretty innovative mixture of support for emerging artists and an attempt to introduce art collecting to people who haven’t done it before. All of this is nice to see, given the collapsing art market.
Want to get started in the print business? PDN just recently posted a video talking with Cole Thompson about how he generates as much as $20,000 in annual revenue through online print sales of his black and white photography.
The other problem is figuring out the tools to make selling prints online easy. Photoshelter’s got you covered, of course, but so do Printroom and Smugmug. I’m also a fan of Adorama’s printing, but last I used them, they weren’t set up to have direct ordering from your clients. American Frame will take care of your framing, I’m told. (apologies if that reads like an ad; just a smattering of services with which I have had good experiences)
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.