The Advanced Photography Workshops with Jorge Parra

Natural Light Fashion Photo-Shoot with students of Jorge Parra
Advanced Photography Workshops with Jorge Parra

Starting on March 2017, Jorge Parra Photography will offer a series of Advanced Photography Workshops for selected participants, in an intimate atmosphere, where only 10-12 photographers will attend each hands-on workshop. This will allow the one-on-one training that each participant deserves to REALLY improve their visual arts skills and the creative development of his/her portfolio.

Based on the experience gained from teaching for several years at the Miami Ad School, plus the previous private San Francisco and Miami Workshops, Jorge Parra Photography has selected the following content for the upcoming trainings:

 – SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY: an interesting trend has now become a powerful form of expression, and the participants of this workshop will greatly improve their skills at shooting with their smartphones , first by learning the professional tricks on how to use the capabilities of your own smartphone, plus further improving their images without ever leaving their phone, using editing apps for even better results.

– PORTRAITS AND LIGHTING: this is a basic training, so participants can get comfortable with the use of artificial lighting in studio, plus manipulated natural light, to obtain fantastic results which will improve the quality of their portraits.

 – FASHION AND BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHY: although the name is obvious, this training is aimed at those who already have some good knowledge of lighting (both natural and artificial) and want to improve their own personal style by shooting models on location and/or studio, conceptualized as an editorial for a magazine. Wardrobe, from casual to swimwear to couture, plus Hair and Make Up Stylists will be provided.

 -THE FINE ART BODYSCAPE: A powerful workshop dedicated to study the human figure and how to develop creative and artistic images, where concepts, composition and lighting will lead the way to obtain meaningful images. Models, Make Up, Styling and Props will be provided, so each participant can approach the body from his /her own vision.

NOTE: All workshops include either online or live review of the work done by participants, so, unlike other workshops, there is TRUE ADDED VALUE THROUGH REAL MENTORING, in order to assist participants in their creative portfolio development. Each Workshop has it’s own inherent characteristics, so the mentoring process will be disclosed along with detailed info when participants register.

 Please contact us for mode details about the upcoming workshops with Jorge Parra in Miami

WORKSHOPS FEES: 

Cash and Credit / Debit Cards will be accepted on the premises. However, We can not guarantee slots available for unregistered, Walk-Ins. On-Site Registration and Payment will proceed on a first-come-first-served basis.

In order to guarantee your participation in the workshop,  you will find a simple way to safely register and pay, using PayPal  in the secure link below, BEFORE the actually dates of the workshops.

http://jorgeparra.com/pages/advanced-workshops-registration-and-payment/

You do NOT need a PayPal account to use this cart. Just use the “Guest” option! Just the same, we will never receive your payment information details!

Many Thanks and See You Soon!

Miami Advertising Photographer Jorge Parra launches the NEW Synthetic Habitat Website

 

ARCH-PROMO_NOV2015_

Advertising Photographer Jorge Parra is well known as a People Photographer, shooting Advertising, Fashion, Beauty and Portrait Photography for over 2 decades.
However, a number of Creative Directors as well as Architects and Designers who recognize and value Jorge’s vision, have been pushing him out of his comfort zone, by inviting him to shoot architectural and interior design projects. The logic behind these requests was the interest of these creatives in exploring different approaches to  photographing  places and spaces from a fresh perspective.

For this reason, Jorge has been working on a series of photographic projects in Architecture and Interior Design, mostly focused on the Leisure and Luxury markets, shooting Hotels, Spas, Restaurants, as well as private residences and vacation villas.

In addition to these visual challenges, Jorge has been traveling around the world, shooting some large-scale fantastic Lighting Design Projects for public spaces in distant cities like Ankara in Turkey, Dublin in Ireland and Madrid, Spain, and the most recent project was shot in Washing DC, here in the USA. Lighting Design Photography is an area where only a few photographers have been successfully involved.

The resulting body of work includes visuals for Conde Nast Traveler, Luxe Magazine, Hilton Hotels, SLS Hotels, Mandarin Hotels, Ritz Carlton Hotels, several travel and luxury commercial and private residential projects, plus the cool lighting design projects.

Please, visit Jorge’s totally new website for the Synthetic Habitat Project and feel free to make contact to discus you upcoming visual needs in these fields.

                                    www.SyntheticHabitat.com

Jorge ‘s next and natural phase for The Synthetic Habitat Project involve a fine mixing and blend of his favorite visual themes: Fashion and Architecture, putting together all his skills, in an ongoing series of images to be published soon!
Cheers!!

Are Followers Replacing Professional Talent in Advertising?

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 9.25.00 AM

 Those who enjoy talking about the Digital Disruption or Digital Divide will encounter a fine material and food for thought is this post. I decided to wait a bit after the original hoopla was already gone, regarding this amazing situation, and here’s a brief description of it all:

Earlier this year, (probably late last year), the well known fashion firm Burberry was getting ready to prepare their Spring worldwide  photographic campaign. Traditionally, the most sought-after shooters are called to send their estimates for such a juicy and interesting project, since the visuals will certainly define trends in both imaging and marketing for the year.

Now, the marketing team in charge of the Burberry account came out with what they think is a genius idea, and basically, the decided to make a move that caused a lot of frustration and anger in the market, as the selection of the photographer bypassed any professional or aesthetical consideration, and the agency decided to put 16 years old Brooklyn Beckham, the son of the ultra famous Victoria and David Beckham, in charge of the campaign. 

The reason for this choice was that the kid has shown some ability taking pictures in his iPhone, specially selfies, and 35 mm DSLR cameras PLUS the huge list of 6.5 million followers he has in Instagram, not to mention the additional “back up” and support of two powerful brands, the parents, and their own followers!

The strategy behind this idea is that Burberry considered that they wanted to knock doors on an already captive 6.5 million kids/consumers who are watching whatever Brooklyn publishes in his Instagram account, and if you take a look, you will find tons of selfies during his vacations, some portraits, little birds, friends, etc, etc, this is, what a 16 years old kid does with his instagram. Simple! If you locate the behind the scenes images at the Burberry Instagram account (@burberry), you may see the kid was handed a medium format camera, and it is sad to notice how he does not even know how to grab such a camera, but that did not matter, as long as someone took some pics of Brooklyn (in his iPhone, of course) “taking some shots for the campaign” with the MF camera….

Needless to say, young Brooklyn has no knowledge whatsoever on lighting, production, has never before done a fashion shooting, etc,etc, but the agency took good care of all this, by providing the best Art Directors, Fashion Stylists, Models, Assistants and Production Crew money can buy, so this kid could come up with what amounts to good photos (what in the industry is called good enough images). As a matter of fact, we have previously seen this situation has happened before, when talent like Steven Meisel and Annie Leibovitz, who don’t know anything about artificial lighting, are always working with the best lighting assistants around, but at the every least, these guys are super talented and brilliant, genius creators, and have actually committed a lifetime to their work as photographers!!

So, the question here is, are we seeing a starting trend where  Instagram followers are going to replace talent for some type of campaigns?? 

Granted, Brooklyn Beckham, there is only one, but there are tons of sons of equally famous celebrities and millionaires and billionaires around, and you can read in the links at the end how photographers did not take this in a good manner. Those of us who are working our asses to build a presence and name in order to arrive to those levels when you are called to shoot some of those amazing clients, feel a good deal of frustration.Once again, granted, the most vocal complainers when the news came out, were shooters with the smaller number of instagram followers, although their portfolios are just the top of the line….

Months have passed, and If you check today Brooklyn’s Instagram account, you will find, again, new, regular selfies and simple images shot by a teenager, and the number of followers just keeps growing. Maybe there are some purchased followers (as most everyone seem to do in this time and era), but much certainly, the advertising and marketing geniuses see more value in those potential consumers than in the image-making creative process, involving true creators,  which could drive both the sales and the brand up.

On a personal note, I think this is but one more attempt from the Advertising market to visualize millennials barely as “top consumers”, and nothing else, using one of them to reinforce the concept.

Thanks!

About the author: Jorge Parra is a Fashion and Advertising Photographer, based in Miami, who, among other things, is looking after getting his first (not purchased) million followers in Instagram.

You can see my work at my website at www.JorgeParra.com, but first and foremost, pls do not forget to start  following  me in my Instagram account, @jorgeparraphotographyjust in case…

———————————————-

Suggested Links:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/30/sheer-nepotism-brooklyn-beckham-burberry-shoot-angers-photographers

David Beckham’s Son Just Shot a Burberry Campaign, and Photographers Are Pissed

Back to Jorge Parra Photography’s Website

artist jorge parra participates in the show: “mutations of the medium in contemporary photography” the show has been extended until August 15th!

MutationsinContemoraryPhotography-PROMOLAYOUT

Photographer Jorge Parra is participating in this interesting exhibition called, “Mutations of the Medium in Contemporary Photography” at the Oscar Ascanio Gallery in the Winwood Art District of Miami .

The soft opening was on June 11th and the show is going public on Saturday the 13th, during the June Gallery Walk, from 6 pm to 11 pm, and will enjoy extended exhibition time!

New date:  The event will close doors on August 15th.

Everyone is cordially invited to explore up until early August the works on display of 4 interesting artists( Vieri Tomaselli, Anabella Borges and Lidia Teixeira, plus Hester,) and Jorge Parra is showcasing images from 2 of his series, the “Dressed in Green” Series and the “Body Alchemy” Series, showcasing non-conventional Chemo-Digital Prints plus alternative prints on Industrial materials.

Cheers!!

Click here to go back to Jorge Parra's main site.

is the royalty-free business model entering the fine art gallery market?

trueart,medium_large.1434164353

The recent situation with self-appointed artist Richard Prince, in yet one more of his appropriations of intellectual property of real artists and creators, centering his defense, first and foremost, in powerful attorneys, and secondly , and yet more important, using small yet exploitable loopholes in US Copyright Law, mostly arguing and “extended version” of the Fair Use Doctrine to justify the appropriation, are leading the discussion to varied and controversial positions.

Some experts in copyright and patent law argue that MAYBE there is a possibility Prince would not loose if an infringement lawsuit is finally going to court, due precisely to what could amount to a technical glitch, basically an ironical glitch, in a situation which has never happened before, therefore, there are no precedents as to what would happen in court, possibly rendering the complaints of original authors useless on legal grounds.

Those interested in hearing some of the many positions on the matter, may check links like:

https://fstoppers.com/business/latest-richard-prince-controversy-clarified-patent-and-copyright-attorney-john-71927

That said, and there is still much to hear about this, what called my attention for real, is the reaction of one of the creators affected by the recent appropriation by Prince of images from different Instagram accounts, via screen shots or whatever technical method.

Mr. Prince managed to get well known Gagosian Gallery into running this show, where stolen shots went for sale for huge amounts of money (US$ 90000 per print), and sales were going great! But the Suicide Girls, a brand username used in their Instagram account, found some of their images as part of the Prince’s show.

When asked what was she (Missy Suicide) planning on doing about it, she mentioned the many times her images have been stolen before, knowing full well copyright law only protects powerful corporations, but does little for individuals, but in addition to that , she did something that, in my personal opinion is PURE GENIUS!!

 The Suicide Girls printed their own images, the ones on display at the Gagosian, exactly in the way Mr Prince printed them, and now the prints are for sale at 99.9% discount, this is, you can get exactly the same print for only $90, if you buy it directly from her, instead of paying $90 K at the gallery.

 Here’s an excerpt from the suicide girls on the matter: “Do we have Mr. Prince’s permission to sell these prints? We have the same permission from him that he had from us.” wink emoticon I’m just bummed that his art is out of reach for people like me and the people portrayed in the art he is selling.

 “I hope you love them. Beautiful Art, 99.9% off the original price.” “We will be donating the profits from sales to EFF.org. Urban art publisher Eyes On Walls (EyesOnWalls.com) is supporting the project by fulfilling the large canvas reproductions at cost.”

 Read the Full Statement at:

  https://suicidegirls.com/members/missy/blog/2837632/tuesday/ 

 Now, my point: I find it very interesting to see how the market is going to move, after finding out that what is being sold at a Beverly Hills gallery, on a -supposedly- exclusive basis, for large amounts of dollars, is now available for almost nothing, and in endless amounts. The art world has based the perceived value of artworks, among other things, in the scarcity of the product, and whatever Mr Prince thought he was doing, might eventually backfire, when collectors and people who can afford $90k for a print, realize they could have bought it for just $90 (and still can!!)

 This would be some kind of Royalty Free business model entering the Art Market, and I am positive the can of worms that has been opened will still bring more surprises!

 I have previously discussed the repercussions of digital technologies in the Fine Art Market, and this is one extreme case, one more case, where Copyright Law is being attacked by all fronts. In recent years, Corporate America, has made a strong lobby to see the rights of individuals reduced to zero or close to it, while their rights are enhanced to absurd levels (if in doubt, check the penalties for copying any one movie in a DVD or BluRay disk, as the FBI stamp and logo threatens the infringer with prison and fines of up to $250000, while ‘individual creators just end up empty-handed when infringed and abused.

 So far, the only thing creators can do is to register their work at the Copyright Office BEFORE making the images publicly available. Many artist, and of course, the regular Facebook and Instagram user does not remotely think about it when getting ready to post their best shots, but visual artists should seriously consider investing a little money (with $40 you can register hundreds of images in one shot), as to, at least, expect the possibility of fighting a real fight in court when infringements and abuses happen with their work.

 Stay tuned, as the re-appropriation of the appropriation of intellectual property will keep giving us surprises!! 

 Cheers!

 Jorge

#richardprince #gagosiangallery #copyrightlaw #copyrightinfringement #suicidegirls #appropriation

Photographer / Director Jorge Parra Launches Spanking New Website

Fashion:Purses

Miami-based Photographer and Director Jorge Parra has just announced the launch of a totally new website, using responsive design, for his extensive portfolio of images, right there, in his well known domain

www.JorgeParra.com

In addition of the “classic” sections for still photography, like FashionBeautyPortraits, Leisure and Luxury plus  Fine Art Photography,  a new a cool section of Essays, the new site has the versatility Jorge’s work and personality demand, as visitors will keep finding new galleries and sections, works in progress,  popping out, as times passes by.

As indicated, the site has been launched with Still Photography at it’s core, but Jorge is already editing and refining  works for the upcoming Motion  section, to include BTS videos, Music and Fashion clips, Testimonials, Time Lapse, Gif Animations  and other experiments with images in motion.

Also, a cool new section of Instant Art, an ongoing and ever-changing portfolio of Also Shot on iPhone 6 Photography, fully  shot and edited in Jorge’s cell phones, with the aid of different editing apps, will showcase Jorge’s curiosity for the abstract and the mundane, keeping his street photography portfolio alive, while transforming some of the images into instantaneous artwork,  in almost real time.

The Essays section, where you can read Jorge’s point of view on critical and contemporary issues related to the visual arts as well as tidbits of images and brief news, works in progress and updates on several matters.

The “Capabilities”  section  showcase Jorge’s company,  Jorge Parra Photography and the Production Resources,  available to assist his clients with every aspect of Production that might be required for the efficient execution of any particular photo-shoot project, big or small.

Links to Contact Jorge either directly ( phone / email) or via his Social Media Channels are also available, so, if you don’t find Jorge, you are not looking for him!

This is an adaptive design website with responsive media, which works flawlessly in just every full screen size, from smart phones to tablets, to laptops, to Retina Displays, thus allowing about the best way to showcase Jorge’s visual art in the most effective and pleasing way.

Visit Jorge Parra’s website right now, and stay tuned for constant additions of content, both stills and motion plus essays, works in progress and unexpected content, just as Jorge’s  explorations in creativity flow around. Share with your friends and colleagues the images you enjoy the most in your own social media channels and come back soon for more!!

Cheers!!

Fashion #Beauty #Portraits #Leisure and Luxury # Fine Art Photography #Jorge Parra Photography  #Production Resources #Instant Art

 

Click here to go back to Jorge Parra's main site.

The Digital (and Conceptual) Crossover in the Visual Arts

ChemoDigital image by Jorge Parra Photography
©Jorge Parra

This discussion comes out of a real aha! moment, after attending the presentation of Howard Herring, President and CEO of the New World Symphony America’s Orchestral Academy , during one of the fantastic Creative Mornings Miami events, under the efficient leadership of Maliks Benjamin

I have previously started a discussion on the impact of digital technologies in the way we do business, and it’s implications in the Visual Arts (see for example http://linkd.in/12i2K0Z), but there is still more to talk: a critical conceptual and relevant element in the discussion was very clearly exposed by Mr Herring in his presentation: the fact that many artists and creators are still having issues embracing digital technologies as the way to create new work.

 Of course, we are the generation dealing with the transition process, and that is already hard and harsh. Many of us learnt our craft the “analog way” and many are reluctant to just switch over to digital technologies.

It was impressive to hear Herring talk about the problems in the music world, all the more so in classical music ( Mr Herring is in charge of developing the right digital tools and strategies to teaching classical music to young musicians, whose interests are mostly elsewhere) and the experience has been quite challenging and yet, successful.

Many other artists, and specially photographers, have had troubles in embracing digital cameras, computers, software, plug-ins etc, etc, after having lived for decades under the analog technologies, shooting in film, chemical processing, chemical printing, manual retouching of both negatives and prints, tons of darkroom techniques to produce “alternative” results, and then, in the scope of less than 10 years, it all changed. Film manufacturing is going to minimum amounts, Kodachrome ceased to produce new film, ( actually, Kodak went out of business!), Polaroid closed doors, and , while still a few artists keep shooting in film ( just the same in the movie industry), most shooters from older generations have had to forcefully adapt, in an attempt to not go down the drain.

It is then when Herring’s presentation brought in a fantastic insight to the state of things, bringing back from the past no other than Marshall McLuhan, a well respected communications visionaire from the 60’s and 70’s. Herring recalls one of the most remembered phrases, “The Medium is the Message”, and even though McLuhan did not even foretold the advent of the internet and the digital revolution, the relevance of his words resonate today more than ever.

Basically, in current terms, we have to understand, absorb and digest the fact that EACH NEW MEDIA IS MEANT FOR AN INTRINSICALLY NEW MESSAGE.

 And here’s a simple train of thoughts I offer to explain this:

Back when the telegram was invented and put to use, communications were brief and to the point ( probably, the first iteration of Twitter). Then comes the Radio, and now the message is not just written word in a few characters on paper, there is now audio, and conversation is “streamed” through the airwaves. Then comes Television, and now the message involves both audio and moving images, generating an altogether new message (or type of messages), that no telegram or radio program could provide. You can, of course interject photography and movies in between.

So here we are, with each new media, a new message was intrinsically created and developed.Then we jump back to current times, with the Internet and all the digital technologies popping out.

We then have to question ourselves: for these new media, which are the new messages?

For the initial years, the term Disruption has been used over and over. Digital is destroying our way of life, or at least the one we have lived through several years/decades. The Digital Crossover is right there, in front of us.

But disruption is the initial stage and things just change and move on. Most everyone was convinced at the onset of the 20th century that Painting was going to die, due to the disruption created by Photography, but then again, Painting just took another, less pictorial, representational road, and thanks to that we have contemporary Painting, well away from Photography.

We then have to deal the realities of living the “disruption era” of digital technologies, the Digital Crossover. As a sad reality, among the visual artists, I see so many photographers still entangled in this recurrent and pointless drama. The fact that so many shooters are just trying to emulate analog photography, while using their digital cameras, is merely a disappointing way to deny the new message that is implicit in digital photography!

The fact that cameras look almost exactly the same may be part of the issue, but when I see so many of my colleagues, for example, longing for grain (and actually, adding noise to digital captures, in order to make them look like grainy film) and so many other complaints about how film photography was soo much better, I only have one solution to their longing: get back to film photography. Use the old media in the context it was developed. Artists and creators can still go a long way creating interesting images in film ( some movie directors, like Tarantino have sworn they will stop shooting movies when they run out of film), but in the meantime, if you are going to embrace digital technologies in your visual art, then get ready and curious to explore a new media, create and produce your own, new/revamped message.

Recently I tried to sit with my teenage daughter, to explain to her the basics of Photoshop, and she flatly refused to go there. She quickly showed me all the editing she does directly on her smart phone, and even challenged me to do it as fast as she does. For her, Photoshop is already old school!

So, for this coming generations, who were born in this digital/technological environment, for them the new media and it’s new message are matter-of-fact. Looks like once again, and more than ever, we have to keep learning from our kids, and stay in touch with the ever-changing technological landscape, as we learn to embrace the new world we are crossing over.

The same applies to so many other careers and professions, from lawyers to architects, to engineers, etc., meaning, we all have to stay in learning and experimenting mode, in order to stay relevant, as the business models also keep changing, sometimes in unexpected and aggressive ways.

My question/challenge to the Visual Artists is: are you willing to explore and craft your new (or revamped) message, as a way to stay relevant in this digital world we are crossing over, full speed ahead?

_________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Jorge Parra is a Photographer who shoots mainly Fashion, Beauty and Portrait  for Advertising, and based in Miami, FL. He is also an Advanced Photography Instructor at the Miami Ad School.  

Jorge’s photographic work can be seen in his spanking new website,  

www.JorgeParra.com.

Specialization through Diversification? Digital Technology is changing the meaning of old tags and categories for Photographers

All Photos ©2014 Jorge Parra.
All Photos ©2014 Jorge Parra.

We are living the interesting yet critical transition period during which most of the analog world is crumbling, and giving up way to an entire paradigm, where digital technologies are replacing the old ways, new rules are redefining many concepts in most industries and markets, changing education, culture, the arts (pls, check our previous posts in this matter).

One interesting case in point is how the definitions of what used to be a “Specialized” Professional Photographer, as opposed to the classic “Generalist” shooter, this guy who used to be the “Jack of all Trades”, have changed in time.

Most photographers who have dealt mostly with Advertising projects have traditionally been more successful when they were truly specialized shooters. Either still Life, or landscape, or architectural, or People/Lifestyle,etc, with a known style have been (and some still are) picked more frequently for large scale productions. “Being in the top of their game” has been a requirement for hiring shooters for national , international and global campaigns.

That is not the case at all times anymore. Photographers who have worked specialized in just one area of expertise are now doing this “cross-over” to often unrelated fields, and success has not left them behind. Add to that that motion works, video and cinematography are now part of the skills required by many demanding jobs, and here you have,  an old concept has totally changed:

Traditionally, the Generalist was the guy who would do (or at least try) to do it all, commercial assignments, weddings on the weekends, family portraits, catalogs, etc,etc, and in most cases, this traditional “Jack of all Trades” was barely capable of producing, mediocre work, and, at best just “good enough” images. Think of it as the TV spot about the couple taking their car to the repair shop, and finding out the mechanic in charge happens to be also their tax accountant… Of course, no one wants that!!

Now, digital technology, in combo with the human curiosity and creativity, opens up a new vision and understanding of what a “Diversified”, Cross-over photographer is and can do, and by all means, is NOT a Generalist no more.

Adding Photoshop and illustration skills (not just retouching), in combo with CGI implementation, (even via team collaboration), the ability to direct people and even inanimate objects in motion sequences, TV commercials, music clips, etc, plus the ability to go from studio to locations, from outdoors to indoors,  from natural to artificial lighting, from people to objects, in a seamless manner, makes them a new type of shooter.

In short, the classic definition of a Generalist is merely a concept of the past. 

The Diversified, Cross-over visual artist is a new kind of creator, full of passion , know-how and sharp as the traditional Specialists, with all the skill sets required for highly demanding jobs, and yet capable to jump from Advertising to Editorial, from Fashion to Landscape, from Portraits to Still Life, and produce outstanding results.

It is important to mention that this is NOT easy to achieve: There is a quite long learning curve for the Diversified shooter, given the demands imposed from the specialty crossover process. New still image processing software, new video/motion equipment in the market, editing software, post-processing understanding and capabilities, plus several production capabilities need to be learned, mastered and performed impeccably in order to be really successful in this new world.

Two relevant examples of the “cross over” photographers, visual artists with with no apparent photographic specialty can be seen in the work of two fantastic shooters:

 Nadav Kander and Platon

Take a look at Nadav Kander’s website. The work is totally different, from portraits, to landscape,etc, there are several styles of work, but all are glued by a vision.

http://www.nadavkander.com/#

Same can be said of internationally renowned Platon, who may jump seamlessly from photojournalism, to Advertising, into Fashion and other fields:

http://www.platonphoto.com

Other successful examples are easy to find online.

One interesting personal observation in this regard, is my personal experience with Advertising Photography: most of the times shooters are called for his/her strong vision on a field, BUT, on some occasions, they are hired (by interesting and challenging creatives or clients) to shoot some project outside their “comfort zone”, and this helps building up a body of work of seemingly unrelated areas, all just unified trough the photographer’s particular vision.

Same thing can happen with editorial work: you can be shooting fashion this week, and next you may be shooting corporate portraits, and next you can be directing a video.

Resolving the production values required to put together such different kind of projects through his/her vision, is what helps the photographer develop the skill sets necessary to perform the cross-over successfully, something the “classical” specialist may not be trained to do.

In conclusion: I feel it is time to say goodbye to the term and related poor reputation of the“Generalist”, and embrace the new, “Diversified Photographer”, the successful Cross-over shooter, one qualified and able to do specialized, high end work in different fields. The changes in meaning and scope may also apply to other creative careers indeed.

About the author: Jorge Parra is an Advertising, Fashion and Fine Art photographer, well known for his ability to work and direct people, and upon the request of clients and creatives, he has diversified his portfolio into other areas, like Architecture/ Interior Design Photography, gaining clients from the Leisure and Luxury markets in the process. All about Jorge can be found in his Visual Hub (www.TheVisualHub.com)

Business challenges for the Visual Arts in the Digital Era. Part 2: The Fine Art Market

Hooray Picasso!! by ©2014 JorgeParra
We talked in  Part 1  about the major challenges most professional photographers have to deal in commercial/advertising markets due to the democratization process introduced by digital technologies, as cliches and new standards. like “good enough images” or “Your camera takes great pictures” have affected the perception of what a REAL professional photographer brings to the table for the execution of a project.
The Fine Art market has also been shaken in both directions, for the benefit of it, but also to absorbe certain negative aspects that are reshaping the way collectible visual art is perceived.
One one end, Photography has got another setback. Back in the analog – film- era, it was relatively easy to point out how many original prints were done from each negative. There was a lot of art, technique, craftsmanship and commitment for an artist to be able to identically reproduce a few ( limited number) of prints, and offer them for sale as a Limited Edition Series. A scarcity criteria will just pump the prices up as the availability of less prints in the market would command for a higher price tag to acquire one such work. Much certainly, serious Art Collectors look ONLY for this kind of work to invest in, and the smaller the number of originals in a series, the better.
Now, when discussing modern photography, digital technologies allow for endless reproduction of copies that look and feel exactly like the original,basically, you can provide an infinite set of originals, and then the scarcity criteria gets removed from such work, and it becomes an inexpensive commodity, sometimes termed Wall Art.
It is up to the artists to be able to generate a scarcity criteria, not only by limiting the number of original prints, but also by means of interacting more in-depth with the media, mixing techniques from different crafts,etc,etc, as to be able to provide try few true originals to the market.
There is also a number of ethical and moral issues involved here, since the “sudden” presence of a new series of images from an originally closed series, printed at a different size or using another substrate, has been used as an excuse to keep profiting, while theoretically bringing down the value of the first, “original” series. See for example the case for photographer W. Eggleston, sued by a collector of his work:
Many things can be said about the actual loss of value – or not- of the original Limited Edition Series”, which turned out to be” not-so-limited”, but one thing is certain: this situation is a by-product of digital technologies redrawing the art scene.
Painting, in it’s classical definition, has not seen the same abundance of copycats, as it takes a real artist to generate a copy of some artwork which could be truly thought to be an original, and even at that, there are numerous expert museum and gallery curators, who are usually consulted when a “new” painting from a classic artist emerges in the market.
With artists like Vermeer, who painted such few original pieces, you can easily tell which works are his and which could be just a fake.
That said, a new market for art reproduction of original artwork has emerged (more wall art), as thousands of digital prints from one original painting can be sold for a few dollars.
In general, the process of transforming once-original artwork, with limited originals, into a commodity, with potentially endless copies, and how to deal with it, is still a matter of discussion in art circles, schools and museums.
The situation gets even more complicated with digitally generated art, something that has been created not in the real world, but in the world of vectors, pixels and software (read about CGI, for dramatic examples), or a mixture of analog and digital, work plus the exponential growth of Motion Works. And it still gets even worse in the universe of social media sharing, plus all digital distribution channels, those that exist now, and those that are yet to be created!
In conclusion: I have the clear sensation that  we are living the “transition-to-digital period”, where many things are yet to be re-defined,  and this process will provide the changes in attitudes and concepts that are necessary to design a new business model for the Visual Arts, both for Commercial Work and also for the Fine Arts.
Digital Technologies are barely entering our lives and the more, massive invasion is yet to come (look for The Internet of Everything), so, as it has usually been the case with disrupting technologies and trends, we still don’t know where we are going, but it will certainly be a challenging process, full of new experiences, where creativity will be, as always, the key to the solutions.
Jorge Parra