"Emerging" artists (don't you just love that term?) are always looking for attention. For the most part most of us are shy, introverted people, who would rather spend a day in the studio or field by ourselves toiling blissfully away on our art. But ultimately, most of us feel the need to bring our art to the public. Sharing our creations fuels our production, and if we measure success, it usually comes in the form of monetary recognition. I'm a great fan of Brooks Jenson and his LensWork publication. I discovered LensWork back in 2006 when I picked up a copy of the magazine at a Barnes & Noble in Columbus OH. I now have a shelf devoted to the magazines and extended DVDs and these have become some of my most valuable and used reference material.
Jenson recently published a Visual Workshop DVD on "Finding and Audience for Your Work". It seems like all famous photographers have found their way into the education business, and the workshop format has been a staple of photographic education since Ansel Adams. Taking advice from other photographers on the business of photography is another story. Here we must rely on people who have achieved success in doing what we plan or want to do. Brooks Jenson is not a household name as a photographer, he is not part of any museum or corporate art collection (not that I know of) nor does he have multiple galleries representing him around the world. He is well know among fine art photographers for his LensWork publication (one of the best), but as a photographer, Jenson can be considered "one of us" (although he is a very talented photographer in his own right).
Jenson's workshop provides a comprehensive overview of the business of fine art photography and offers several ways to think about the relationship of business to art. As in all business endeavors, it all starts with your mission, or as Jenson puts it, "What juices your jets." Understanding what you want to accomplish with your art is fundamental to how you should be bringing it to market. And Jenson provides a "spectrum" of possibilities, with an exhaustive analysis of scenarios. You will either subscribe to Jenson's preference for "photography at real people prices" or not. Yes, our egos get in the way all the time. But this man who has sold over 40,000 prints has a point, and a quality of thought and accomplishment to back it up.
The high end "elite" art world is really elusive. Perhaps we should all aspire to being a part of it. Hey, this is America and anything is possible, right? But honestly, do you have what it takes to participate? Are you willing to do what you need to do? Or do you struggle just to find courage to show at the local art fair? This workshop offers some tangible advice and a roadmap for your journey. It's meaty, comprehensive, funny, and valuable. If you have any funds left over after your Adobe upgrades, treat yourself to this workshop. For an excellent preview, visit Jenson's promotion page for the product and watch the videos. You'll get an education just with those.