While living in rural Ohio, the internet enabled me to reach places that I physically could not; and, almost all of what I have accomplished thus far into my career was made possible thanks to the web. Through the internet I’ve been able to connect and collaborate with companies like The IMPOSSIBLE Project, JOBY and had the pleasure of contributing to magazines like Traum Noir and No oughts Zine. Whether it was through a pool hosted online that my work was found or just through the powers of email, the internet was a place that gave me those options. It is good to have a balanced relationship with the internet, but, most of all, as a photographer, I think it’s important to acknowledge that it is a realm of its own, one that exists parallel to the mainstream art world with its own rules and levels of engagement. It takes time and a certain dedication to both maintain and keep up with someone elses blog, but experience has shown me that your home page is your cyber calling card into the ‘business’, if someone that could do something for you is browsing the web, one click leads to another and there you are. The work featured here is just a small sample of photography that I have myself discovered through online connections.
Browsing the internet would be easier if there was more of a separation and distinction between amateur and professional photographers. It would be nice if there were more web-based venues where an audience could go and expect to see only quality work (as opposed to just a quantity of it). Of course, the gallery is the ideal setting for viewing visual work, but the internet offers the possibility of reaching so many more viewers. It just needs a tighter edit.
The internet is an environment that easily allows for democratization as well as having a reach that no other media offers to the everyman. There are also cons: uncredited work being one of the most popular drawbacks of putting any of your work online. Once it’s in the cloud, anyone can pull it down and put it back up with no trace back to you.
In the the summer of 2011, I realized how powerful the internet can be when I won a t-shirt design contest with the international clothing company, H&M. I was one of five winners out of thousands of submissions. If I hadn’t shown my work online for years prior to this, I don’t believe I would have had such a strong support base throughout the contest.
In the past few years, with the growth of social media, we have been lucky enough to witness history being made through things like Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. The internet has given me an anthropological view of how our society and how the art world works and moves throughout time. It has brought home the idea that ‘one day you’re in, the next you’re out.’ This constant reminder has caused me to question myself, but in the end realize the most important thing is to enjoy the journey, not worry about the destination.
I’ve grown up with internet access since I was a kid, and I probably wouldn’t be taking pictures or being the person I am now without the internet.
When I got into photography the thought of sharing my work online came naturally. I started publishing my photos on Flickr and Tumblr, which were good places to get motivation and feedback from other photographers. This vibrant community motivated me to put up selected work on a regular basis. That said, my everyday life, and the process of creating photos, are very much separated from the internet. There is nothing technological or digital in going for a trip into the woods with a model. I love this part of my work the most.