SHARPEN: Stella Kramer on ASMPNY's Fine Art Photography Bloggers Panel

(l to r) Susan May Tell, Stella Kramer, Rubin Natal San-Miguel, Elizabeth Avedon, and AD Coleman. Photograph by Frank Rocco


"Conversations with Fine Art Photography Bloggers"Review for ASMP-NYs Sharpen by Panelist Stella Kramer

"Wednesday night's panel with Elizabeth Avedon, Ruben Natal San-Miguel, A.D. Coleman and yours truly, (Stella Kramer), moderated by Susan May Tell, was a lively discussion about fine art blogging, enhanced by the fact that we all come to it from a different perspective. Alan Coleman (first photography critic for the NY Times and named one of "The Top 100 People in Photography" by American Photo Magazine) comes to it as a social commentator, and has been blogging since 1995. As a leading writer on the subject of photography at Photocritic International, he uses his blog as a platform to be a journalist, having exposed and followed such stories as the dismantling of the Polaroid collection. He's now reporting on the story of the recently "rediscovered" Ansel Adams negatives.

Elizabeth Avedon likens blogging to, putting a message in a bottle and throwing it out into the ocean. You don't know who may find it. But with an international audience Avedon shows work by not just photographers, but all artists whose work moves her. And (as a former Gallery Director) "knowing how few shows galleries are able to put up in a year, blogging is a good forum."

The idea of blogging reaching out to an international audience was echoed by Ruben Natal-San Miguel, who sees his blog, Art Most Fierce, as a business whose purpose is to promote art collecting. He began collecting art after Sept. 11, and after buying the art he writes about it. He promotes artists and not-for-profit organizations to raise money for them. He was most direct in talking about the importance of using Facebook and Twitter in concert with his blog to promote photography.

For me (Stella's blog is Stellazine) the important thing is to know why you're blogging. Without a strong definition, a blog can just be more noise. I love the fact that I can say anything I want, and the work I feature is work I like. It's discussing the creative process that I find most satisfying--giving photographers a chance to talk about what they do, why they do it, and what it means to them.

The one problem we find with blogging is that it is not going to make money--but then none of us started with that intent , although Ruben is adamant about it being a business for him. He sees his blogging as a way to put info out there for others to benefit from. He curates shows which sell work, and speaks of treating work as special--not overexposing it everywhere. Avedon had a different opinion of that, saying putting work out there was a way for people to find out about it. But the idea of scarcity creating interest for collectors was Ruben's impetus for cautioning people about overexposure.

At this time Galleries aren't worried so much about over-exposure as they are about not reaching enough people. It's been my experience that having exposure on several Photography Blogs has caught the attention of reviewers and curator's.)

While both myself and Avedon look at more work online both Ruben and myself go to shows--although he goes to many more than I do. Coleman doesn't go to shows, but he goes to FotoFest, and the Palm Springs Photo Festival to see work.

There was a large crowd who seemed to hang on every word, and I think we all enjoyed the discussion, hearing each other's point of view. If you weren't there, plan on being at the next panel. If you were, let us know what you thought by commenting here." – This post originally appeared on ASMP/NY's Sharpen

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Stella Kramer is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner while at The New York Times and the recipient of the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography. Check out her blog Stellazine


Susan May Tell said...

Elizabeth - Thanks for posting/re-posting.

Mostly - thank you for being a great panelist!!

Stella Kramer said...


Caio Fern said...

i wish had watched this

Chattman Photography said...

elizabeth- i adore your blog and love your taste in all the things you post. it is such a treasure trove for a someone like me.
if you ever have a moment, my humble website is www.chattmanphotography.com
i do a little bit of everything ;)
thanks for all the inspiration and interesting posts