The World In 2011

edward lynn untitled staircase[Edward Lynn Untitled]

 

PHILANTHRO-CAPITALISM / TRANSPARENCY / OPEN SOURCE / COLLABORATION / DECENTRALISATION


Every year the pinnacle business resource magazine, The Economist, publishes an issue entitled ‘The World in…” where they invite CEO’s, forecasters and educated minds to share their opinions and predictions for the forthcoming year in every sector – from Science to MTV. Sounds a little like an exercise in stock market fortune-telling right? Well it’s not. Peering through the veil of things yet to come holds a lot more clout than the image of an old crone with a crystal ball would suggest. The ideas and conceptions generated through ‘The World In’ offer an insight to our changing global climate and provide a discussion as to how we could respond. By thinking forward and responding to your surrounding environment,Ā  you can craft your product, brand and business to work in it’s most effective and efficient manner.

Here’s the breaking news, this applies to everyone! Whether you’re the head honcho of Goldman-Sachs or a freelance photographer’s assistant – knowing what is coming next can only help you. Now, of course there are some big things that get missed and predicting everything in the future is an impossible task (who predicted we’d all be suffering the repercussions of an illegal war?) but forecasting is as much about reviewing what’s gone before as it is estimation. Photographer and lecturer, Paul Allen, drummed into his students who lacked context in their work that ‘nothing can be created in a vacuum’. In order to create imagery that resonates- whether still or motion – you have to negotiate a spectrum of visual semiotics that have grown and developed since the first Camera Lucida.

Forecasting is renown in the fashion industry – with companies such as WGSN profiteering from their educated gambling into the designs and colours of the next six seasons – but little less openly considered in the fields of photography and film-making. Perhaps our societal transgression into transparency will encourage a more open exchange of ideas amongst the photography and film community because, inevitably, knowing what people are going to be influenced by will help you cater your work accordingly – whether it’s to an agent you’ve been after for years or your dream client. Think about all the photographers and directors now posting short video montages from behind-the-scenes of their shoots – transparent, non? Providing a transparent visage to your photography business shows clients what you are like to work with, it gives them that personable impression that can’t be achieved when you leave your portfolio in a heap with everyone else. Transparency is also an aesthetic option you could display in your work – a clinical honesty akin to William Eggleston or a styling option through sheer fabrics or visible stitching.

Another unavoidable Millenial buzzword for 2011 is collaboration, or rather mass collaboration. As much as we love to hate social networks, they are ever becoming an integrated part of our virtual existence and with them comes an array of possible platforms of communication that you can engage with from both social and business perspectives. That, combined with a sense of philantro-capitalism (a term coined by Matthew Bishop, The Economist‘s American Business Editor where we act in a socio/eco-conscious manner for our financial gain – yes, incentives for being green help) brings the photography community to websites such as PhotoCrew. Cutting the costs and environmental impacts of remote shoots by out-sourcing your team of assistants, stylists, make-up artists etc not only benefits the client paying for your flights, but provides a rich, global, photographic community at your fingertips.

So you’ve photographed your lighting setup, shared your knowledge and outsourced your crew but you’re not sure if you’re still ‘on trend’? Depending on your location, there are a range of different options to keep you in tune without having to read every business journal back-to-back. Social media is reigning supreme and infamous bloggers such as Swiss Miss hold open-registration Creative Mornings where you can come along to a creative ideas-exchange. Alternatively you could locate your local TEDx event – some are free, with the larger events only charging a maximum of $100 – or find similar creative conferences, talks or workshops such as Karen D’Silva’s Trending Workshop held in collaboration with APA New York in February.

Recommended Read: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything Tapscott, D & D.Williams, Anthony.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: