Welcome to Deep Sleep #7, the theme of which is Illusion. We thought we’d start the year as we mean to go on with a dose of much-needed positivity. There seems to be a lot of whinging and whining going on in photoland - though some might say it has always been thus - particularly when it comes to the tricky business of earning a living amid an information revolution in which the demise (or death, by some accounts) of traditional print media brought on by huge technological advances has left many photographers floundering around, battered and bewildered as to how best to proceed.
The challenges being faced are real, but where there is radical change there is also opportunity for those determined and resourceful enough to think laterally, be adaptable and look to the future, rather than dwelling on an idealised past that probably never existed. This is where the positivity comes in because there is much to be excited about. It will be especially interesting to see how some of the new, as yet untested models for financing projects, such as crowdfunding, will evolve; whether the ubiquitous iPad may provide a financially viable method of delivering content (something we’ve been pondering here), and whether the current enthusiasm for self-published photo books (which has a long, honorable tradition) will continue to gather momentum.
For all of us here at Deep Sleep, the big goal (as well as continuing to seek out the best photography we can find whilst implementing improvements to the website) is simple: even if we're destitute, even if we haven’t earnt money in months, even if we’re sick of being skint, we will shoot more personal work. As our newfound inspirational hero Leslie Burns puts it in this brilliant blog post: “Shoot/make art for yourself, as often as you can. Don’t shoot/draw/create for any other reason (like to specifically make something for your portfolio) but rather shoot for the love of shooting and for making the work that excites you. Don’t worry if it’s good or right or what you should be doing, just make some damn art. That is your job and you have to do it for your business just as much as you have to pay your web hosting bill.” That’s one of the joys of the internet - there's no shortage of inspirational advice out there. Have a quick look at this, for instance. Then close your browser, turn the damned computer off and do something real - because most of what you stare at on this screen is an illusion.Editorial: Ben Smith
Picture: David Matte