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Category : SyP

Marketing

The main reason that I’m taking my time about these early tasks is that I want to get my website ready before sending out my request for feedback to various people. The PDF that I send will have links back to the images on the website for the reviewers to see the images in a larger format on the web.

This issue of the website is doubly important since I cornered a marketing consultant friend and asked (more precisely, interrogated) her about marketing strategies for a small concern. Given that a large part of this module is about marketing, getting one’s work out to the market, becoming “known” etc. it seems to be an important element that isn’t really stressed in the module or not as far as I’ve seen to date.

She was approaching specifically from the point of view of her own company, she now runs a tour guide operation in Windsor after leaving her marketing role, but the key principles remain the same. There were only the two critical elements

  1. Get your website and social presence going, make it look professional and integrate everything
  2. Always respond to queries or contacts quickly and professionally

All very simple if you say it quickly but it is a precis of most of the information that I’ve found elsewhere.

So getting the website up was a critical early task but I’m well aware how much work needs to be done on it by the end of the module to complement my intended exhibition.

Firstly, there’s obviously a need for the images which will be in the PDF to be on the site which is simple enough. They’ll change over the next few months but that’s a start.

Next, I need to boost the SEO scores. Again, not too difficult. There are numerous online strategies for this and my background as an IT consultant comes in useful here.

Social media is a necessary evil which I’ll need to embrace if I’m to do this properly. I’ll need to resurrect my Facebook account, create an Instagram account and automatically populate the two from the website with new images as required.

A trivial but important method to publicise is the use of signatures in email so I’ve created a more professional looking one that links back to my site. There are a number of free programs that will create one for you but all of the free versions include an advert for their product or simply don’t work with Outlook.

The screenshot in this format looks like a business card – something else that I’ll need to have available at the exhibition.

In terms of the more traditional methods there’s a local newspaper which I’ll need to contact , either to pay for an advert in the What’s On section or see if I can get them to write a short article. Given the local interest and style of the paper it’s definitely a possibility.

The local council themselves ave a website with details of What’s On so I need to get into that.

Finally I need to ensure that I’m involved in the local community. My consultant friend is happy to work with the local Tourist Information Centre to offer guided walks at a much lower rate than she would normally charge, all in the name of being involved and getting further work. It’s no different for a photographer, by offering my services to the community I should raise my profile and have the opportunity for further, real, work if required.

All of this is a bit strange since I have no intention of becoming a professional photographer but do want to get my work out there so this marketing theme is feels a bit strange since there’s such an implicit commercial element to the whole process.

 

Artist’s Statement

The final element of the personal information trio required by the course is the Artist’s Statement. There are obviously two types of this, firstly there’s the all-encompassing form which covers the artist’s complete work and describes the common threads that link the various portfolios and works together. Then there’s the more specific one that links to a particular body of work, much as we were asked to provide for the previous module, Body of Work.

Since the only portfolio that I’m publicising during this module is that portfolio then I’m just going to continue using that. If I need to introduce other works in parallel I’l create another specific Statement for that pf and an all-encompassing one to link the works together.

Sine I didn’t receive any criticism of my portfolio-specific statement from my tutor in BoW nor did the assessors comment on it I’ll just assume that it’s OK for now though it will almost certainly change before any exhibition.

Artist’s Statement

      The majority of visitors to Windsor Great Park follow the same routes as their predecessors, constrained by their own preconceptions of the area, afraid to leave the beaten path and create their own experience. These preconceptions have been created by images and text in magazines and social media, an imagined geography that develops the Tourism Space that is Windsor Great Park and is then itself modified by that Tourism Space.

     In my exploration of the Park I’ve come to love those other areas, the ones that lie outside of this predefined space requiring the visitor to step off the beaten path and explore.

    Each of these images shows a glimpse of that “other side”, accessible to those who would leave the beaten path and discover their own world, treating the rabbit hole as a portal rather than as a barrier.

About => Biography

Having written the About Page the Bio flowed quite easily so here’s a first draft though it is likely to change a lot – even before my tutor gets to see it.

Bio

Growing up in the busy coastal area of North Wales I soon discovered the joys of leaving the tourist trails and exploring  the beaten track, discovering the wildlife, forests and rugged beauty of Snowdonia. Moving down to the South East I thought that I’d lost the opportunity but I discovered that Windsor Great Park afforded the chance to explore in a similar, but more cultivated, way whilst photography trips to Africa and Asia only increased my love of wildlife and nature.

     Retirement afforded the opportunity to explore, both locally and abroad and I came to enjoy the tranquillity and serenity of these extremes. On the one hand was the Park, home to the Kings and Queens of England whilst, on the other hand, was the wilderness and vast open expanse of Africa.  During this period, I started studying for a BA Photography degree to help capture these beautiful environments and pass that beauty on to others.

     My work has since been featured in the Guardian Magazine, the Observer, Country Life and other magazines and I’ve been fortunate enough to have two prize-winning images exhibited at the Joe Cornish Gallery in Yorkshire.  

     A love of all things Italian, including the language, fills what little time I have left during the day.

Gaz

About Page

OK, I’ll just duplicate the “About Page” here so that the flow of the blog makes sense. The formatting is a bit off in the post compared to the page but it should make sense.

 

 

        Gaz Williams is a nature photographer based in Windsor, Berkshire. His early life in North Wales, living next to the sea but with access to the forests, rivers and rugged mountains of the area inspired in him a love of nature. Avoiding the crowds led him to develop a love of exploring, of leaving the beaten path inhabited by the many, and discovering those hidden areas, accessible only to the adventurous.

 

     His prize-winning work has twice been exhibited at the Joe Cornish Gallery in Northallerton, Yorkshire and full-page commercial images have appeared in the Guardian Magazine, the Observer, Country Life and other magazines. His travel photography has taken pride of place on the brochures of companies to highlight travel to those out of the way places, away from the crowds.

 

     His first solo exhibition, featuring the hidden areas of Windsor Great Park, will be held late 2018

My Biography

The course notes suggest looking at an article by Michael Margolis entitled The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King.  Looking at the site there’s another interesting article entitled How To Write an “About Me” Page That Gets You Hired. The way that Margolis describes things there’s a lot of overlap between the “About Page” and the Bio so let’s start by looking at some About Pages that might be relevant.

Sharon Boothroyd was my previous tutor who I admired before she left to concentrate on her other roles and undertake a PhD. Her about page is simple, consisting of four brief paragraphs :-

  1. what she’s doing now (her PhD)
  2. her approach to art/photography
  3. her professional role
  4. her publication history

It’s very simple and effective but has much more academic and professional detail than I would be able to include and could be considered a CV/Bio crossover.

Gill Aspel is a local photographer, one of Windsor’s “official photographers”. Her about page is similar in size and format to Sharon’s but describes more about her and her background than it does about her historic work. This is much more in keeping with my idea of how my Bio should look.

Andy Skillen is a wildlife photographer that I’ve long admired, especially after meeting him at a show where he took the time to advise me on printing and other bits and pieces. His website includes a very personal about page which glosses over his vast array of publications and awards, preferring to concentrate on the personal details – why he does what he does and why he enjoys it. Incidentally, he describes how he’s always on foot and as close to his subjects as possible. The photo on his web page certainly reflects this !

Ingun Alette Mæhlum’s about page is very simple but I like it. It’s simply her photograph followed by

Ingun Alette Mæhlum is a documentary photographer based in Tromsø in Northern Norway. She does most of her work above the Arctic circle, and luckily she loves working in rough weather.

As well as working on her own documentary projects, she takes on various assignments for magazines and newspapers. She has received several national prizes for her photographs.

Then four small tiles showing her commercial endeavours. I like it but it wouldn’t work for me.

Tom Hunter’s Info page is similar to Sharon’s above which isn’t to surprising given his status and his CV. Interestingly he has a link to his CV underneath the four paragraphs of his Bio which might well be the way to go forward.

Rather than go on through a few hundred pages I think that Andy Skillen’s is the way that I’d move forward with some of the local elements that Gill Aspel introduces.

From everything that I’ve read and thought about , the Bio and the About Page are pretty well the same thing in the sense they’re telling my story, what drives, me, what interests me. In many ways they could hold the same information but phrased slightly differently given their use.

I feel as though I’m making heavy weather of this and over-thinking it but it’s something that I want to get right before looking for the formal feedback. Let’s start with an About Page and see if that converts easily to a Bio.

I felt very strange writing this About Page, basically talking about myself in the third person while making the best of my limited experience. I’m sure that it will change as I tweak it, move things around, but I’m happy with it for a start.

To save people going to that page I’ll put it in the next blog entry so that the story of my website etc flows in sequence through the blog.

Gaz