I have been reflecting recently on the ubiquitous professional photo that is everywhere in the ceramics field. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that gray-in-the-foreground-which-fades-to-black-background-thing. It kind of makes the pots look like they are floating in the middle of nowhere. The good thing about it, is that it is distractionless (when executed appropriately), and also that it’s so common now that no one thinks about how weird it is anymore. I am in the middle of persuading myself that this kind of photography may not be so great for pots. Pottery, at leas the kind of pottery that I make, is made for the home. I don’t want my pots to look like they are floating out in the middle of nowhere. I want them to look grounded, domestic, special. Why not photograph them in a home?
In this field now we have so much to manage as far as our image and “brand” is concerned. It can feel frustrating and overwhelming at times. I have been increasingly aware of the divide between my work and the image of my work. There’s an opportunity there. An opportunity to tell a story, to reenforce the sensibilities and values in my work by the way that is is photographed.
Today I tried this all out for the first time. The apartment I am renting in Lincoln is nearly furniture-free and not at all what I would consider photogenic (the kitchen is carpeted…what?!). A friend of mine was leaving for NCECA this week and gave me his key so I could have a little photoshoot in his very tasteful, spacious apartment, complete with mini grand piano and restored hardwood flooring. It was the perfect place. Here are some of the photos I’ve edited so far.