I recently sent a portfolio of my work to a certain photography publication. This organization specializes in showing contemporary fine art photography so I thought my work may be of some interest to them. Oddly a few weeks later I received a very annoyed response from them. It went something like this…”Taylor, this is a PHOTOGRAPHY magazine, that means we publish photography and relevant issues. Perhaps you should send your illustrations to a more fitting venue. Do more research before submitting your work and avoid wasting everybody’s time.” Ummm…Ok. I laughed and then paced a hole in my floor. Now whats odd here isn’t the fact that they confused my work with some other type of medium, its odd that they actually sent me that response.
To be honest I am not surprised at the magazines reaction, in fact most people react this way when they first see my photographs. Whether its because my work resembles paintings or looks like nothing else in the photography world, I’m not sure. A couple of years ago I was showing my work at an art fair in Nashville. Not one person that walked up immediately recognized my images as photographs, a few still didn’t believe it after I told them it was. I remember one man (a photographer) began to barrage me with questions about how this could be and how it was done. He accused me of using photoshop and seemed to get a little upset when I (very politely) told him my images were not digitally manipulated but I would prefer to keep the specifics of my method to myself. On one hand I like the fact that my images are this hard to comprehend but on the other it is really an obstacle.
I would have liked to have received some press for my work but I am going to take away their NO as a win. I mean its kind of funny right? A cutting edge photography publication can’t recognize photography. It makes me think I am doing something right. I am glad that my photographs don’t resemble everything else out there. Better yet their response confirmed my suspicions that I have been written off several times due to the fact that my work is mistaken for something other than photography. I know now I need to find a away to tell viewers what they are looking at…my wheels are turning. While I won’t name the magazine I think that maybe they should take their own advice and do more research on the work they review. (Come on I had to take one pop shot) Maybe from now on I should just title all of my images “This Is A Photograph”.