I’ve always heard photographers and curators talk about curating your work. Although I heard the term often I had absolutely no idea what they meant until I decided to make a zine. There’s no better to learn than to be thrown into the deep end to lean things.
It is said that curation is key. What is meant by that? In a simple word, not everything that is captured needs to be published. I had to learn to not only create but choose images that represented me and my vision. As much as we like not to think about it, every image we put out represents us, so it good to think about what we are about to publish.
Through this journey, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I created 3 zines in total before ending up with the final printed zine. One of the best compliments that any of us can get is when someone sees our knows whose work it is. I for one know when I see a Salgado or a Mckenna image, I instinctively know the photographer. That’s my aim, to create a body of work that is of my vision, define me as a photographer and truly for itself.
My work has changed over the years but it is normal as I am still growing. But it was only when I started sorting the images for this that I noticed subtle changes and additions that have creeped up in my work. It is those differences that make our work different to other photographer’s.
As artists, we get excited about new projects that we are working on and we tend to overshare. We are all different when it comes to our workflow. Due to the extensive edits I carry out on my work, I am not able to create nor share images on a daily basis. It took me quite a long time to realise that. However, due to all the information that are flying at us from every angle, it is first impressions that count. You are only good as your last image. It is not a point of view that I agree with but that’s the reality and that’s just how the internet works.
For this reason, I took my time to carefully select the images to go in the zine. There were a few thing that I struggled with. Deciding on the images to not use and the images that worked and which simply that are simply not good enough. I had to completely change the way I was thinking. I had to be completely objective to the verge of being brutal. Even though, some images were personal favourite, I chose not to include them.
The other thing I had to learn was to take criticism, that is constructive criticism. After I finished, the fist zine I showed it friends and family. People that I trusted to be honest. As I had original thought on first impression, it simply wasn’t good enough so I had to go back to the drawing board.
I streamlined the theme and then redesigned the layout and then reprinted a proof. Even after this, I had the feeling that something else was missing but what was it?
I am not use to putting words to images. What helped was my original process of working. I have a habit of naming each image according to what I’m feeling, thinking so that helped with this process. What was missing was the words to the images, my process, what is personal to me about these images.
After having written this, I knew the zine was ready to be printed. I’ve attached a few images of zine as well as some images included in the zine for you to see.
I will be doing a live talk about the zine on Saturday at 8pm GMT on Instagram and go through the process in depth. My Instagram handle is @pamelaaminou if you would like to join me.