Resource pages updated on The Wells Point

I just spent a good deal of time updating the resources pages on The Wells Point. I also added a couple new categories. The whole point of the resource pages is to introduce photographers to the world of opportunities and resources available to them. Some enable photographers to show or sell imagery while others suggest ways to fund the production of such work. Some of the resources recently changed their URLs, while others have gone out of business. Those can be found starting at http://www.davidhwells.com/resources/

If you have suggestions for resources I should add (or thoughts on what should be updated or removed) please let me know. I added a whole new category for public art opportunities. Usually these are meant for sculptors or installation artists, but photographers are eligible. The trick with these is matching your skills and interests with those of the group running the project. I certainly would be hard pressed to make a piece of metal sculpture for a new train station. But if I put my mind to it (and especially if I researched the materials and technology,) I probably could produce some kind of permanent photographic installation / sculpture. Ideally it would be one that could both survive the wear and tear of being in a public, heavily traffic-ed space, while simultaneously giving those who looked at it some kind of new perspective.

A couple of interesting new opportunities are focused on using photo- graphs to promote social change. If that is your area of interest, take a look at the Magnum Expression Award and Grants for Good at http://expression.magnumphotos.com/expression_award/index.php?p=purpose and http://imagery.gettyimages.com/getty_images_grants/overview.aspx?grant=good#good

Even if it is not your obvious area of interest, I would encourage you to take a look. So why do I say that? For a few reasons actually:

1) The more you know about the entire universe of different ways photography is funded, disseminated and generally used, the more likely you are to be able to find a place in that universe for your own work. Even if you are not interested photography as public art, you should know about the opportunities out there. Someday you may want to avail yourself of such an opportunity. More likely, you might borrow a theme from one funding program and merge it into a project you already have going, which you then present to another potential exhibitor and/or funding resource. Such cross-discipline or cross-media projects are increasingly common these days. You can only participate if you know about all the opportunities, genres and strategies bouncing around out there in the universe of different ways that photography is used.

2) Though a given opportunity may not be relevant for you, we all know of other photographers whose work would fit well within the guidelines of a given opportunity. My wife and I often pass information on potential opportunities back and forth. We similarly share such information with friends. We both strongly believe that we would rather that the money or other opportunity “stay within our family/network” rather than go to strangers.

3) One important reason to look at the resource list now is purely logistical. If you are serious about applying for one of the many opportunities listed, you need to put the deadlines for those into your calendar now. Then you need to spend a few hours a week during the coming months preparing your application/submission. Having reviewed my share of grants applications and judged my share of photo competitions, I can tell you that nine times out of ten the winners were folks who did their homework. They prepared their applications in advance and did NOT wait till the last minute. This was especially true if the application had any kind of writing involved. The spell-check and grammar-check features in most word processing programs are fine, but nothing beats writing and revising your written submission months in advance. That way, what you submit is the best possible representation of who you are and what you aspire to do.

After you share one opportunity that you found in the resource pages with a fellow photographer, you will feel less guilty asking them to critically review the text of the application you are planning to send off to an opportunity you found in the resource pages. This idea of eventually building a mutually beneficial network is arguably the greatest benefit of looking through the resource pages. You can find those at: http://thewellspoint.com/about

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