Today’s Phonar lecture was on 50 shade of Grey. At first my thoughts were, how does this relate to photography, but as the lecture began to unfold I quickly learnt that there are many aspect of 50 shade’s impact, promotion, publishing and use of the ‘fan’ that I as a photographer could learn from.
Phonar is about a community and freeing up our work rights in order to collaborate. Rather than keeping everything copyrighted and shutting ourselves off to the greater world we should be sharing our ideas and information, creating a network of contributors and fellow practitioners. The idea of E.L. James’ 50 shades series of books steamed from her love for twilight. As a fan she partook in the ever growing community of online fan fiction and used her skills to re-present the love story of Edward and Bella. Some may argue that as practitioners we do this in all our work, taking influence from other peoples work wether it be colour, narrative, composition or any other aspects that draw us to a certain piece of art, nothing is 100% original anymore. But this isn’t a negative thing.
Tapping into a community that bases itself on our interests seems like a natural development in life, but sometimes we need that extra push. Phonar for example is a fan base for all photographers to access new ideas and projects allowing them to meet the worldwide photography community. Much like 50 shades stems from twilight, courses like Phonar stem from a passion of photography.
As a self proclaimed fan myself I found it interesting listening to Mafalda’s concept on audience and community. Whilst some people might see 50 shades as pornography other people might not. Almost everyone is a fan of something, a religion, a place, a TV show or a game. We pump money, effort and time into areas/hobbies not so that we can make money back (that was never E.L. James’ intention) but to share with other people in our obsessions. For me personally it is Anime/Manga and Japanese pop culture, I am a convention goer, and I spend hours online (some people would think wasted) researching specific characters or products relating to my obsession. We have been asked to key into a specific audience, reach the fans and collaborate with them, maybe do a project on them or interview them. Whichever method is chosen it is the best way to learn and grow. This time last year E.L. James was a fan, and now she is a best selling author, she produced her best piece of writing, not because she had to but because she wanted to, it’s her passion and she knew online was the best place to reach other people who were interested. For these reasons I hope to tap into the cosplay community. I have briefly scratched the surface, photographing at events, arranging studio sessions and joining forums.
This video is a great explanation fo fandom 🙂