Creating Context for your Content


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Introductory remarks for Photoshelter's Austin Photo Seminar, "Thriving in Uncertain Photographic Times"

Austin, Texas, March 13, 2010

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  • Artists have always understood the need for context; why do we create series? Why do we create artist statements to explain the themes and ideas we explore? Why do we obsess over the stories as much as the images? Why do we return to view certain images over and over? Why do we love the images we love?We create series, themes, ideas and comprehensive bodies of work because we understand that they are more powerful than individual images. The true beauty is in the discussion, the linkages between images, the connection between the images and the stories, their connections to causes, communities, meaning and people.
  • Content is cheap to create and distribute, but context is *still* expensive. The economics of the web have increased the competition between content creators, flattened the experience advantage and upended supply and demand for content. But at the same time, it's expanded the opportunity to create context, made context easier, cheaper and more accessible to create than ever before. People that recognize how context is created, what type of context they can create, and why context is important will create economically meaningful, valuable and sustainable products, services and experiences. And more than anything, that's what we need.
  • Creating Context for your Content

    1. 1. Create for your Context Content Introductory remarks for Photoshelter’s Austin Photo Seminar “Thriving in Uncertain Photographic Times” Austin, TX March 13, 2010 Photoshelter event details: | | | @tdavidson
    2. 2. Copyright 2007 TAYLOR DAVIDSON | | | @tdavidson
    3. 3. Copyright 2008-2009 TAYLOR DAVIDSON | | | @tdavidson
    4. 4. If an image isn’t any good, take 20 more and call it a series. - Anonymous | | | @tdavidson
    5. 5. “I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.” – Anonymous | | | @tdavidson
    6. 6. The power of stories… | | | @tdavidson
    7. 7. That’s not new. What *is* new today is the way we create, share, experience, distribute, promote, buy and sell the stories behind images. | | | @tdavidson
    8. 8. Less experienced photographers can improve their images by telling stories. Experienced photographers can improve their business by creating stories using their images. | | | @tdavidson
    9. 9. Stories that resonate and create conversations, shared experiences and connections based on solid work also help create business opportunities. | | | @tdavidson
    10. 10. Why? The economics of content and context have changed and shifted the balance of power and opportunity from creators of content to creators of context. Thus, the biggest creative and business opportunities for photographers is not the image, but everything around the image. | | | @tdavidson
    11. 11. What’s context? What’s content? | | | @tdavidson
    12. 12. | | | @tdavidson
    13. 13. | | | @tdavidson
    14. 14. | | | @tdavidson
    15. 15. | | | @tdavidson HELP-PORTRAIT.COM
    16. 16. | | | @tdavidson CHASEJARVIS.COM
    17. 17. | | | @tdavidson LIVEBOOKS.COM & FLAKPHOTO.COM
    18. 18. | | | @tdavidson TAYLORDAVIDSON.COM
    19. 19. | | | @tdavidson UNSTRUCTUREDVENTURES.COM
    20. 20. Recap: How? Combine online and offline Create “Content Moments” and Shareable Experiences (and share them!) Embed narrative into the content Be a hub (i.e. create and connect a community) Instead of selling just the image, sell everything around the image. (i.e., sell the experience, the meaning, the connections) Credit to Tom Martin (@TomMartin) for creating the phrase “content moments”. | | | @tdavidson
    21. 21. Remember: Context can’t be copied blindly. The story, experience and content has to be tailored to the event, community, and purpose. | | | @tdavidson
    22. 22. I often hear… “But I only want to take photos!” 1. It’s never worked that way. 2. Good luck. Credit to Umair Haque (@umairh) for his thinking and writing that helped me frame up and apply the concept of content and context for photography. | | | @tdavidson