Who’s on First.

A large component of my Studio Photography class has been the notion of the group/team. A couple of weeks ago, I was bogged by having three-five groups project nearly impossibly functioning at the same time.

Also on my mind has been the commercial aspect of the studio lighting portion of the course.

These two things have led me to wonder who’s the artist? Who constitutes the authority over a project? Are photographers that work in the Sears and Walmart studios artists? Do they care? Are the ones that want to be artists called artists? And the ones that don’t care, aren’t? If they consider themself an artist, do they consider their Walmart graduation portraits artwork? Does Walmart own it? Does the artist own it? Does the customer own it?

Part of me hates working in groups because I feel like my ideas and understanding will be stifled while in the group. It takes a very natural fall-in to create a proper environment to enjoy a group project. All the while, I adore feedback and collective brainstorming.

With studio lighting, then, who is the artist? We went to a photography workshop at PPR recently and were told about many stories about shoots with creative input by the client, directors, and the photographers. With all of this, how can one draw the line to who’s on first? Whenever I work on projects, I tend to include mention of anyone who input an idea that helped me reach my end-goal. But we’re in this strange world where one name gets shown; the corporate one.


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