Craft & Vision just released the latest in its series of photography ebooks. Shoot + Share is an offering by Stuart Sipahigil that explores the world of sharing photography. What does he mean by sharing? It can mean social networking and websites, but it can also mean prints, galleries, or a photowalk. I’ve read an advance copy of the book; read on for my thoughts.
Why, and for Whom?
Assuming one’s goal with photography isn’t to create a collection of work that’s never seen by anyone else, sharing applies to all photographers. There are various aspects explored in the book, but it opens by asking “Why share?” and then explores the various audiences a photographer might want to entertain, such as:
- sharing with photography clients
- sharing with other photographers for review/critique
- sharing with the world
Based on deciding who is the target audience, the rest of the book looks at various forms of sharing photography. Regardless of the sharing method, a photographer needs to edit his or her collection down to the best images, and several pages discuss the editing process as well as creating a portfolio of one’s best work.
Sharing in the Online World
A substantial portion of the book explores various online sharing methods. Sipahigil uses his own experiences with experimentation and indecision about where to share his work online as representative of the various choices that a photographer must make. Several popular photo sharing platforms are mentioned including Flickr, 500px, Google+, and individual websites. He notes that he settled on a plan where he posts his photos on his own website and then promotes links to his site via social media, but that certainly isn’t the only (or “right”) option for everyone. I will note that the material is very current — there’s a reference to Instagram for Android.
Sharing in Meatspace
The final section of the book deals with various forms of sharing photography that don’t involve a computer screen. There’s a look at making prints and photo books, and a discussion of places to share work such as art galleries, festivals, and coffee shops. The book wraps up with a look at teaching and participation in photowalks as a method of sharing.
I will admit when I first saw the title and idea for this ebook that I was a bit skeptical. I was curious what would be shared that would be of interest to anyone beyond a beginner photographer. Most of the material about sharing online was about what I expected, offering a very high level look at online sharing services but without going into very much analysis or detail about why one might choose a particular online venue over another. That said, some of the material about editing and portfolio selection was excellent, and given the affordable price of the book I would recommend those sections for anyone who’s being challenged in narrowing down their images to the best of the best.
Overall I feel this would be well-suited for photographers who are trying to make decisions about where to share their work and invest their efforts, but it falls a bit shallow in some areas where I would hope to see more depth in explaining just why to choose one sharing method over another. At the usual Craft & Vision price of $5, there are some good portions that make it an interesting read, but don’t expect detailed strategic analysis.
Buy Shoot + Share now for only $5.