PHO704: Week 7: The current commercial environment

Week 7: Your Market

We were challenged to think about our Audience and Market and about the future. My work is currently in the abstract but as a theme of sports emerged in the discussion I’ll begin here with a retrospective

Rugby Union Retrospective

There have been several opportunities to dabble in sports photography. In particular rugby union has afforded me practice in photographic technique and practice helped establish the limitations of shooting action. The work I did do got a reasonable coverage internationally which seemed an accomplishment at the time especially considering it was mainly an unplanned entry into the genre. Shooting was in my own style of introducing an art approach with a bit of  respectful humour. My market covered players and playing staff. Management liked to have a record of events and players loved to see themselves in action!  Payback was not monetary so much as that of gaining practice experience.  Reflecting back now reinforces how social and any collaboration element were really important. The opportunity sprang up quickly and sustained for a while on an opportunity basis.

K for Kick

An opportunity was also created to photograph from the stands at an international track cycling event. This was quite entertaining but did not sustain my interest at a professional level. It was quite good getting the chance to sample both rugby and cycling. My sustainable interest is in other areas of photography.

Contemporary Abstract and Abstract Expressionism

Contemporary abstract is a recurring theme for me and for which my audience would be the thinking observer/viewer.  I’m not ready for this audience yet as I develop and refine the art. I’m finding my way and gaining confirmation over validity. During the Sustainable Prospects module I’ve reached out in several ways to gauge the validity of this work as art through:

  • Exhibition attendance – helps establish the accepted standard
  • Showing images to individuals in ad hoc setting helped too. At the time of writing both excitement and criticism occur in equal measure.
  • Presentation at group level – established some consensus.


The market for Abstract work ought be art gallery, exhibition or book. Up against trained professional artists though I’d say there is a long journey yet. In my favour is growing acceptance of a wide range of photographers resulting from a proliferation of cameras and relative affordability of post processing tools.

Personal work in abstract provides an opportunity for self expression. Images presented before the camera often have potential for abstraction. This is a personal outlook. 

I strive in my current work to obtain a larger set of images that stand together, Colour palette, saturation and square format, provides a level of consistency. Clearly my approach is still in early days of development. 

Abstract and Surrealist Imagery

Sale potential

Working an abstract signature style did result in a recent request to apply this to a portrait. The work was appreciated. It was shared and resulted in positive comment.   Personal service works quite well although audience is limited to one or two potential sales. I enjoy being able to create empathy like this.

Commercialisation is possible to a level.

I’d pencilled in two opportunities to “force” a sale during the week but decided against it. 

A level of commercial opportunity exists through the Studio account for art web support. On this MA Photography course I place the whole of the emphasis on personal work.


Current research through reading is helping to evolve my work and leads to quite frequent bouts of experimentation. An interest is currently developing in the Surreal. All photography is, or becomes surreal as the camera creates surrealism through the act of framing and by capturing the fleeting.

Work at present is leading to a deeper passion for contemporary abstract art images. Potential audience and market can be re-examined as this develops. Already I look back on the blog posts as a baseline for change.

Experimental Surrealist Work

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