Photography Confidential is intended to be a 21st Century atelier where photography educators will and can continue the dialogues and sharing of ideas that began in my book, Photography 4.0. The genesis of the book were the conversations that I always had at the many gatherings of photography educators that I attend, such as the national conferences of the U.S. based Society of Photographic Education (SPE) and the U.K. based Association of Photography in Higher Education (APHE). The most interesting and robust conversations that I had with my colleagues occurred outside of the structured events and usually while sharing drinks or food. We would almost always end up talking about teaching — a topic sadly lacking in our respective association presentations. We shared teaching strategies that we had devised to address not only the changes in photography itself driven by technology and social media, but also changes in the Academy, too often today a closed, walled off place with a top heavy administration and a focus on outcomes that don’t lend themselves to a creative environment. The most interesting part to me was when we shared assignments – both those that worked and those that didn’t..
As educators in Institutions, we may be in the midst of an educational crisis, because as Jonathan Shaw writes in his new book NewFotoscapes, “knowledge is being liberated from scarcity” by the vast amounts of knowledge freely available on the Internet so the faculty role is changing from being the authoritative figure to being more of a curator of knowledge. However, based on the many interviews in my book, I am convinced that photography education specifically is not in a crisis if (as I wrote in my introduction) “we can remain open to the fluidity of ideas about photography and images” and not remain mired in the art versus photography debate that has been going on way too long.
As this website develops and grows, my desire is that it will become the stage for supporting and expanding photographic education through links, resources and discussions about teaching, and by focusing on its forgotten potentials, what photography is, has been and might become. You will find these ideas, discussions and assignments in the section we’ve titled Photography Confidential. Please send posts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This website will continue to evolve.