on collectives

i'm a member of the four-person phor collective, which you know if you follow me on any social media because i won't shut up about it. since october i've been working with three other fantastically talented photographers to put together a zine. not to brag, but it's beautiful. you should all order it. if you don't want to spend very much money, go for the digital edition but if you want to splurge and experience the work in its purest form, spring for the hard copy! and follow us on social media! we've been rotating through the members on the instagram so if you want to get a sense of the kind of work we do, check us out there. being a member of this collective has made me think about photography and art-making in some new and interesting ways. and it's given me something i think i've always wanted: a supportive community of exceptional artists who are all interested in pushing each other. 

i haven't talked about phor here on my blog yet, mostly because we only went public with our existence recently. 001 is our first release! but we formed in october, when my friend kristie asked if i would join her on this endeavor. as someone who loves the idea of being in a band but has no musical talent nor desire to learn an instrument, this seemed like the closest i would get. and i was right. we are kind of like a band. we even operate mostly on bandcamp. so that's a win. 

like i imagine bands do, we spent some time deciding on our name. we ended on "phor" for a few reasons. the most obvious is that it's a phonetic spelling of "four" and there are four of us. however, "phor" as a suffix signifies bearing, conveying, or carrying. we liked that, too. as photographers we are out there, bearing stories, carrying images. and we're doing it together. one thing about photography is that, like a lot of art, it's very self-focused. it's you and the camera, you and the darkroom, you and the printer. it's not an inherently collaborative art form and finding a photography community can be really challenging. i was incredibly fortunate in college to have an amazing photo department, full of like-minded people who were all interesting in learning and teaching. finishing college, it was the one thing i was most afraid of leaving behind. i was so thrilled when kristie asked me to join phor because it has allowed me to maintain a community around photography and art, with people whose work i greatly admire. 

i'm very excited for what we'll do next! we learned a lot with our first issue (about design! distribution! money! publicity!) and it'll make us even better next time. 

and, because i am me and what else would i do, i made a playlist for our release. the playlist starts out with a song off of my current favorite album which ties us all together and then i assigned two songs to each person's photos. no one got any say in their songs so no one shit on kristie or joe or mel for their songs. it was all me. although i did try to pick songs i imagine they like.