Archive 2 - Contents - April - June 2000


"Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Women Photographers of Humboldt County, California 1850-2000"
- Peter E. Palmquist,

WIPI News - Archive #2
April 2000 - June 2000

2000 Women in Photography International - by Peter Palmquist

View Current list of nominees.

Industry News #1 - Archive #2
April 2000 - June 2000

FRESH LISTS - The Database Designed with the Photographer in mind!

See current Industry News for further information.

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Industry News #2 - Archive #2
April 2000 - June 2000

U.S. News & World Report has come out with a list of the top academic MFA photography programs - Fine Arts Specialities - for the year 2000. They are:

  1. Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
  2. The Art Institute of Chicago(IL)
  3. University of New Mexico(NM)
  4. Rhode Island School of Design (RI)
  5. California Institute of the Arts (CA)
  6. San Francisco Art Institute CA)
  7. Yale University (CT)
  8. School of Visual Arts (NY)
  9. Art Center College of Design (CA)
  10. University of California-Los Angeles (CA)
  11. Cranbrook Academy of Art (MI)
  12. Syracuse University (NY)
  13. Temple University (PA)
  14. Pratt Institute (NY)
  15. Ohio University(OH)
  16. University of Arizona(AZ)
  17. University of California-Irvine(CA)

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Industry News #3 - Archive #2
April 2000 - June 2000

CRADOC FotoQuote - FotoBiz The Software for pricing and selling stock photos

See current Industry News for further information.

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Industry News #4 - Archive #2

"Earth Day Memories of My Town - Through Children's Eyes"
An Internet Gallery Honoring Earth Day 2000

Through the generosity of eMemories.com, the nonprofit organization Through Children's Eyes, ®Inc.is conducting a series of children's environmental photography programs, using cameras donated by eMemories.com as part of Earth Day 2000 celebration.

The program's goal is to help children learn about their neighborhood, how it cares for and honors our earth, and to share their memories with families and friends as well as children in communities across the country.

The children will discuss environmental concerns and solutions, go on a photographic "walk about" in their communities, then create an Internet gallery of their photography and writings.

eMemories.com will donate computers to enable the children to link with other program participants.

The eMemories. com Internet gallery will also allow us to make the children's pictures and writings available for viewing world-wide. For each person that logs on to view the gallery exhibition, eMemories.com will make a donation to Through Children's Eyes, ®Inc. and to a designated environmental organization.

To apply for participation in eMemories.com's Internet Gallery "Honoring Earth Day 2000 - Through Children's Eyes" or a future Through Children's Eyes®Inc program, either as a volunteer instructor or participating nonprofit organization, see the following critera:

To participate in "Honoring Earth Day 2000 - Through Children's Eyes" as a supporting individual, organization, or company, please log on to eMemories.com to view the Internet Gallery during the exhibition week of April 17 - April 24.

Further info about Earth day and Through Children's Eyes®Inc:
The email address for Through Children's Eyes, Inc. is: tartanstar@earthlink.net

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Gallery News - Archive #2
April 2000 - June 2000

"Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Women Photographers of Humboldt County, California 1850-2000"

Rosie Lasley with Bertha Perigot, photographers 1896

Using Humboldt County as a focus region, the Women in Photography International Archive has undertaken a comprehensive study of all women who have ever worked in the field of photography in Humboldt County, from 1850 (the date of the first settlement) through the year 2000. Why limit this study to women photographers? Women have been almost universally ignored in the existing literature of the history of photography. While the aims of this three-fold project (exhibition, book & community outreach) will do little to rectify the glaring oversight in our photographic heritage, it does provide a unique opportunity to highlight the contributions of one group of female photographers in a notably male-dominated portion of the world. Another important goal is to champion the creative productions of women in general. At the same time, by studying the photographic history of both men and women over the past 150 years, we can demonstrate that this male-to-female imbalance is itself now in the process of mirroring national trends. Local university photography programs, long the province of men, have shifted so rapidly in recent years that the majority of new students today are female. Finally, "Behind the Redwood Curtain" provides a unique opportunity for comparing this region's women photographers with other geographic areas. While a comparison may be drawn between Humboldt County and any rural county in America, it might just as easily be applied to a densely populated urban center such as New York City. 

Long regarded as a wilderness until white settlement began in 1850, the Humboldt region lies some 275 miles north of San Francisco and contains a land mass of 3,573 square miles. Reputed to be the home of the elusive "Big Foot", Humboldt County is mountainous, laced with numerous rivers, and bounded by vast forestlands. In modern times, the population has hovered around 100,000, with the majority of the county's citizens clustered around Humboldt Bay which incorporates the principle cities of Eureka (Humboldt County's largest urban center) and Arcata (Home of Humboldt State University). Logging, ranching and maritime industries have constituted the principle economic base, while rains and dense fogs shroud the land. Groves of giant redwood trees dominate the landscape; often so thick and forbidding that even the local Native American inhabitants avoided their dark domain.

Not surprisingly, Humboldt County has frequently been stereotyped as a "man's domain", where women are considered scarce. Pejorative slogans like: "Humboldt Honey" and "Where Men are Men, and so are the women" imply that only an independent-minded, burly woman with unshaven legs and armpits, ever found her way to this remote and inhospitable land. While much has changed over the past 150 years, both geographically and regarding the female population of Humboldt County, many of these negative attitudes linger still. 

The makers of the 100 photographs selected for the exhibition "Behind the Redwood Curtain" represents roughly 10% of the 700 plus women who have been linked to photography in Humboldt County over the past 150 yrs. Although there are a number of motion picture and videographers in the area, we have elected to limit the exhibition to still photographers only. The image selection represents a wide spectrum of interests and backgrounds. Some have used a camera for a lifetime, while others still count themselves as beginners, including several young women who are still in high school. 

You are invited to celebrate the photographs in this exhibition as it travels and, where possible, to congratulate the women who made them. We also trust that, at least for the women photographers of Humboldt County, California, the "redwood curtain" has been lifted, letting the sunshine of diversity and creativity shine through brightly.

Exhibition Dates and Sites: 

  • Reese-Bullen Gallery, Humboldt State University 

    4 November - 18 December 1999

  • International Photography Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    15 February - 31 March 2000

Other venues are pending.

Curators for "Behind the Redwood Curtain" are:

  • Peter E. Palmquist, an independent historian of photography, specializing in pioneer photography, the American West, California photography to 1950, and women in photography globally. He is founding curator of the Women in Photography International Archive and author of more than forty books in the field.
  • Gia Musso, an historian of California and the West, and Associate Curator of the Women in Photography International Archive. She has most recently co-authored the book: Women Photographers - a Selection of Images from the Women in Photography International Archive, 1852 - 1997. Gia is the project manager for this exhibition.

From the Peter Palmquist 
Women in Photography International Archive

I Hold You Close 1999 by Jorden Nigro

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Marketing News - Archive #2
April 2000 - June 2000

Improving Your Marketing Plan - Year 2000

by Maria Piscopo

Electronic Rights and Promotion Rights Only in Exchange for Piscopo Web site link http://www.mpiscopo.com

Today, you have to be a business owner. Whether full or part time, all successful photography businesses need to develop self-promotion. Word of mouth and referral business is fine, but it usually brings you the work other people want to give you, not necessarily the work you want! Whether you're just starting out or trying to build a bigger photo business, it's never too late for the planning, producing and managing of a better promotion strategy to find new clients. Two of the most cost-effective methods of marketing your photography services are direct mail and personal selling.

Direct mail

Please don't be discouraged from direct mail because some clients tell you they throw mailers away. If 90% of your clients toss out your piece, you should be ecstatic! That means 10% have responded, about three times higher than the average response. But direct mail is becoming more and more sophisticated with specific criteria for design and production becoming necessary, not optional. If you truly want to compete then you must make more effort then simply throwing a promo in an envelope!

There are four important factors that will increase your success with a direct mail campaign.

  1. The mailing list must be current and have the name of the client or buyer for the firm you wish to work with. In fact, the firm is not the client at all - the true client is the art director, marketing director or whoever is responsible for deciding who will hire you. Often you can buy the mailing list from the sourcebook you're advertising with, but you'll still need to plan the time for updating your own list.
  2. If you can't clearly identify potential clients for what they buy, such as people photography or fashion photography, then you'll find it difficult to be as successful with direct mail. Your potential client has to be able to relate to your mailer when they open it.

3. You must add some kind of response mechanism and easy way for clients to say, ╬Yes'. Some ideas include: a Web site, a toll free phone number, fax number, fax-back return response or business reply mail card will help increase response.

4. Finally, a regular schedule of mailings is very important to build the exposure you need to get through to the people you want to work with. A "one-shot" mailing does not work as well as a consistent schedule of mailings that are planned with your other self-promotion strategies. Don't forget about the visual consistency! A buyer will need to see your style or any other visual message six to sixteen times before they recognize who you are and will remember when to call you.

Personal Selling

You will target your market and focus on what you want to do more of as a photographer. Is it your personal style? Shooting a particular subject? Working in a specific industry? Unlike direct mail, you will be making a personal contact so you want to be sure it's the right match.

No matter how great you are as a photographer, you still need good people skills. To get appointments, close a sale, and follow up - all are verbal contacts with your clients you might not feel comfortable doing. Unfortunately, these are not skills most photographers learn in school.

The best preparation for any kind of personal selling is called "scripting." This is simply a process of writing down the expected interaction between you and your client. Talking to clients shouldn't be done without this preparation because you want to make the best use of your time, get more information about what clients want and have the best chance to get jobs. If you feel that you want to get more out of each conversation you have with a client, then scripting is the key to success in selling.

Start by writing down the anticipated conversation, as you would like it to go. Be sure to plan for all variables. In other words, no matter what a client's response, you have anticipated your reply. Not only will this technique help you get more out of every call, but also you will approach the entire chore of "selling" with more motivation and inspiration. You may even like it! Look at these ideas.

# 1
Open with a brief and specific introduction of your services. First you get people's attention, then you tell them what you want. For example, "Hello, I am a food illustrator and my name is __________. We are interested in the XYZ Restaurant account and would like to show our food portfolio to you this week - when would be a good time to come by?" The key word here is "when" and gives you more options in terms of having a conversation then if you had asked; "May I come and show my portfolio?" Clients can say, "No " and it doesn't give the client time to seriously consider your request and their needs.

# 2
Always use sentences with open-ended questions that use "How, who, what, when, where and why" to encourage the information gathering, reduce the time you spend and reduce the rejection that comes with a "NO!" For example, when showing your portfolio, ask an open-ended question to get information, confirm the information and verify agreements you have reached. For example, "How often do you use different photographers?"

# 3
Never hang up the phone or leave a meeting without confirming for their next contact with you. This is called the follow-up agreement and must be in your control of it. Successfully accomplishing this objective keeps you motivated to sell day after day and gets you the work. For example, you can get this confirmation by asking the client, "When would be a good time to check back on that job?" or "How do you feel about a follow-up call in 4 weeks?"

Don't expect these new techniques to feel comfortable at first. Anything not practiced usually is quite uncomfortable. You will feel like you are "pushing" yourself. What you are actually doing, is "pulling" out the information needed to get the work.

Scripts do not have to be elaborate but you must think through what you want to communicate and what you want to learn from the other person. You will find your communications and presentations not only easier, but also more effective.

For more information, see http://www.mpiscopo.com.

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Book Review - Archive #2
April 2000 - June 2000

Book Cover

Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti

by Patricia Albers,

Clarkson, Potter: 1999


Reviewed by Carole Glauber

Tina Modotti's life has all the components of a good story: love, betrayal, sex, passion, violence and adversity, foreign intrigue, and unsolved mysteries. Fortunately, the past 17 years have seen much scholarly activity concerning her life and work. Interest in Modotti has mushroomed, and at last she is receiving recognition as a photographer on her own terms rather than as Edward Weston's companion. Mildred Constantine first attempted Modotti's biography in 1983 with the ironic title Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life whose cover depicts Tina as vulnerable and soulful. Tina Modotti Photographer and Revolutionary by Margaret Hooks was called "definitive" in the 1993 New York Times Book Review.

Born in 1896 in Udine, a town in Northeast Italy, Modotti became all too familiar with poverty and the resulting social unrest fueled by joblessness and hunger. When Tina was nine, her father, Giuseppe, left his family for San Francisco. Slowly, he sent money to Italy, allowing the children passage to America one by one and in 1913, Tina joined her father. Her stints in a shirt factory, as an I.Magnin seamstress, and a hatmaker provided income. During the summer of 1916, Tina made her acting debut in a North Beach Italian theater, captivating audiences and becoming a local theater star.

In 1917, she met Roubaix de l'Abrie Richey in San Francisco. Richey, known as Robo, worked as a painter and writer, immersed in the Bohemian life, although born in Pleasant Valley, Oregon to a prosperous farm family. They paired up, despite Robo's marriage, and invented a relationship believed by others to include their marriage. It turned out that Robo and Tina never married despite previous accounts assuming they were.

Robo and Tina moved to Los Angeles where Tina acted in silent films. She met the charismatic photographer Edward Weston and became his model and lover. Robo decided to go to Mexico in 1922, and Tina soon followed. Albers documented Modotti's rail trip to Mexico City where Robo languished in a hospital while dying of smallpox and sheds new light on this event. By careful sleuthing, she found letters, photographs, papers, and mementos in two trunks stored for years in the Roseberg, Oregon attic of Ruth and LaBrie Ritchie, Robo's first cousin once removed. Previous Modotti biographers described Modotti receiving the news of Robo's death while on the train, whereas, according to Albers' information, Robo died shortly after Tina's arrival.

Tina was smitten with Mexico, decided to stay, and Weston soon joined her. She made her earliest photographs in 1923 - at first still lifes, then portraits, or portions of her stairwell, a circus tent or patterns of wires across the sky. Her strong photographs of Mexican peasants and workers reflected her memories of childhood poverty, but as she became involved in Communism, her photographs often evolved into various arrangements portraying a hammer and sickle or Red Aid rallies. By 1931, she had stopped photographing, having created 160 images compared to Westons's 750 during his Mexican sojurn. But Modotti was a novice to Weston's years of experience and much of her time went to supporting his work or the commercial photography they did to provide income.

Neither she nor Weston felt any compunction to remain faithful to one another; both had numerous affairs. They surrounded themselves with the Bohemian elite and immersed themselves in the artistic life of Mexico City. Modotti's political beliefs eventually superceded photography in importance. Her lovers and friendships shifted from artists to revolutionaries, especially the Cuban anarchist Julio Antonio Mella, the staunch Communist operative, Xavier Guerrero, and the ruthless Vittorio Vidali.

Her work on behalf of the Communist party consumed her life, leading to her deportation from Mexico, years in Stalinist Russia working for Red Aid, and then anti-fascist activities in Spain during its Civil War where she witnessed its horrors. She returned to Mexico City with a false passport, thereby avoiding almost certain liquidation in Russia. With her health and spirit broken, she lived under the pseudonyms Carmen and Maria. Modotti's death in a taxicab in 1942 remains somewhat mysterious. Although confirmed as a heart attack, one cannot dismiss the possibility of Vidali's involvement.

Albers sometimes inserts assumptions about Modotti's reactions or appearances that can weaken the narrative. However, her attentive research details important insights into the bittersweet intensity of Modotti's life and work. Certainly Modotti's life was not a fragile one, but that of a talented, tough, and shrewd woman as evident by her work as a Communist secret agent and her involvement with Communist attrocities and anarchists. Tina's acting skills no doubt became useful while living and traveling under aliases and surviving accusations by the Mexico City police and media of instigating murder.

Tina's photographs endure as a testament to her sensitivity to the Mexican people and their environment. Unfortunately, the book has only 17 reproductions of her work. More examples would enhance the narrative, particularly in a biography about someone known as a photographer. Snapshots by others do furnish valuable information about her activities. Overall, Albers has presented us with a fascinating account of an enigmatic person who inspired the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to write, "bees, shadows, fire,/snow, silence and foam combining/with steel and wire and/pollen to make up your firm/and delicate being."


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