Dimitri Beck, the editor of French (from France) photojournalism
magazine POLKA came to SPAO to give a talk.
Dimitri is obviously a smart, well-spoken and passionate, fellow. It
was swell to hear him talk about the genesis of the stories POLKA
runs, about editorial choices to be made, the magazine’s relation-
ship with it’s contributors and so on.
But I couldn’t help but wonder, given the talk and the context, about
POLKA comes from another culture, one more steeped in and, perhaps,
more passionate about photojournalism than ours. And, it is important
to note that I have never really studied the magazine, so I only have what
Dimitri chose to show and discuss, his take and point of view, to go on.
But it all seemed a bit old fashioned and insistent upon on objectivity
(which drool doesn’t believe exists). True, Mr. Beck was careful to bring
up the fact that it was the fotografers’ “voice” that was important, that
made the magazine consider them for a particular gig. But that, the
fotografers’ voice, in and of itself, says “point of view”, and by subverting
that obvious fact behind the guise of old-skool foto-j ethics is, to me,
so late 20th Century.
drool believes that the honest way to report is to inject the fact of the
fotografers’ voice front and center, to acknowledge by the approach to
and the information contained in fotografs, that everyone has an agenda,
that it is the person and the brain that take good fotos, not a camera and
just being there, where ever “there” is.
drool will often pick nits, have a hard (and subjective) take on goings-on.
But in the end drool will always give props to any one or organization that
gets stuff done. No matter what.
So check out POLKA and see what you think.
Ok, I’m excited and, like, totally scared. STRAYLIGHT Press.
Things are getting firmed up on the back end of the e-commerce website,
A couple of brand new ‘zines by local talent are in production. Not only
that, there are also a couple of my fave (not to mention: well-known)
American fotogs who are on-board and excited about contributing.
All this will come to light starting in June with, of course, some heavy
marketing in the form of lots of blog posts from the STRAYLIGHT site,
and other social media platforms.
The plan is to keep it informative, current and interesting. To, in other
The hope is that concerned citizens will reciprocate.