There seems to be a running theme in our recent blog posts here at Photograd as we introduce you to some other online communities and networks.
In this blog post we introduce you to Fable & Folk, an independent platform created to embrace and share the tradition of visual storytelling to inform, educate and inspire.
We think Charlotte’s answers are really inspiring so we hope you enjoy a read through them.
If you have something to share or talk about on the blog, get in touch!
Who are you, what's your motto? My name is Charlotte and I’m a recent photography graduate. I wouldn’t say I have a motto, but one of my favourite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy”. I think this applies so much within the photographic community - I spent years looking at other people’s work and thinking it was so much better than my own. Once I learnt to value my own work and not compare myself to others, I produced my best photography to date.
What’s your background? Have you studied photography? I was born in Manchester but grew up in a small village in North Lincolnshire. I started studying photography at A Level then moved to Cheltenham to study Editorial & Advertising Photography at The University of Gloucestershire. I graduated in November and recently got a job as a Content Creation Manager at an independent company specialising in homeware and DIY products. I plan on travelling in a couple of years time and would like to start my own photobook business in the future.
What's your favourite style of photography? I wouldn’t say I have a favourite genre of photography, I love and appreciate photographs that tell a story or photographs that have thought and craftsmanship behind them. My specialisation, however, is documentary photography because I love to talk to people. I love to dedicate time to speaking to someone, finding out their story and trying to capture that. Moreover, I love finding out the story behind an interesting place and trying to document every inch of it to best tell it’s story to others.
Who or what motivates you? I have been passionate about photography for years now. I guess what motivates me to photograph is I feel a need to tell people’s stories and share them. I feel motivated by what’s going on in the world and by finding stories I haven’t seen/heard told before. I also surround myself with other photography - photobooks, magazines, social media accounts, organisations and blogs - to inspire me and keep me constantly thinking of new ideas.
Can you tell us what Fable & Folk is? Fable & Folk is an online platform created to embrace and share the tradition of visual storytelling to inform, educate and inspire others. Directed at young or aspiring photographers, it’s a space I curate and share narratives and photo-stories. I want to develop Fable & Folk into more than just a blog sharing others work but an online hub - full of information from fellow budding photographers and the professionals whilst keeping my audience updated with current affairs in the photographic world.
Tell us about the team behind Fable & Folk. There isn’t really a team at Fable & Folk, it’s mostly just me. I tend to be involved in every step of the process from recruiting a photographer to feature to the end blog post and sharing that on social media. I don’t feel I would be 100% truthful though if I said I did everything. Sometimes, my partner Adam Elliott and a few great friends from university, particularly Megan Bendall, are a great assistance in helping me find new and exciting work. It’s difficult running the operation mostly on my own but I consider it my baby and even if I had a full team of amazing staff, I’d still want to be involved in everything.
What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for Fable & Folk? Fable & Folk started when I was studying at university and couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for a career - all I knew was that I love photobooks. I love designing them, constructing them and collecting them. Eventually my tutor Grant Scott and I decided the best way for me to pursue a career in photobooks would be for me to start my own publishing company. To build an audience, you first need to create a blog that naturally attracts an audience that will eventually move from the blog, to your company. I can’t thank Grant and my university peers enough for their support of Fable & Folk and if you haven’t already, I recommend listing to Grant’s podcast series ‘A Photographic Life’.
What is Fable & Folk's biggest achievement to date? I’ve never been one to keep track of numbers or views. I know it sounds cheesy but I would say my biggest achievement is having had the chance to be in contact with so many fantastic photographers and to have built a hub of Fable & Folk support on Twitter. I feel so proud of where Fable & Folk is, who our biggest supporters are and most importantly, the list of photographers I get to consider friends and mentors.
How can photographers get involved in what you do? We always love being contacted by photographers! If you’re interested in submitting to Fable & Folk, visit our ‘Contact’ page for more details. We don’t have specifics on what the series should necessarily be or look like, we only ask you send us a strong narrative. THAT’S IT. That’s not to say we accept all work but we always want to offer something - whether it’s a feature on the blog or advice on how to develop the work to eventually get it featured. We also love getting constructive criticism and positive feedback from our audience on F&F so please feel free to message us or drop us an email.
Give one tip to new photography graduates. If I could give one tip to new photography graduates I would stress the importance of networking - whether it’s through social media or attending events, it’s vital to make contact with other photographers. Networking so much during my course has meant that since leaving university, and trying to grow Fable & Folk, I have had endless support and mentorship from so many different photographers and influencers within the community - special thanks to Iain Sarjeant for giving me heaps of advice when the blog first started and to Chloe Juno for motivating me and offering so much help. In addition, I think it’s even more helpful if you’re struggling mentally, feeling overwhelmed or lost, to talk to someone in the same boat so don’t be afraid to reach out!
What does 2019 have in store for Fable & Folk? I don’t want to give too much away but I’m hoping 2019 will be a game changer for Fable & Folk. I really want to get more interviews on the blog and I’d like to try and get a new feature on the site where I share exhibitions, events and workshops for people to attend. I’d also potentially like to rebrand - new website, new logo - so the brand evolves with the work and the audience. I hope we can really develop into a fully realised online platform featuring lots of different important yet inspirational content for budding photographers/ photography enthusiasts.