Our October/November Issue

by Photo Life

We’re excited about all the great content in the October/November issue! We have tips on avoiding and recovering from rejection, and we explore how a minimalist approach can strengthen composition and enhance mood. Photojournalist David Himbert reflects on his work and the importance of responsibility in photojournalism. You’ll also want to check out our interview with Governor General’s Award winner Jeff Thomas, our article on portraitist and community-builder May Truong, and our review of the new Profoto C1 and C1 Plus.

Over the last couple of months as we’ve been putting this issue together, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about Marius Masalar‘s article “Dealing With Rejection: Positive Ways to Think About, Avoid and Recover From Hearing ‘No.’” In it, he addresses different types of rejection, including the kind that can come with artistic submissions. Putting our work (and ourselves) “out there” feels so incredibly personal. When we take a risk and submit for something and the response is negative, it can be hard to bounce back and figure out what steps to take next. It can shake our confidence and make us question what we’re doing and why. If we’re lucky, we might come out of it all feeling even more stubborn and determined to pursue our art. But even if that is the case, having our work rejected is really hard. Marius reflects on this tough reality in his article.

“Photographers who submit their work have to find ways to come to terms with the overwhelming apathy and negativity they’ll encounter in response to their art. The simplest way is to remind ourselves that our self-worth and sense of our own skills should not be tied to the outcome of those submissions. It’s like a lottery: the statistics are not in your favour.

Not only that, but each publication or contest is first and foremost beholden to its artistic vision and its audience. Its goal isn’t to showcase the best work in some objective sense because that just isn’t possible. Judging is always subjective. Publications and contests showcase work that aligns with their vision and direction.

I’ve come to think of artistic submissions as marketing tools. If you are selected, it’s good press and makes you feel validated. If you aren’t, it doesn’t really mean anything and is just a cost of doing business.”

—Marius Masalar, “Dealing With Rejection: Positive Ways to Think About, Avoid and Recover From Hearing ‘No’”

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