Is Commercial Photography Is Parasitic

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Is Commercial Photography Parasitic? Anandi Ramamurthy: Commercial photography, for the most part, has not sought to stretch the medium of photography, since one of the key characteristics of all commercial photography is its parasitism. (Wells, L., p.204) For me, the idea that commercial photography is openly and brazenly “parasitic” is a revelation. I now realise how important it is for me to discuss and work through this question in relation to my own work – it is a crucial element for me to understand. Almost every day I face different stereotypes connected with photography and the industry itself. Sometimes even from highly educated people I hear preconceptions about image making as an insignificant process than can be explained with the development of technical industry and slogans such as “Don’t think. Shoot” (Sony). This degrades photography not only as an art of craft but it also denies image making as a complex process which provokes a dialogue with the viewer. My aim for this essay is to look professionally and with critique to the question of commercial photography being parasitic and to compare it in context with art photography practise. I had the opportunity to be in a lecture with Tom Hunter and it was interesting to find out where art photographers get their ideas and inspirations. Tom Hunter was brought to the public’s attention in 1998 when he won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award with a photograph ‘Woman reading a Possession Order’. It is one of a series of works called ‘Persons Unknown’ that for inspiration uses Johannes Vermeer’s work from the 17th century. ‘Woman reading a Possession Order’ is a direct reference to Vermeer’s ‘A Girl reading a Letter by an Open Window’. The photograph uses the same composition as the painting, showing a woman facing a window reading a letter, in profile to the viewer. Both images tell a

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