In recent years, the photo collective has emerged as a clear and strategic response by photographers who've reasoned that – in uncertain times – there is strength in numbers.
"In an industry that has become increasingly disjointed and often predatory upon its contributors, the collective has become a final refuge and place of community," reasons Justin Maxon, founding member of Razón collective. "The collective provides not only creative inspiration, but also a sense of support that can be lacking in this field."
Photo collectives differ in organization and intent, but tend to sprout from existing friendships. Some are little more than loose affiliations, other collectives are full-on business enterprises. On any given day, members of a collective may be brainstorming story ideas, editing others' images, marketing, developing the brand, cranking social media or helping partners draft contracts and model releases.
It is not uncommon for photographers in a collective to be geographically dispersed, some internationally. From serious discussions on branding and distribution to just chatting and catching up, regular video chats are the standard.
Of course, photographers rallying together is not a new thing. Magnum Photos, founded in 1947, along with large, contemporary groups such as VII and Noor Images, operate along the cooperative/agency model. These three groups license images and employ administrative staff in central offices whereas the smaller collectives -- featured here -- tend to work with lower overheads.
We contacted members of various emergent collectives to find out what they've learned during their infant years. In a collective of four, is the workload quartered or quadrupled? What sort of assistance do members provide one another? Do collectives advance careers and opportunities? What are the downsides? What are the tangible benefits of collectivism?Read on here...http://wtr.mn/JECgZA