Snap Spotlight: Karl Grupe
One of the things I was certain about when I started planning SNAP is that there would be elements of the event that would be challenging. Good challenging.
There is a saying that goes "if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got" and I am firmly of the opinion that as creative people we should always be challenging ourselves to think differently, to learn something new and to audit the way we approach our work.
Karl's workshop is specifically designed to challenge the way we look at the world and will explore methods of communicating visually through the use of idea, creation and photographic typology.
I met Karl on a course that he ran, back when I'd not long started photographing weddings. I attended one of his workshops that explored ways of seeing. We were set a weekly brief to respond to and then we'd discuss our work in a group.
None of the people on my course were very experienced photographers but Karl had this way of making everyone feel that their opinions were equally as valid as his, whilst challenging you to think about your own work and how you could approach it differently.
We've kept in touch and I recently attended another one of his workshops at Central Saint Martins, which focussed on the snapshot aesthetic. And, yes, if you haven't guessed, that might have influenced the name of SNAP.
Karl is an experienced commercial photographer, an academic (currently working on his PhD) and teacher and he has, in the past, even turned his hand to shooting weddings. It's fair to say his experience and knowledge spans the photography world. He's delivered workshops for everyone from Central Saint Martins to The Royal Photographic Society, and teaches everyone from classes of beginners to professional photographers who want 121 mentoring.
I knew as soon as I decided to launch SNAP that Karl was one of the key non-wedding people that I wanted to invite to speak, as he's someone that I have found constantly inspiring though out my journey as a photographer.
His workshop 'Ideation and The Beautiful Nothing" will explore typology, from its origins to contemporary use in photography. You'll have the opportunity to work to and explore a photographic brief that's designed to shift the way you “see”.
For many of us, working to a brief will either be outside of the scope of what we're used to or something we haven't done for a while, so I'd really encourage everyone to catch one of Karl's sessions if you can.
Working conceptually, rather than reacting to your environment, requires a completely different mindset and the exploration of your work afterwards in a group setting will really help you to see your work differently.
The group work we did as part of the Snapshot course at CSM was revolutionary for me. You can't always spot the patterns that you regularly conform to and you can't break free of those patterns if you don't know they're there.