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38.1 - Structure

The next page discusses the rewards of photography.

Rewards may be why we do photography.

This page is about structure.

Structure is more about the doing of photography, than it is about why we do photography, the rewards.

But, if you don't do photography, there are no rewards.

Structure Only, No Content

Hans Ulrich Obrist is an author, editor, curator, and head of the Programme Migrateurs at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

According to Bruce Mau in his article about creativity, Incomplete Manifesto, Obrist organized a conference without content—no speakers, panel discussions, and so forth.

The structure was present—events for people to meet and talk.

Mau reports:

... it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

What structures encourage your way-of-working?

Class as a Model

A photography class is a model for what we need to create on our own, unless we suffer serial-photography-class disorder.

Specifically, being given an assignment in a class, is structure.

You're given the frame, the narrowing of possibilities with limits and constraints, which reveals opportunities, along with an implied direction to follow.

You're given a destination, the time frame, a deadline.

There are several social structures that fuel your efforts in a class:

1) Support

The teacher, and your classmates, can energize you with more confidence.

As a teacher, this is fifty percent of my job.

You also have the support of class materials, such as handouts.

2) Expectations, including shame and recognition

When thinking about the destination, the deadline, the completion of your assignment, we have expectations.

a) If you don't do the assignment, you may expect to feel shame in the eyes of your teacher and classmates, so you get going.

b) You can also visual those same eyes admiring your efforts, recognition, so you get going.

When We're Not in a Class

When we're not in a class, we need a trigger, a tickle, to get ourselves started.

A student said:

I buy something new once a month.

Devise a trigger that's as effective for you by making it easy: mechanical and automatic.

We also need a routine, which is discussed in the Woody Allen & the Six P's section below.

We all have to use triggers and routines to fit photography into our busy lives.

Now, let's look at recognition and other rewards.