What I’ve learned from my first solo exhibition.

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram you may know that I recently had an exhibition of my photographs, my first solo exhibition. The whole night was an amazing experience, I got to meet lots of wonderful people and they all had so many kind words for my work. I believe there was about 80 people that showed up in the course of the night and I tried to talk to all of them (I know there’s one or two of you that I never got the chance to say hi and if you’re reading this I’m sorry!). I feel extremely blessed to have had such a large portion of my family come down and see my work. I got to meet some new people and got the chance to have some wonderful conversations about art, life, and the people that inspire me.

But anyways back to what I’ve actually learned

  1. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Throughout the course of planning, preparation, and execution there were a countless number of little details to sort out and TONS of minor setbacks that happened along the process of putting the show together. I ran out of ink for printing posters, I found out that it was illegal for my parents to send some of their wonderful home-made wine over provincial borders, plus food preparation took longer than expected. The same thing happened when I was working on putting a show together for da Vinci College’s graduating photography exhibition. It’s important to keep your mind focused on the big picture (pun intended), accept that nothing is going to be perfect (although that is the goal), and that nobody’s going to care about the minute details. Just because artists often fall victim to perfectionism doesn’t give us an excuse to create nothing. We’ve gotta roll with the punches and work towards putting our work into the world! Imperfections are going to make everything seem more human.

  2. Delegate tasks. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a project that I’m passionate about I want to do EVERYTHING. But this is a flawed conception of my own capabilities. Nobody in the world is capable of doing every little task that a project requires, we need to relinquish control and let other people help out because that’s the only way to get things done. Just like my favorite rapper Lupe Fiasco puts it “Didn’t get here by myself a lot of help next to it” Thank you Chris at Picture It In a Frame for hosting the exhibition, thank you nan and pop for helping with the food as well as helping to transport all the stuff. If it wasn’t for the people that helped me put together the show and spread the word the exhibition wouldn't of been half as much fun.

  3. Try your hardest to fulfill your best possible vision of what you’re art exhibition should be. Once the show is going on don’t think about a thing. Just relax and remember that these people came to see your work! I’m still fucking amazed at the reality of it.

  4. Have fun! Spread the positive vibes and you’ll receive positive vibes back.

I’d like to thank everyone that came to the exhibition and especially Chris at Picture It In A Frame, my Nanny Marg and Poppy Stan for making sandwiches and lending me their wine glasses, as well as Poppy Ray for helping transport all of the things that needed transport. You are all amazing.

Instagram has changed my life

Hello everyone Today I’m going to talk about instagram, some love it, and some hate it. I was a “serious” photographer (as in I took taking photographs seriously and did it regularly) for about 2 years before I ever really got into instagram. Why? Because I HATED like it. I didn’t like any social media for a long time (I still don’t use Facebook for personal use). I thought it was a shallow way to present  a photograph, a platform that would surely do nothing but create half-second views by people that just want to see the next cool thing presented to them and nobody on the service really cares about the artistic merit of the photographs. looking back this is the absolute definition of cynicism, I wasn’t on Instagram and I heard other people praise how wonderful of a service it is, but I didn't listen (quick side note this makes me wonder that perhaps language isn’t the best means of trying to convince someone of the fault in their logic, but actual experience is the best way to get someone to  achieve understanding)

When I was in school for photography we had a social media class and were required to create accounts for all the big social media platforms, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest. I did my student duties and posted onto the platforms and when the course was over I may have posted once or twice again but I never had any real passion for it. I didn’t care enough to put in the required effort to really build a following or contribute to any community. But then my viewpoint changed. I A few months ago I got this idea, why not try something different?  Why just use social media as a platform to show images? There has to be some other, more creative way to use these platforms to create more good in the world. The idea I came up with was pretty simple, I combined my love for showing the beauty in the people of the world with my love for other content creators. So I decided that for EVERY photograph I post onto Instagram I am going to add a quote from a content creator whose work has influenced my life. Whether that be a musician, an author, or an actor. I want to help spread the ideas of the people that influence me (that aren’t photographers) because I feel as though that’s one thing that’s often underappreciated on instagram, it’s all about images and image-makers, but why not make it into a platform that helps promote all sorts of awesome content? I want to spread the ideas of people like David Foster Wallace and Nina Simone because their work fills my soul with love and gratitude and if I can help other people discover an awesome artist then I will be ecstatic.

I had nothing unique to contribute to instagram, so I just decided to do nothing at all, now I have all these people whose work I want to show to the world because what they make helps my soul feel more complete. I believe artists should take inspiration from the widest array of genres, in order to better understand the benefits and shortcomings of the medium that they choose to use. For example photography can’t show you the sound of someone singing, it never will, and that is one thing that really sucks about it. Photography is a silent medium, but through that silence it lends itself to quiet reading, to sitting alone in a quiet space where you can truly think about the thing that’s in front of you.

I love posting on Instagram, I love commenting on other people's work. Not just “hey cool photo” but actually taking the time out to mention why you think the photograph they made was good. I’ve found that at least 90% of the photos that I comment on get some kind of comment back because people notice when you actually take the time out to really write down your thoughts about their work. I finally feel like Instagram is a platform that can foster a community of people and that this community can help artists get their work into the world and positively influence others.

I love Instagram.

Follow me @jeremybrakephoto because I will be posting BTS and updates in the coming days for my exhibition “Find Yourself” hosted at Picture It In A Frame on 51 West St. Corner Brook.