The New Business of Photography

The research Tell Your Story, initiated by Forhanna in 2019, showed that several ways exist in which documentary work can be produced sustainably. The research focused on projects and the way they were financed by their makers.

Now Forhanna initiates a new research to help identify how photographers can create not just sustainable projects, but sustainable careers.

“How can narrative photography be made future-proof?”

In the preliminary stages of this project, researchers David Campbell and Marc Prüst have interviewed several heads of departments of photographic departments of institutions of higher education in the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Australia.

This has enabled them to define concrete research questions that define the urgency and relevance of the challenge facing documentary practitioners. 

  • Firstly, the economic, social, and cultural relevance of documentary photography has to be established.
  • With the assumption that this value can be articulated, the second part of the research will focus on which channels can be identified as important in the distribution of documentary photographic work.
  • Lastly the researchers will look to identify and describe an economic business model that support the creation of projects adapted to these channels. 

The researchproject ‘Tell Your Story’ focuses on creative projects and the way they were financed by their makers.

More about the project.

About the researcher

David Campbell

David Campbell is an internationally-experienced, globally-minded communications, media and politics professional with a uniquely varied history of strategy, management, analysis and writing within government, academia, and non-government organizations (NGOs).

David is passionate about creating and investigating new ways of seeing the world that can promote change. As a strategist, he develops purpose-driven communications that deliver an organisation’s objectives. As a producer, he fosters diverse and different perspectives with social impact. As a professor, he researches, writes and teaches about the media economy to understand the power and impact of visual stories. 

David holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and for more than twenty-five years he taught visual culture, geography, and politics at universities in the USA, Australia, and the UK. He is currently Honorary Professor in Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia, and Visiting Professor in the Northern Photography Centre at the University of Sunderland, UK.

David has produced visual projects on the Bosnian War, imaging famine, and the visual economy of HIV/AIDS, and between 2015 and 2020 he worked in senior management at the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam.