Thank You. All Of You.

I want to take a moment to officially announce that Profiles in Photography is no longer active. I put the site and its social media accounts on “hiatus” in April 2018 and haven’t written or researched any profiles since. Now that it’s been on hiatus much longer than it was active, I feel confident enough to say that I have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish with it, and that unless I’m hit with a sudden jolt of inspiration, I don’t plan on writing any profiles for the foreseeable future. You may notice I’ve slightly changed a few things about the site’s design, but rest assured that Profiles in Photography will remain online under its current URL, and the email account (profilesinphotography at gmail dot com) will remain active. If you want to read things I write in the future, I recently created a Substack account, though I haven’t really set it up beyond that.

(I may end up converting the WordPress site to a free account, which means I’d lose the custom domain name, but I think I can ask my domain-name registrar to redirect all links to the most current version of the site. I’d just have to make sure that links to specific pages would still work.)

For those of you in the photography community, please be assured that I made this decision solely for personal reasons. Every time I got an email from a publicist, every time I had to put “Founder/editor, Profiles in Photography (on hiatus)” on a résumé, I’d feel an uncomfortable little jolt in the pit of my stomach. What was I going to do about the site? I’d made vague gestures regarding its return a month after I started the hiatus, but hadn’t said a word since.

What I didn’t entirely want to admit to myself was that I am a different person than I was when I started the site four years ago. In the spring of 2017, I wasn’t sure if I wanted photography or writing to take precedence as my main creative pursuit. Through writing profiles of contemporary photographers I admired, I hoped that I could do a little bit of both. Over time, however, it became clear that writing was always going to take precedence. As a consequence, I am now much less immersed in the photography world than I was in 2017–2018—those of you who followed my photography account may have noticed that I deactivated it a little over a year ago—and I don’t think it would be fair or prudent for a relative outsider to be writing the kinds of profiles that I’d wanted to write.

I’m very proud of what I’ve written here. A few weeks ago I went back and read some of the profiles and was surprised at how well they held up. Of course there were things that I wanted to change—show me a writer who doesn’t want to revise any of their old stuff and I’ll show you a liar—but I was mostly happy with what I saw. (I would, however, retitle “Making It Compelling” as “Making It Mildly More Interesting Than The Average Snapshot.”)

On a less narcissistic note, I am grateful for everyone who has read or shared my writing on here. I am grateful to everyone in the photography community who helped connect me with the photographers I profiled on here, whether through telling me about them directly or featuring their work on your Instagram accounts or websites. And I am especially grateful to every photographer I profiled for taking what, in retrospect, was a pretty big gamble. You assumed that a nineteen-year-old with a nonexistent résumé, no real bylines, and two rejection letters from his college newspaper to his name would be a competent enough writer to do their work justice. You took time out of your day, sometimes even meeting up in person or talking on the telephone, to answer that nineteen-year-old’s incessant questions. I take inspiration from you every single day: from your artistry, your incredible work ethic, and your generosity of time and spirit.

Author: Peter W. Coulson

Writer and photographer from Baltimore and Los Angeles. Founder and editor-in-chief of Profiles in Photography.

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