This post is part of a series featuring photographers who are taking advantage of Lattice, PhotoShelter’s new platform to help you get discovered by curating boards on topics you care about.
Photojournalist Jack Kurtz began using Lattice by making a board on a country he loves photographing, Myanmar. Since then, he has contributed to and is featured in over 30 boards in a wide range of themes, while also using Lattice to get a sense of the work other PhotoShelter photographers are making.
We had a conversation with Jack about his experience using Lattice and the board creation process. After adding a few images onto the Myanmar board, other Lattice users began submitting their own photos to his board’s stream. Now, the board paints a balanced yet beautiful picture of the country, made possible by the countless different voices and eyes that make up the Lattice photographers.
PS: What do you like about Lattice?
JK: I think it’s a great way of sharing work and highlighting related images. Sometimes it’s thematically related (Rachel Reiss’ “Green” board is terrific), sometimes geographically like the Myanmar board or Katrina Ellison Geltman’s board on Afghanistan, and sometimes it’s conceptual like Tina Granzo’s “Point and Line to Plane.” It’s a lot of fun and a excellent way to explore the work being done by PhotoShelter photographers.
You’ve used Lattice to curate a beautiful board on Myanmar. What made you decide to do a board on it?
First off, thank you! I appreciate the kind words. Nobody had started a Myanmar board yet. I was going to do one on Bangkok, but there’s already a beautiful Bangkok board. I have a lot of my own work from Myanmar and it’s a lovely country, so I decided to curate a Myanmar board instead.
When you originally created the board and were choosing images, were you looking to convey a specific aesthetic or did you want to showcase a range of photography?
I wanted to use a range of photos from Myanmar to create a portrait of the country. At the same time, I didn’t want to fall to easy stereotypes or focus on just one thing. So there are some photos of the political changes in Myanmar, but it’s not about the political change. Likewise, there are photos that represent the role of Buddhism in Myanmar, but it’s not about Buddhism (although there are a lot of photos representing Buddhism on the board). I wanted to showcase a range of photography and different styles of photography.
While making the board, did you think about the sequence? If so, what were your considerations?
The first week or two, before other photographers started submitting work, I thought about the sequencing. I wanted to open with a set of photos that said something about Myanmar. I think it’s an incredibly diverse place, so I started with photos from the Shia holy day of Ashura before transitioning to the Buddhist side of Myanmar. As other photographers have found the board and submitted their own work I haven’t worried about sequencing as much. Now there’s such a variety of styles and content that I would have a hard time sequencing the photos.
You’ve promoted around 40 images from your board’s stream to the board. Were you prompted to do this from the daily digest emails or were you circling back to the board regularly on your own?
The first month or two, I visited the board every day and would make changes based on what people were submitting to the feed. Now I rely on the email digests to let me know when something new is posted. The daily digest emails are essential to my managing the board.
When deciding which images you would promote from the stream to your board, what were you looking for? Tell us about the general theme between the images that made the cut.
First of all, they have to be good pictures. At this point, with the number of photos that are already on the board, they have to be something new. If somebody wants to submit of a photo of a monk, for example, it must be an outstanding image of a monk because there are already a lot of photos of Buddhism. Something that’s new or unique, really pops, will have a much better chance of getting promoted.