Photo collectives are to be admired.

More about network than net worth; more about camaraderie than competition; and more about group-strength than groupthink, I reckon collectives are the best. Being in one doesn’t guarantee an endless flow of fat-paying assignments, but it does guarantee a endless suuply of expertise, friends and feedback. If was a photographer I’d totally be in one.

Imagine my double-bliss when Boreal Collective invited me to the Boreal Bash which is itself is all about collectives.

 Two pictures of Boreal Bash 2014.


The 2015 Boreal Bash is in Toronto from August 14-16th. What is it? It’s portfolio reviews, presentations by guest speakers, an exhibition, a thought experiment, and an important workshop. It is “a place where photographers can come together, learn from each other, drink and be merry,” they say.

And, if you can get yourself there, it is FREE.

Photo collectives MJR, Prime and Dysturb will be there.


Here’s the thing though, Boreal needs to cover overheads. I donated a sketch but that Kickstarter incentive was already snagged, so I can’t tempt you with that. Head over to the Boreal Bash Kickstarter page and let them convince you. Below are a bunch of prints, postcards and newspapers to get you revved up.


Sled dog eats moose leg. 12×8″ Rafal Gerszak. Yukon, Canada. 2015


New to this bash is the workshop.  For this, Boreal Collective’s first ever documentary photography workshop THE ART OF BEING AN INDEPENDENT STORYTELLER you get two days (Fri Aug 14th – Sat Aug 15th) of intensive workshopping. They’re going to let you in on the secrets to make it as an independent photographer. They want you to have a project in progress — something for y’all to get your chops into. If I was a photographer, I’d totally be signing up.


The workshop ain’t free. But it can be. If you’re young and hungry and have the time to submit your work, there’s a scholarship spot up for grabs. I’ve got word from the inside that submissions have been slow (blame LOOK3) so statistically, your chances are good. Get on it. You’re one email from hobnobbing/editing with very talented photographers. One email from certain fame and glory.

Deadline is Midnight EST on Friday June 19th


Boreal are “united by a desire to document humanity and its intricate realities in our rapidly evolving world. […] At a time when the photographic industry is being dismantled, Boreal seeks to rise to the challenge of taking an active role in its redefinition.”

They are Laurence Butet-Roch, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Rafal Gerszak, Brett Gundlock, Johan Hallberg-Campbell, Matt Lutton, Eamon Mac Mahon, Mauricio Palos, Jonathan Taggart and Ian Willms.


Could be yours:


Ian Wilms. Scarecrow Family, Poland (2012) From the series Why We Walk Framed, 12×18 Giclée Print on Fine Art Baryta Paper, mounted on archival foam. Edition 1/12.
A Boreal 4×6″ postcard
Sleeping vigilante fighter. Brett Gundlock. 2013. 8×8″ Digital C-Print.
Amusement park in Prishtina, Kosovo. Matt Lutton. 2008. 11×14″ Digital C-Print.
Christmas Tree, Alligator. Mississippi. Brandon Thibodeaux. 2012 – 6×6 Gelatin Silver Selenium Toned Print ed. 20
Niviaqsi and net ball, Iqalugaaqjuk, Nunavut. Jonathan Taggart. 2013. 8×12″ Digital C-Print.
Berkut in Mariinskiy. Kyiv, Ukraine. Brendan Hoffman. 2014. 11×14″ Edition: 1 of 10
Hunter at Caddo Lake, Texas. Lance Rosenfield. 2014. 8″x8″ Digital C-print
Boreal SUBJECT(ive) newsprint. 12 pages full colour.
Métis Hunter at Big Point, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta (2010). Ian Willms. 8×12 Chromogenic Print.
Boreal TENSION newsprint. 12 pages full colour.
View of the open air pit from the lookout. Thetford Mines, Quebec. Laurence Butet-Roch. 2009. 11×14″. Archival pigment print.