Each month, we will be hosting a roundtable with photographers in hopes of engaging discussion on questions of representation, ethics, responsibility, aesthetics and/or process. And, the exchange will continue during the following weeks thanks to responses from other practitioners. Want to participate, email your thoughts to

© Rosie Brock

Photography 101: Reflections on Pursuing Formal Education

With Clea Christakos-Gee , Alia Youssef, Angeniet Berkers, Fehn Foss, Nicholas Aiden, Rachel Cicoria, Rosie Brock, Sabrina Santiago
Published August 30, 2018

While there's no single recipe to becoming a successful photographer, institutions are developing training programs that promise to set you on your way. A few weeks before school resumes, Flash Forward Flash Back intern and Ryerson student, Clea Christakos-Gee convened a group of peers to reflect on their training. What were they hoping for? Were those expectations met? And what do universities need to do better?

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Portrait of Kali Spitzer's sister

The Undeniable Strangeness of Photography: Representing with Dignity

With Amber Bracken, Bénédicte Desrus, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Endia Beal, Kali Spitzer, Stephen Mayes
Published July 8, 2018

Dignity and photography have long had a tense relationship. More often than not, especially when it comes to documentary and photojournalism, people are pictured at their most vulnerable, when facing tragic circumstances. However, as the photographers involved in this discussion share and demonstrate in their work, respect for those in front of their lens must always be paramount. But what does that mean exactly? How do artists and documentarians honour the dignity of those they are representing? And how can the care put in the act of making a photograph be clearly communicated with the audience?

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Briss looks at her computer with her friend Erika, who has since passed away.

A Rainbow of Nuances: Reporting LGBTQ+ Stories

With Danielle Villasana, Jess T. Dugan, Jake Naughton, Bradley Secker, Annie Tritt, Lauren Mulligan
Published May 25, 2018

At the beginning of May, six photographers gathered on Skype from their home in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Turkey to discuss the representation of LGBTQ+ communities. All have done extensive work within these spaces. They reflect on what visual tropes are recurrent, how they intersect with geography, the repercussions on LGBTQ+ folks and on society writ-large, as well as offer some avenues to move forward and create a more diverse, inclusive and nuanced coverage of LGBTQ+ stories.

“People tend to latch onto the tropes and see them as the only truth,” Danielle Villasana reminds us. “For example, if you’re only shown trans people as sex workers, that’s all society will associate them with. Showing a more diverse view of a community will lead to the audience understanding that community better.”

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