It's Not Enough to Just Point a Camera

Anthony Luvera, Sarah Allen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Making photographs has always been a collaborative act. A myriad of creative decisions, social interactions, divisions of labour, and many other forms of contribution are usually buried in service to the photographer’s ‘unique vision’. But what takes place when these processes of collaboration, co-production, or social encounter are positioned as an integral part of the work presented to an audience? When the ‘subjects’ are recast as ‘participants’ taking part in a socially-engaged, community, collaborative, or participatory photography practice?

Anthony Luvera, in conversation with curator Sarah Allen, reflects on a number of practical, theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues that can arise when working collaboratively. These questions form a significant thread running through Luvera’s practice as an artist, writer and educator, in the long-term collaborative projects created with people who have experienced homelessness in cities and towns across the UK. Themes of authorship, agency, consent, power, and representation are particularly highlighted, exploring lines of questioning such as: Who stands to benefit from collaboration? Who determines the parameters of an invitation to participate? Whose needs, intentions or ambitions can be fulfilled, and to what ends?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Photography as Collaboration
EditorsMathilde Bertrand, Karine Chambefort-Kay
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783031414442
ISBN (Print)9783031414435, 9783031414466
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


  • Collaboration
  • Contemporary Photography
  • Socially engaged art
  • Socially engaged photography
  • Participation
  • Agency
  • Authorship
  • Consent
  • homelessness


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