How do you define success?
This is a question I pondered a lot over the festive period as I reflected on the past year.
Was 2018 successful?
Could it be deemed successful even if I felt personally and creatively unfulfilled?!
It is well documented that in any artistic pursuit, there are periods in which your creativity starts to wither. It’s a weird situation which often comes unannounced.
Ideas that seamlessly flow through you beforehand suddenly dry up and leave you barren… you’ve become creatively redundant!
Like many photographers, I'm not fortunate enough to live in a major city, full of vibrance and inspiration, nor do I have the time/funds to travel regularly to shoot in different places.
Much has been written about making the most of the opportunities that lay on your doorstep, right under your nose, so I decided to use my local area as a way to practise, learn and develop my photography skills.
After a long period of interest in using vivid colour, both during the day and at night, I've completely shifted my photographic experimentations.
I'm currently much more interested in composition - attempting to craft a strong collaboration between high contrast and urban geometry...
Last week I met up with photographer Olaf Sztaba while he was staying in London and preparing for one of his Visual Poet workshops.
Following our meeting (which was great!) I headed back towards the tube station and checked my train times. Including a short tube ride, I had about 50 minutes before my train departed from Euston.
I decided to shoot against the clock...
I recently bought a new camera and, needing another inter-changeable lens body, I opted for the small but reputedly powerful Fujifilm XT20. So far, I've only managed to test it out during two very brief trips, once to London and again in Oxford (with my family).
For those two sessions the weather was totally different (London = rain, Oxford = sunshine), but one thing remained the same - I felt dreadful. In fact, both times I'd much rather have been in bed than playing around with a new camera...
Flat light for street photography is never ideal. Everything looks grim. Everything looks grey.
Even a city as vibrant and stimulating as London can quickly become dull and unexciting!
I'm definitely a hoarder. Photographically, however, I'm indefinitely a hoarder.
This year I've decided to look at my hoarding as a positive. As such, I'll be revisiting some of my 'forgotten photos' and sharing them in this new series of blog posts...
When the darkness sets in, light can really be used in imaginative and creative ways. I'm going through a strong colour phase at the moment and you can get such vibrant imagery at night.
Education is great.
Whether teaching or learning, it's a great experience to share something new with another person, or to nurture something that they weren't entirely sure they possessed.
Back at the start of August I shot the wedding of Chloe and Dave Lawless.
I shoot in a documentary/street style, capturing moments as they happen, and so it was a perfect wedding for me - vintage/retro style, VW camper, live music, and all to celebrate the marriage of a young, cool couple.
Music festivals are great, aren't they?!
Food. Booze. Music. Facepaint. Wellies. Atmosphere.
Recently I was contacted about being the official photographer for the LIVESTOCK festival, a modest one day music event at Forty Hall in London. How could I refuse?
Like most people I know, I have less and less time available for doing the things that I 'really' love doing.
You know, the things that have really shaped who I am, away from all the mundane bullshit that we have to do.
I find that restriction suffocating.
Carly and I get about.
Well, we like to get away. Regularly.
Before 'Life In Leighton Buzzard' was really a thing, I took a picture of a very interesting character I came across on the high street. I later discovered that the gentleman went by the name of Kenneth 'Kenny' Walker, a local of over 25 years.
I'm a SUCKER for nostalgia. Like an old man, I hark back to the good old days when everything was 'better' and more authentic.
And this leads me on to my latest purchase - a new 'old' thing.
Recently I had the opportunity to spend the day in London working with a sublimely talented musician and songwriter, Richard Forbes.
Never heard of him?!
YOU SHOULD HAVE!
Carly and I have just returned from a short break to Bath and the surrounding area. We stayed at a fantastic Airbnb, the home of a very welcoming and creative family in a place called Box (highly recommended - if you want specifics, get in touch!).