12.01.21 - An introductionSeptember 29, 2021
About pages on websites are horrible to write.
I hate it when people write in the third person about themselves. It may be considered to be “correct” but its impersonal and borderline pretentious. It’s highly likely I’m going to nuke mine and write something minimal. It’s a highly uncomfortable experience.
I’d much rather explain a little about myself in a more conversational way. As if we were friends. And to show that I’m appreciative of you even bothering to look at this occasional journal entry.
So, who am I? What can I tell you about me?
I can tell you that I have absolutely no formal background in art or photography and that everything I do know (which isn’t much), is self taught.
I work in the public sector by day and have a family. I am quite lazy and gluttonous and as a result, a little fat (could be an under exaggeration). Gluttony is my biggest sin. With food and anything else that takes my interest. I consume and consume and consume, to the point where I feel a little sick.
This goes double for my photography. You will see from the galleries of my site that I used to shoot street on 35mm (well, more like street portraits), then I turned to beauty on medium format before doing the same, but on integral Polaroid film.
The latter two, I have really enjoyed, especially when I have been able to collaborate with other creatives. I do like a good prep. I usually revisit this genre in the summer months, get a couple of shoots under my belt and bail, before I fall out of love with it. That’s another issue of mine - boredom. Boredom, borne out of frustration. Despite me enjoying shooting beauty, the results thereafter are usually somewhat unrewarding in the long term, personally. One often worries if such an area of photography is taken seriously by your peers. But I shouldn’t, because who actually cares?
As a result of this, I often return to the street, usually in the winter months.
My street photography is often the very antithesis of what I shoot in summer. Probably most easily dismissed as a poor man’s attempt at being a Moriyama clone, but with a lot less interesting geographical environment.
It’s true. I’m massively influenced by Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen, Jacob Aue Sobol and Michael Ackerman. This isn’t to say I shoot like them, though or to their standard. But, I’m quite good at spotting themes.
If you’ve looked at my latest street images, you may be thinking “The guy has seen images from Provoke magazine, got himself a GR and is shooting high contrast B&W”. And you’d be right. However, as a qualifier, I’d add that those elements alone do not encapsulate the spirit of Provoke. I won’t quote Wikipedia (often dangerous to do so) but I saw it as a two fingers to what at the time was contemporary, successful photography (hence why I have called it Anti-photography here). Mostly B&W and grainy, yes. But also often deliberately out of focus. Blurry. Images of the mundane. Snapshots. Records. All with an underlying theme. A canker (as Shakespeare would call it) - a theme of decay, disquiet, dissonance - something to unsettle or borderline irritate the viewer.
Ironically, my “anti-photography” is my attempt to do serious photography. And, whilst I appreciate the majority won’t “get it”, it’s the most honest photography I can shoot. And the more comfortable I become, the more truths I’ll end up revealing about myself (I’m not mysterious, just cautious/private). As my horrific about page notes, all my images, in some way, are self portraits.
You just don’t get to see my fat face.