As someone with a mathematical and technical background I do sometimes find the subjectivity of artistic pursuits such as photography quite difficult to deal with. I have on occasions lost confidence in my ability to make good images, but then I’ve been comforted when I find that many other creatives often go through similar phases. I like to think that many of my images have a style that is recognisable as mine, but it wasn’t always that way and I have in the past tried to mimic the style of other photographers I admire when I felt my work wasn’t good enough.
Some time ago I stumbled across a great article that really changed the way I think about my photography (and other things), it’s a rather strange analogy with Helsinki Bus Station that was made in a lecture by the Finnish photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen, and there’s a very readable article based on the lecture on PetaPixel. I suggest all creatives read it, and to re-read it if you feel a dip in your confidence. The article has many great motivational elements, but the one I really like is “We do not have to be number one in this world. We only have to be number one to ourselves.”
After a bit of a dip around 18 months to 2 years ago, I do feel that my photography has gone from strength to strength, largely because of all the great models and photographers I’ve worked with. As is traditional around this time of year here’s a quick review of a very small number of my favourite images from the past year or so, I enjoyed working with some great new models as well as some I’d had the pleasure of working with before. Apologies to models I’ve worked with whose images I haven’t included, I can only put up so many, and I still haven’t edited any from some shoots :-S
Click each image to see larger version.
With thanks to the models concerned – Zoi, Marmalade, Elle Beth, Romi Muse, Rosa Brighid, Gemma, Carla, Ayla Rose, Kirsty, Anita De Bauch, Fredau, Faith Obae, Roarie Yum, Vanessa Sicre and Lulu Lockhart
I enjoy working with and meeting other photographers, as I find that I always learn something and have a great time. Here’s a few snaps taking during some of my trips. I also had great trips with Bill Power, Paul Reidy, Hugh Alison, Marie Otero, Joe Doyle and Michelle La Grue, sadly someone forgot to capture the photographers for posterity on those occasions, or didn’t send me copies of any images – there’s never a photographer around when you need them :D
Those who missed my Serbian TV debut can watch it again on YouTube
And the year ended very well when I went to a lecture by one of my photographic heroes John Swannell. I first discovered John’s work when a number of people suggested that some of my nudes were of a similar style to his work. During the break I asked him a few questions and he asked me about my photography, never one to miss an opportunity I whipped out my tablet and spent the next 10 minutes discussing my images with him, part way through he said “these are very good, you have a book here”, a sentiment he echoed at the end of the lecture when I spoke to him again. John’s lecture was very inspirational and motivational in itself, but sharing my images with him was very special.
When I look back I’m really pleased with all the great images I’ve produced over the years with some wonderful people, and I have a feeling that the best is yet to come :)
Thank you to everybody who I’ve worked with, met in person, and interacted with online, may I wish you all the best for 2016, and if you have any doubts about your work then to use another of Arno’s motivational phrases – “Stay on the f**king bus”!