The last few months has been really helpful in putting my work into perspective for me. I guess most serious photographers hope for peer recognition and I was the same. I put it down to insecurity and a need to have my ego massaged on a regular basis. It seems like every third person in the street carries a DSLR now and its easy for that huge population to bypass years of learning and produce exceptional images. I recently spoke to a friend about it, as her son is a very talented rider, as she considered buying a Nikon 1. (It takes five shots and offers you the ‘best’ one)
‘Its as if tomorrow morning I could wake up, take a pill, and be a championship horse rider is how I described it‘ for thats how it feels.
I might not know how to put a saddle on a horse but I can still ride as well as anybody else. Yes the whole thing pissed me off but more because I was fixated on the ability to take photographs rather than the direction me, or my horse, would follow. I choose what I photograph, I choose the situations I get into and yes the whole experience can continue to be a great one providing I don’t focus too much on impressing other photographers. And so being able to take technically great photographs is not enough on its own I’ll derive my satisfaction from making a difference.
A few months back Claire, a social worker, wrote to me as she had seen the work I did at the Walled Garden and she spoke in a very moving way about one image in particular and the caption which reminded her of her father. I was very moved by what she said and sent her the photograph. This week she emailed me.
‘Your print did indeed arrive safely. Thank you for this. In fact my sixteen year old son was looking at it only a couple of days ago and commented how much the print of Bill and your accompanying words reminded him of his granddad. Warming words for me for sure.
And so in a world full of photographers and surrounded by some much more talented fellow students at the LCC I know now that satisfaction and enjoyment for me is not in being the worlds most famous or talented photographer its about being true to what I believe in, parking my ego and facing outwards to try to educate the world at large.