I’ve been working for a while to establish myself in the photography community. Alongside my frequent freelance gigs I have been making an effort to reach out in forums and on instagram in London, Brighton, and occasionally in other countries when I see a scene, photographer, or model I’d be interested in working with.
A problem I have as an individual photographer is that my style is very scattered, as I work on a very diverse set of projects. Fashion, portraiture, fine arts, photojournalism – an array of different colours, shapes, and people which do not “flow.”
Although I have been focusing on identifying and utilising beautiful light and scenes, as well as seeking out “stories” and “moments” I still feel that I do not have a large enough body of work to present it in a coherent series, linked in colour, style, or mood.
Many historical artists (including Magnum, the Footlights, any number of literary groups) avoided this issue by banding together at the time, using their collective body of work and advocating each other. Today agencies exist to represent individuals, and in photography there are any number of websites, apps, instagram pods and collectives who share and advocate to the benefit of the whole. Some try and represent the best in Street Photography, others look to tell stories, or follow a theme.Recently I approached David from leicaphotography.co.uk (who I had once worked alongside unknowingly at a performance at The Garage, Highbury & Islington), and Tung who I met at Hyper Japan shooting a Petzval on Canon 5D.They seemed to be open minded to this idea, and we had a great day wandering around London, covering quite a distance, whilst discussing directions we could take. Instagram is a friendly and accessible format that many people use – which runs us the risk of being lost in the crowd – but this would be a problem on any platform. To me, focusing on creating a body of work I am truly proud of before showing it to the world is more important than securing an influential position and then not actually knowing what direction I want to take that in.We started exploring around King’s Cross and worked our way south, past St Paul’s and then back on ourselves to visit the Barbican, before taking the train to Chinatown and shooting around Soho, and going our separate ways.I spent the day mostly using my 90mm, which I am still learning to compose with on rangefinder. I like the reach it offers over my standard 50mm, but I find it difficult to judge depth of field and to compose within the rangefinder, especially at long-distances.
At one point I fixed my 21mm to shoot around a sculpture by St Paul’s, and forgot that I had it on when I went to take a portrait of this kid carrying flowers, who was helping to pack up his family’s Bratwurst stall. I regretted slightly lending my 50mm C Sonnar to David (although he really enjoyed using it, and got some great results!) as if I had had this lens I know I would have got a lovely, tighter shot.
I captured this towards the middle of the afternoon by the Barbican Centre, using a spot of light with great geometric surroundings. I later used this same space to photograph the guitarist Gareth.I definitely want to return here and to capture the “right” character using the scene before I would be comfortable adding the image to my portfolio.