My reason for discussing this topic right now is because of a little flurry of tweets that occurred yesterday, about this post I made the day before.
It was being suggested that I was bragging, being cocky about shooting for Lexus. Sitting at my desk writing something that was basically just me going 'Hey, look how good I am!!!'
I don't worry about needing everyone to like me. That would be daft and it would stop me just getting on and being myself.
But, I am a sensitive soul.
I spent twelve years in the music business: nine years as PR Director for a label. The whole twelve years was basically spent promoting musicians and their music. Learning to promote myself after being the guy who promoted other people has been a new experience and it's been tricky at times to get the balance right.
I was always more the type of person to hide my own light under a bush. Trouble is, as a freelance photographer you can't do that. If no one knows about you, doesn't hear anything from you… you may as well not exist.
Teaching photography gives me a good perspective from which to promote my own work: here is something I did, here's a little of how I did it or what I was thinking about when I did it.. in the hope it may help you in your photography.
It's good to give something.
The line between confidence and arrogance is razor-thin sometimes. Easy to seem, to other people, like you have crossed it.
One thing I always try to do when I am writing anything is to read it back whilst imagining I am someone else.
After that I'll read it as though it's a conversation I'm having in the pub, where I can see everyone's eyes and they can see mine.
….but that's not what the web is like. It's very easy for people to read something you write and get totally off on the wrong foot.
It was great to shoot for Lexus. When you get great shots it's a natural feeling to want to share them. Because of NDAs and embargoes, I couldn't do that until now. It's also pretty cool to shoot a car no one outside of Lexus has seen before, ever. And to do that at Toyota's own amazing studios surrounded by some great people, some cool people. Frankly I wish ALL my mates could have been there to enjoy the fun. But that's what's nice about photos… from them maybe you can get a little of the buzz of excitement I felt whilst I was on that job. Shame I can't share the 'behind the scenes' shots: of the crew, the gear setup etc. It's not allowed. I'd never work for Toyota again and it would get people into trouble.
As for the part in the article I wrote the other day, about my son being able 'to brag about what daddy does for work' and tell his mates he's seen a car that they won't see for ages….
That's not me standing here saying 'woah, what a fucking cool dad I am' and enjoying a good wank about just how much of a great photographer and cool guy I am. It's just part of the buzz of being a dad: seeing my car-mad son excited about telling his friends that his dad had been shooting some 2015 Lexus models. It felt like getting a pat on the back from my own mum and dad for a job well done. And sometimes I miss those parental pats on the back.. because my mum and dad are dead and they largely missed out on seeing me get to where I am today with my photography.
And.. actually, I often sit here many times in the average month thinking that my work is shit in comparison to the amazing work I can see being done by others in books, magazines and on the web.
NOT believing one's own hype, always questioning what you are doing, looking at lots of other people's work.. these are ways to stay real and stay sharp.
On Being a Photographer: today’s thoughts
One of my Facebook friends [who wants to become a photographer] was asking me for my angle on something his dad had told him: that there was no money in photography. My first…
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