Having focused on the technical side of things with photography over the last year or so I am now studying with the Open College of Arts where I’m spending much more time and energy concentrating on finding a style that is personal and particular to me (technicalities are still important but it’s the content that really matters now). Taking photographs isn’t exactly rocket science but photographers who have a style of their own, one that is instantly recognisable as theirs are rare – that’s the really hard thing and I suspect there are far, far fewer photographers who manage it than there are photographers. It will probably take years of work and practice to reach that point, if ever, but I feel like I am beginning to get a real sense of the direction I’m heading in, especially in relation to the last two shoots I’ve done.
I am enormously interested in relationships, families, childhood, aging; in a word – life. I’m not entirely sure why I’m using photography as the medium to explore those interests – perhaps it’s because I’m a rubbish drawer/painter and didn’t make it as an actor. Photography isn’t exactly secondary to the very real need that exists within me, that which drives me to explore and understand those interests mentioned above – there must be something about the way you get to control light, the need to find it in the first place and then the voyeuristic nature of being behind the camera and capturing moments in other people’s lives that suits me. But it’s important for me to remember what it is I’m doing with photography.
In the photos I have included here there are some very genuine moments. I love that. I have tried hard to keep the photos real and hope the balance is right. Touching up and editing is an integral part of photography, always has been even before Photoshop came along. But finding the balance for your own particular style isn’t always easy. There’s nothing wrong with very processed work but I’m not sure that’s where I’m at at the moment. Knowing how much to do, or not to do is the trick I guess.
I really enjoyed this shoot with the very lovely Conways. I hope I’ve captured the personality and ‘flavour’ of their family. I feel I’ve achieved at least some of that. The final image is not a formal portrait with everyone looking at the camera but that is what I love about it: the circular shape of the family – all heads creating a sweeping movement which in my mind shows a real continuum, and the loving connection that is so evident between the parents. I think it might be my favourite of the lot.