Independent Reflection – Week 2 – Other Careers in Photography

This has been a busy week getting up and running for the Oxfam pitch. A really good group to work with Hilde, Chris, James and Clodagh. Also making progress with WIP with lots of ideas to work on.

The subject of this week shows an industry exploding with possibilities and opportunities as it grows and grows but killing many of the traditional ways or doing business. Photographs are the global language that everybody can understand. The still image remains a powerful way of people understanding the world. It is also a preferred way for people to try to capture a moment and freeze time.

This weeks reading shows the tensions for traditional photographers and the challenge they have to keep earning in this new digital age. Technology moves onwards relentlessly and will kill anyone’s business who does not respond to the change.

A growth area in photography is teaching and coaching. I am thinking about combining my experience as an executive coach with my photography practice to develop a business helping people work with ‘The Truth & Beauty of You.’ People love to talk about photographs and I see a combination of taking and talking about photographs around a theme of self development as potentially a rich seam. At the high end this could be a £2,500 per day business. At the teaching end it could ignite interest in photography for children.

For any photographer practicing today it is essential to be clear about what their niche is. Barriers to entry with equipment are falling fast but there is still a barrier based on capability and knowledge. Not all eyes and clicking fingers are equal in this respect. Reputation, integrity and experience will still count a lot but in a reducing field of participants.

I am really excited about the possibilities offered to me for a career in photography.

Reading

  • Creative Brief Emma Bowkett. The British Journal of Photography; London Vol. 164, Iss. 7858, (Apr 2017): 84-85.
  • Adrian Hadland, Paul Lambert & David Campbell (2016) The Future of Professional Photojournalism, Journalism Practice, 10:7, 820-832, DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2016.1163236

Categories: Coursework SP, Sustainable Prospects

LEN

I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make
decisions.

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.