Independent Reflection – The Current Commercial Environment

A lot is coming together this week. I have a business proposition moving from my MA Project The Truth & Beauty of Me to a retreat/personal growth process of The Truth & Beauty of You which I have written up elsewhere in the CRJ Link. I have also looked at some players in this space and cover that in another post. Link

I have continued to explore different ways of representing myself and my state. Gary McCleoud recommended Photography Therapy and Therapeutic Photography in a digital age. which has really hit the spot for me. It gives me a theoretical foundation for my project and my business idea. It also confirms some of the experiences I am having within my project as it has a therapeutic effect.

The idea of attention directing machinery in our heads taking cues from expressions got me to explore different expressions. This set of images are a first look at just taking raw expressions we use every day to see what they show.

These images are theatre and scripted but those who have seen them also see something else in the actor. I do too and will explore this some more.\

I contrast this with my current work in progress panel for this week. These are also scripted and acted out but are very different to the approach above.

As I think about a photobook I need to work through which style works best, how different styles can work together and how much text goes in the book. This all says I should have a go at producing a dummy book by the end of the year. It won’t be right but it will be great input to the FMP process.

The emotional power of photographs also came to front of mind. A photograph sparks memories in such rich ways and in a way words fall far short of. As I looked at images of my wife and my parents I felt emotion whel up in me. I set out a number of images of my wife Karen and looked at them. She and I picked out 3 of her when she was young and I suggested we try to rephotograph them. She enjoyed it, the results are very pleasing and she said we can do better.

We have also progressed with the Oxfam Brief. The ideas for an installation are taking shape and the dynamics of the team are falling in to place. I expect an interesting proposal will come out of the work.

References

Lowenthal, D. Photography Therapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digitial Age. Routledge. (2013)

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.