Nothing much happened in terms of my actual photography, BUT it’s been a year of physical relocation for my wife and I to Brighton and the year in which the second of my offspring went off to university. The radical change that these changes have brought on has been in my mindset, the freedom to be more open about my edgier work, even if not to do much of it!
In starting this blog, twittering and the facebook malarkey, even resurrecting my deviantArt account, I’ve decided to put myself about in new online communities and to the extent the community is local the physical community here in Brighton. In London my openness about the my ‘alt’ work was shared with a smallish defined community (fundamentally the London Alternative Photography Meetup group), in Brighton it’s now anyone who is active in the wider arts in Brighton or further afield.
Everything I do which is not for a commercial client or commercial stock photography may get featured in this alternative arena. So it’s not just about photographing fetish or the nude, it’s also about street photography, landscapes and the occasional more oddball image I might capture. It’s about photography as an artform to be enjoyed and an hugely important part of art is sharing and acceptance, not for producing easy art but something that can be more challenging, that causes people to think about the whole rather than an individual image.
On the commercial side with all the changes it’s not been a great year. But then I’ve not been pushing. I still don’t think I can mix the alt side in with the commercial ‘Light Touch’ photography because of the nature of that commercial photography – if it were fashion (say) then there would not be an issue but the people who buy my services are generally rather conservative types and I really do think that images of Japanese bondage or naked men would be too much! (Mental note; must update the portfolio for the more fetishy stuff).
So what’s ahead?
I’m not really a fetish photographer. Unless you pull in the self portraiture and call that a fetish! That’s more about easy access to a compliant model:-) But it’s an important element of what I do even if I’ve been making myself a smaller part of it. For the next year what I want to do is get out into the environment with an accomplice (or two, or three, or ten!) to do more environmental nudes, making the body/bodies a small part of the landscapes, because in the end that’s all we are.
I would like to do some of the more personal nude photography of others I practiced about three years ago. With Brighton in mind the tag ‘straight eye for the gay guy’ has occurred to me! Finding the right person(s), either sex, is an issue because I don’t want outright exhibitionists as models (all too easy to recruit!) or indeed established models but people who are pretty confident in their skins and have ideas of where they want to go with self expression. Self portraiture with a half decent photographer to make sure that the photography side works is how I’d describe it. Whether that makes sense to anyone else is another thing!
The landscapes lie ahead – they don’t need people, clothed or otherwise. And the streets; they need people. And maybe an excusion again into what I called ‘people panoramas’. And I have a small stock of 120 film!
2011 lies ahead and I’m excited. And a little nervous. But if I was just excited and not nervous then I know I wouldn’t be pushing myself…