After the being exhibited three times last year, featured on the Guardian website and for the first time really finding my feet in an artistic endeavour that was purely mine (and that was being heaped with praise), the first half of 2013 has been a struggle. Late last year, a female friend made a public tirade against me telling me that I was no better than a man who wolf whistles at women down the street. That was one of the nicer things she said, I won’t go into the other details. Whether she really thought this, was having a bad day or even if she was drunk, it got to me. From November last year to the middle of 2013 my rate of pictures dropped dramatically.
Initially I worried about it, well thats the put it mildly. I started thinking about whether it was the right thing to do, whether my approach was wrong, whether it was morally right. The criticism had really got to me. I spoke to lots of people about it, including Gina Glover at Photofusion and she said that I needed to ask myself whether I needed to do it, whether it was my thing and if it wasn’t then find another subject. If it was, then stop thinking about what one person said and just keep doing it.
So this is the first half of 2013’s better output and I think it’s telling, I’m not as close in a lot of pictures. I’m choosing my subjects more carefully and I’ve really tailed off from the commuter pictures. I only feel comfortable taking pictures in situations where women relaxed and I suppose presenting themselves in the way they want to be seen. At the weekends, at festivals and less in situations where they need to be getting somewhere and they don’t need some guy sticking his lens in their face.
So here it is, this is a re-adjustment, a tweaking of my style and while I don’t think it’s quite as edgy as my output from last year I’m hoping that will return in time. I’ve decided to stop concentrating on creating with the intent of being exhibited and looking for praise and really put my efforts into a long term project thats simple and focussed and solid. I want thirty amazing pictures that tell a story of women. I’m not really concerned how long it takes me, I’m imagining it will take me years but I know what I want to say now and I’m going to concentrate on saying it.
You can buy my book "2012, Women" here