This has been a pivotal year for my photography, it was the year I was published, had my first photography review, started to discover why I take the pictures I do and learnt a lot about how to move forward.
The year started well with an image winning a slot in a Dorset Cereal calender. The picture of Jules at the Hot Rod Hayride had been taken the previous summer and started a trend in my photography for a very filmic look, usually at night and using bright, coloured lights to illuminate a scene.
Next an even earlier image of Brixton BMX park was included in the Time Out Cycle guide to London. The picture was a simple image of a BMX in mid flight with a couple of boys sitting in the background on their bikes looking at something out of frame. The image leads the viewer not to really look at what I was concentrating on when I took the image, the BMX in flight, but wonder what was going on out of the shot and create a completely different narrative to the picture.
My trip to America in the summer lead to me moving away from black and white and start taking all my images in colour, I was shooting street around San Fransisco and the sun, vibrancy and colour of the subjects, including Gay Pride, just lent itself to staying in colour.
In July I met Gina Glover of Photofusion for a photography review. I took along a pretty random set of images and she very quickly deciphered the different angles my photography was pulling in and helped me identify and compartmentalise the themes. One of the first things she commented on was that I should work in colour, a great confirmation of something I had already been thinking about. She also encouraged me to start writing about my images as it would help me work out where I was heading. It was then that I started my blog, since then I have been trying to articulate the things that motivate the images I take and it has been incredibly helpful.
It was around that time that Google+ launched. Merging functionality from Facebook and Twitter it was an immediate success for photographers and has been a constant source of inspiration. I try to add images and update as much as possible and so far I am being followed by over 1000 photographers.
Throughout the whole year I have been taking images of Borough Market, solidifying the style of the images, experimenting with the light at different times of the day and really attempting to pull together a coherent body of work. About two thirds of the way through the year I had half a dozen images and decided to try and get some images of the market accepted into the Photofusion Annual Members Photographic Show. The process of entering, collecting together the images, writing the submission and presenting it to the gallery taught me a great deal; despite the fact that I didn’t make the cut. However the process has made me focus on the kinds of images I want from Borough and I have gone on to make some of the best pictures of the market that I now have in my portfolio, so it was very useful indeed.
The year has brought me to some conclusions. I love shooting at night and working with the colourful lights and signs of London streets and I adore shooting in the rain, the harder the better!
The year has ended well with news that two of my images have been accepted into an urban sculpture project called Vertical Gallery in Shoreditch. They called for entries taken on a camera phone and in black and white. I took a number of pictures around the area on two visits and I’m looking forward to seeing my work displayed in 2012.
I like to remain anonymous and step back, my best pictures look like stills from films and are stark and contrasty with lots of black; I love the shadows. And I can see in my mind the direction for my images, I want to create dark narratives but not of cold and empty spaces but with people and glimpsing something that is usually unspoken...
Finally thank you to everyone who has looked at, commented on and guided me this year, it’s been tremendously encouraging to hear about the images you like and the ones you don’t. I couldn’t have moved forward with my photography without the help of people like Dave Hodgkinson, Gina Glover, Tom Gifford, Lucy Bainbridge, Liz Somerville, Anna Hales and many more. Onwards to 2012!