* Time to move forward

I’ve been unsettled for quite some time with my model photography. Trying to find a style that I like shooting has been difficult since it became sort of pointless a few years ago. “Pointless?” you might ask. Well up until the demise of using glamour photographs in the lads mags, tabloid newspapers and calendars, I was happy shooting model photography for the agencies, the magazines and for my own portfolio. The underlying purpose was to get paid for my photos and it did pay well. Combine that with the model agency trips abroad or across the UK, it was a great time to do photography. And there was a purpose to it.

Additionally, some avenues that I’ve been able to sell my photos to were now becoming almost what felt like a closed shop as a number of photographers flooded the market with cheap work and in so doing, devalued the work of others and brought down significantly what the magazines were prepared to pay.

Now I’m not averse to shooting nice, creative non-glamour photographs at all, but there is not so much of a marketplace for this type of work. And to find suitable models to do this was getting increasingly difficult. So over the last couple of years I’ve been specialising on shooting commercial lifestyle photos with the models. But with little to no pay from this side of my work and with models not realising the value of this style for their own progression in the industry, it all sort of became a bit pointless. Hence me being unsettled, I wanted to shoot photography that had a purpose, a meaning and a “value”.

So I’ve been looking elsewhere for my way forward in photography and have researching different genres over the last couple of months. However, this unplanned lockdown for this Corona virus has given me more time and motivation to seek out what I’d like to do in the future.

I’ve been drawn to the work of photographers like Dean Davies, Sian Davey, Alice Dempsey and Joseph Szabo with their contemporary, documentary style of people photography. Now this resonates with me because there is no doubt that I do enjoy photographing people. Combining this with my enjoyment of street and travel photography could give rise to photographs that document social photography and so have a future value. A value that isn’t monetary at all to me, that isn’t important now. But having a value to history and a purpose would be a significant win in my view.

* Giving back

Reading this article on RangeFinderOnline about photographers giving back resonated with me a great deal as I’ve been wanting to do something along these lines for a long, long time but work and being busy always seemed to get in the way.  It’s probably unlikely that I’ll ever stop being busy doing the things I love, and often for the people I love, but now being at least semi-retired there are no excuses to make good or better use of my time.
In my previous line of work in education and just generally in my life, it’s always been important to me to help, to guide, to give of my time to those who’d like to improve themselves or to help with their career aspirations.  So I was pleased to talk to some people at the NEC Photography Show yesterday about the possibilities and now looking forward to seeing what might come of some of the ideas I’ve been having.
Are you or can you find the time to be giving back?