Mo Blog

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Revamp or decamp

With a very sporadic posting calendar so far this year things are starting to feel a little stale and worn around the blog.  With a re-routing of efforts into  s i t t e r s  and finishing college this year there is a little inertia lingering about writing at the moment. To top it all off i am sitting on a mountain of imagery, photographs and footage from the last year and, while i like to look to the latest and greatest, there is a lot to be revisited over the next while. To level the playing field of where my skill and craft has taken us, but also to return to some of the more important moments in the last few months of my life. I have a little wall to climb to get back into regular posting so i'll start small if thats ok.

The big question for any graduate is "whats now?" but since i fielded that quiz 3 years ago , "i'll just have more of the same please." But i'm not without a schedule. I am over the moon (and secretly perplexed)  to be the official photographer of the Edinburgh International Festival this August in Edinburgh. So whatever for now, i know that i can look forward to a tremendous month of doing what i love. This is a luxury to have for most people in my position, in and out of photography.

But i haven't forgotten since day one, a qualification doesn't make you qualified, and the only grade you should trust is your own. You better believe, your papers will be nowhere to be seen when you are pushed to the edge of your work. All you will have is your own time and your own tools. And if you look after both, no establishment can improve on that.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

End of an era

It has arrived. Newness.

Great eh? Its really good to be able to close and engage the toilet door for a while and get back to writing for the main blog. The last few weeks finalising  s i t t e r s  has been such a radical high, that i almost feel emotionally burnt out now that all is revealed, stamped and handed over. I cannot remember ever receiving as much praise for something as i have in the last week or so. Never in my life. Which means that i am still right on the cusp of the brand new. Its hard to take stock of the last few months , or last TWO years, and not be floored by the quantity of brand new things i have run into. Things i could never have predicted, that no man could dream up. Both successes and failures but, to be real, a very imbalanced and frightening shortage on the failure side.

For the last two years i have been a registered, full-time student moon lighting as a photographer (or the other way round sometimes). I have enjoyed the buzz and prestige as well as the sheer guidance of the photography department at Edinburgh's Stevenson College. So sound an education I received that I was allowed to get away with thinking it was all down to me, cruising my path and carving out my own way unmonitored (but with a student discount.) It wasn't however, and there is as much to be said for giving instruction as there is for withholding it. So much so that not only have i been very strictly encouraged to develop my professional tools and skillset, but i have been galvanised with finding my own way of doing things. Phrased very succinctly, one of my lecturers said of a stdents work, with a shrug "Well, I hate it. But if I tell that I could stop someone doing what they love." And with unsung thanks to our teachers, and their unimposing (though not always subtle) direction, there is an army of qualified image makers released to the corners of the world, all with their own story to tell. And in their own unique voice

Now, i well know i have a propensity for over-proportional drama and dubious way of beating around a point without actually making one. But here again I am at the door of something brand new. I am constantly, though rarely acknowledge it, in the throes of completely new, completely unrepeatable situations. Everyday different. People, locations, ideas, props, light, vibes, different. Today i finished my college education and thus completed a MEGA step of the journey ever. It is, with all literality, a brand new day. In one improbable swoop, this course has symbolised the effect that solid hard work can have on approaching something without any crumb of knowledge and given the old pessimist in me a good whats what. I am now unbearably adamant that nothing is out of bounds to anybody who wants it. Like an overzealous self helper. Before college, there was no photography, nothing. Today i received my grades for  s i t t e r s. Did i get an A? I got more than that. I got some of the best marks in our entire class. Has that ever happened to me before, in any of my 18 years of education? There is always room for the brand new.

The path to professional photography, i have learned with a thrill, is paved with the new and the inimitable. And to be slowly ambling my way up this path and joining a small, select throng is (sorry parents) very fucking exciting. Can it get much better than that?

Yes. I have over 30 contemporaries and colleagues all out there, all on that same path. If excitement is anything to be enjoyed, it is only best done shared.

Congratulations everyone