[ Journal 2016 – August ]
Meanwhile, in London …
6th – I know I’m only a 4 out of 10. Why would I rate myself any higher? I’ve seen 2’s and 1’s selling prints. Last month I saw some guy who had been at it a year, offering workshops, prints and mobile covers. I think people are making money. I’m fucking skint. I need money. Maybe I’ll sell some key-rings. Yes, that’s it. I’ll souvenir the fuck out of my I LOVE LONDON project and sell it to tourists. I can do cushion covers and postcard sets and sell bright yellow I ♥ LONDON baseball caps to American kids – I’LL BE RICH!
Nah – 4/10’s don’t do a thing until at the gates of eight. And even then, it’s a measly print.
William Eggleston’s showing at The National Portrait Gallery. I’ve never seen his work in life before. Get inside and ask security where the toilet is. It’s seriously hot today. Sweat bleeds though my shirt, cardigan and coat. I’m a mess and need a shit. This is my priority at the moment inside this splendid gallery.
The photographs are pleasant in a range of sizes. I am blown away with the colour and tones. I want my colour to be the same. I know they won’t ever be. I see his most well-known pieces and linger at them for a while. I watch the others who are in attendance – everyone looks so clean-shaven and pure. I’m a dripping stinking mess and fidget as sweat builds in pools at the summit of my arse-crack and I wonder if this can be seen. Probably. I don’t mind it so much on my back. I’d hate to walk around with a sweat-ridden arse though.
There’s an older gentleman reading on a bench in the middle of the room. He is framed and poised beautifully in the light. I grab my camera but hesitate. I don’t want to be the one at a photography exhibition who takes photographs of people, pretending to be a photographer. Hey everyone, look, I’m at a photo exhibition taking shots – I’m a photographer too! I don’t want to be that guy … Pretending to be William.
Down in the shop I almost buy the book. I decide to wait for it to become cheaper online. I buy a cheap portrait of the man. He reminds me of my highschool English teacher. He is looking at me in the same manner, too. Disappointed.
13th – As soon as I emerge from the tube station and hear the sounds of music and people, I know it’s all going to be shit. I don’t mind touristy things or tourists and visitors alike going about and enjoying them. But for me, photographically, it’s all shit. I have absolutely no interest in people writing on walls and windows, or fake lawns and trendy people having shitty picnics like it’s fucking normal. I have no desire to photograph it. That shit belongs in TimeOut.
Some guy is taking photographs. I think he might be a street photographer. But I actually can’t decide what the fuck he is doing. He stands and zooms in on absolutely fucking everything – there is not a single thing in his field of vision that hasn’t been photographed. Wherever he turns, bang – turn, some fruit, bang! turn, a hat, bang, turns to a blue fronted shop with someone making bread bang – bang bang bang bang bang. I like people’s passion in these things. I see a woman with radiant orange hair. I take a shot. Later viewing, Mr.Shoot-A-Lot is there, in the background, taking me, taking her. Bang.
Walk Seven Dials, in circles, round and round. I don’t know why, nothing changes with each pass. A woman dressed in 30s attire catches my eye. She’s standing having a smoke and I grab a shot before she notices me. I ask her if she’s dressed up for a particular event, like the Chap Olympics or something and she tells me she just simply likes to dress that way. She asks about my camera and my work. I stutter and mix my words as I do with anyone who asks, letting her know as I do with everyone who asks, about the time I sold some pieces to China and America and got pennies for it. It all sounds like bollocks in the sense that I have no reason to let anyone know that shit. None. She asks for my website and directs me to her workplace, which is a shop I like very much – a vintage clothing shop. It’s then that I realise that her interest in my photography is most likely a ruse to get me inside the shop. She’s very courteous and friendly though and reminds me I do need some new shirts. And some jeans. I’d like a new hat too. I think I’ll go back and have a look.
20th – Decided to get a ticket for The London Street Photography Symposium. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting its organizer, Jason Reed down at The Henley Reggatta – and one of the panelists, Stephen Leslie, over the park – and wanted to make a deeper aquaintance and friendship with them.
I was a little anxious however, as 1. The thing was in a pub and 2. I don’t have the best reputation in some online circles – known to be a bit of a twat. I know I can be. It’s never intentional twatery, it just comes across that way. I’m just brutally honest and don’t take kindly to being spoken to as though I’m stupid – when that happens, I tend to go all in. I should probably reign in my mouth a little, but sometimes I cannot help it. It was a pleasant weekend – nice to meet people who I knew only through their photographs. There were some that simply looked at me as though I were nothing, made little effort to converse when I fired up a conversation and I was fine with that. Overall, it was an interesting and informative weekend of street photography and chit-chat. I don’t really chit-chat though. I’m shit at it.
24th – Some time ago I had displayed the images online side-by-side in order to gain some structure and flow and to see how relationships between two photographs may be formed and linked. Since I am no longer working on the project for the rest of 2016, I have decided to have another shot at sequencing.
I LOVE LONDON will come to an end in 2017. That’ll be 5 years on the thing. There are a few more parts that need completing but they are nothing too daunting to undertake. The overall finished product will be a London Guidebook that’ll be a little different from the traditional guidebooks we have come to know and use. The layout and design will take cues from that of the work of illustrators and fine art publishers and a number of different materials/paper types will be used. The intended audience for this has always been small – mainly those on my Facebook friends list (less than 50) who may want one for free. I’ll most likely make twenty to give out to those on Facebook and have twenty available on my website to purchase. The remaining ten of the edition of fifty, will be sent out to various bloggers and whatnot.
I’ve never had it in my mind to create this body of work with the aim to publish for the masses – or make money, or find glory, popularity and praise – for me, it’s simply been a labour of love and hopefully the end result will be a representation of that.
I’ve been sent an email from Amateur Photographer magazine to send in some work and tips on a Street Photography feature that they are working on. I’ve never been asked to do this kind of thing before and I didn’t really know what to write or what photographs to send. So I wrote an email back with tips that went on far too long and photographs that I now think are not good enough.
I haven’t gotten a reply.
I think I’ve been binned.
Maybe they’ve realised too, that I’m only a 4.