I guess we all at some point in our life, for whatever reason, think about things we want to do and I think I’ve got to that point with my photography.
Part of the team.
I’ve been on Facebook since it ever started. I’ve used it to make friends that have the same kind of interest as me, but when you change what your doing thats part of a wider group, you feel sort of on the outside, and so friends you’ve made, you start to loose contact with. When I was target shooting, I had thousands of so-called friends, because they were doing the same as me, but most I didn’t really communicate with. Then when you change to another area of interest, you make new friends, and so the process starts again.
Becoming a photographer and doing portrait work and collaborating with people, doesn’t just allow you to make new friends, but you get invited to join groups, which they are involved with, which can lead to you making new contacts and friends. This can be models, hair stylist, makeup artist and photographers.
I have five groups on Facebook that I'm part of.
Bristol Models Group
This is a great group, which is all about the above about working together with others, and a way to do collaborations with people within the group. We all might not be paying each other for their time and work, but I’ve seen so many get in to one area or another and get recognised in magazines, or competitions etc. and they end up doing really well and move towards if they want to doing it as a full-time business.
Bristol Photographers Group.
This is a group of local photographers at all different levels, that share their images, which can range from Street, Landscape, Portrait and almost anything else and others will tell you if they like your work or you can ask for advice about anything to do with photography and get an answer. The thing is with a group like this, that some have had no sort of training in photography, but have an amazing eye for detail and thought into their work, that they should be doing it as a business in my view. But photography as many will agree is hard to setup as a business, and hard to find clients that want to pay for your skills as a photographer, it takes a lot of work and investment above what you’ve paid for your camera equipment.
South West Street Group.
This group I helped setup with a fellow photographer and good friend. We saw that there were plenty of street photography groups, but none covering a certain area. So we set this up to cover the SouthWest of the UK. It’s only been going since June 2018, and has over 40 members, but theses guys are supper talented, and is a great place to show off their work in a place thats related to where they live, instead of being more over open to the whole world and maybe get lost in the shear numbers. I have to admit, that I’ve not contributed much myself to the group because of personal situations, but happy to help others to show their work.
Drone Flyers UK Group.
This group I only recently joined since getting a drone myself. It's a great group with over 7,000 members, which speaks for itself how well run the group is. But you can post images and video that you’ve done yourself, and get information on everything about drones and importantly the regulations that we have to adhere to. It can get heated at times, as some post shows the misuse of drones, but then thats what makes it a good group to be part of, so you know what not to do. If your looking to upgrade your gear, then just like the other groups, you will get real positive advice and real views on whats good and not good.
The Dream Team.
This is really special group, as it involves models, MUA’s, hairstylist and photographers. As a group we come up with a theme and find a location and all turn up to do a location shoot. It involves people from all levels and we help each other come up with work that we then showcase to the world. I’ve made some great friends and its great if you are on a budget to do a location shoot that you couldn’t do by yourself. We get to some amazing locations in the UK, and s I'm writing this, on Sunday we are going to the Bishop’s Palace at Wells Cathedral in Somerset. If you were trying to do this alone, it would cost a fortune, but as a group, we get discount on using places like this.
Being part of theses groups, builds up my work within my photography when I don't have anything set myself. It’s easy to loose your mojo when you run out of ideas, but being in groups like this give you ideas of projects you might end up doing yourself.
Bucket List for 2019
I want to explore new places and some places that I’ve been to before, but not just with my camera but with the drone. I’ve mention this before, that a drone is a great addition to my equipment.
I want to cover more of Wales as its not far for me to drive to, and has some amazing places that I want to explore. Through one of the groups, I was told about a place called Hay Bluff near Llanigon, Wales. It looks an exciting place and I’ve already made enquires about the place.
It would be nice for me and my partner to take the dogs with us for a long weekend up into the Lake District, then she can go on walks with the dogs and I can stop and photograph places that are of interest to me. I’ve photographed some lakes and reservoirs in Wales and would like to do them in the Lake District.
More Studio Work
I have ideas and need to come up with new ideas to do more studio work at home. I’ve spent time building up my gear, and portraiture is my main work, and I love the creative feel to working with lighting and the people that I have sit for me. Each give a different idea of how to bring the portrait to life.
I need to get out and into the streets and practice what I preach. Street photography is one of things that I did a lot of when I first started doing photography, but health, weather and life in general has put me off getting out and about. One place I want to go back to is Templemeads Railway Station, as I spent time getting info on who to contact to allow me to do this, as you cant just turn up and shoot as its classed as private property. Photographing people that have two things on their mind for most part, is getting to work on time and getting home on time. Between the two are the moments they spend standing or sitting looking at the schedule aboard to see if their train is on time or not.
The long term view
It would be great to get some of my best work printed up and maybe hold a small exhibition of my work, I know many have done this in the pass and has lead to other things, so its something I'm going to consider for the future and if next year feels right, then I will go ahead.