Good morning/afternoon/evening (pls delete as appropriate), you have found yourself at the bit of the internet where I foolishly attempt to attract attention through the medium of words. I am both humbled and grateful that you have read this far into my ramblings, if you are moved to read further I fear I cannot promise great prose or high-wire literary theatrics, but I will do my best to keep you as mildly entertained as maybe a BBC lifestyle piece, or even a casual Buzzfeed article about something that probably didn't really need writing about.
If you've read my previous blogs (yes these were supposed to be weekly, it was a fine idea in principle) you'll know the form, if not then I will mainly be reflecting on recent photographic-based endeavours as I continue on a relatively formless quest to take pictures of things.
I think, what with it nearly being Christmas and with my bloggings being at best sporadic, I will do a bit of a "what the hell happened in 2015" kind of post... So at the start of the year I was a frustrated amateur wildlife photographer trying to manoeuvre my way back into live music photography with varying degrees of success; as we come to the end of 2015 I have had the good fortune, through a series of occurrences, to have worked with amazing people doing amazing things amazingly (mainly in theatres). I'd always had an interest in theatre and performance art, but purely as a punter, so when the chance to photograph 14/48 Leicester came up in May I thought I should give it a go, but without knowing whether I'd take to it. As it turns out I did take to it, and then pretty much became addicted to it! This has been manifest by my "stalking" of said speed theatre festival through it's three Leicester events, as well as the new events in London and Wolverhampton. I've previously eulogised at length about what a wonderful thing it is to be part of so I won't go overboard here...but it is amazing to see such talented, driven, impassioned people doing something that they love, and each person pushing themselves to the limit to produce ace work. The feedback I've received from everyone involved has been a huge boost to me, and really given me the confidence to take on projects that would have been utterly terrifying twelve months ago (now they're just averagely terrifying!).
Working with 14/48 has introduced me to whole new areas of performance art that I wouldn't have found out about otherwise, since my last blog post I've been involved in photographing several dance and performance art based events, this is an area that I've wanted to get into for sometime and has proved to be hugely rewarding (not to mention pretty damn tricky!). It's been great to have access to rehearsals as well as final performances as I find it fascinating to be able to document the behind the scenes goings on, and also getting to know the performers who have all been a joy to work with.
This past week has found me braving the journey to Wolverhampton on two nights for events at the Arena Theatre, Tuesday's Arena Theatre Collective's (ACT) showcase evening, and Wednesday's Flexus Dance Collective's "Next Steps". Both events were equally outstanding in terms of the quality of work on stage, the ACT night also gave me an opportunity to catch up with some familiar faces from 14/48. All the pieces shown were work in progress for both nights, but I was blown away by the high standards across the board, with a really diverse range of material on show. Hopefully I'll get to work with the artists involved on these, and other works, into next year; to document their development and undoubtedly see them reaching the larger audiences they all deserve.
So all in all, 2015's been flipping awesome, it's thrown open a massively exciting new area of photography that it's a real privilege to be working in, it's reignited my passion for photography (as this had gone well off the boil), and introduced me to a whole network of amazing, passionate, lovely people who have gone out of their way to encourage me and convince me that this is something that I should persevere with (self-criticism is essential, but at times not entirely productive!). And I guess the thing I'll take away the most is that it's always worth trying new stuff, I think I'd got kind of stuck with consuming the same mass produced cultural outpourings when there's all this grass routes talent happening that really needs support to survive and thrive. I've experienced so many awesome events in small towns around the midlands that can be overlooked so easily. Hopefully my photography can play a part in pushing this work out to a wider audience.
I fear this may have gone a bit rambling/preachy, sorry about that! Here's to an exciting 2016, the world's a terrible place but maybe by doing little amazing things we can make it a bit better x