People and Place

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Positive and The Negative

I've struggled with enthusiasm in this course.  It has not been through lack of trying, I have pprobably spent more hours on this course than any other.  Therein lies the problem. All these hours and my work is not great.  I've had to stand back and ask myself why?
I've tried to anaylise the why.
At the beginning of this course I told my tutor I wanted to continue with my street people project.  He rightly told me it did not fit into the brief and so if that is what I wanted to do, do so in another forum.

As I struggle to make good work in a commercial sense as this course requires, I have had to take a step back and try and anaylise why my work is just not that good.  I know I can take good pictures. Yet on this course my images are struggling to make average.  Why?

Today was the ephiphany I was looking for.  Three different places came to me looking to do collaborative work. I now realise my passion and skill is as a documentary photographer. 

One of the hostels, that offers the first step for those who have been sleeping rough for many years, told me that they wanted to work with me because my images weren't patronising. That I had an ability to capture the essence of the person. They are embarking on a new program that overseas has been successful in changing attitudes of the wider public and more importantly being successful in changing the lives of the vunerable.

I have been invited to do a collaborative work with them.

This is what I want to do.  This is not a one off. Three of my ideas have had similar responses.

I still must learn the skills of the other genres.  However I feel I can stop beating myself up about not making great images in every genre.  I will continue to do the best I can.  There are some fields of this profession that will not work for me.  Understanding that is very liberating.


  1. Follow your dreams! I really liked seeing your work on WeAreOca - your interest and commitment shines through. I think it is hard to make good work if your heart isn't in it. Why waste any time at all on commercial work as you call it? That isn't what the course or OCA are about. Do you check out the Flickr and Student forums? The message we get there very strongly is to use the courses to develop our own work, not as abstract exercises. Look forward to seeing more of your documentary work.

  2. Great news on the prospect of collaborative work Mo. It must be so good to have this affirmation of your talent for documentary work. I was pleased also to see you mentioned on WeAreOCA. I second Eileen's comment re dipping into the Flickr and Student forums (and joining in on study Visits also) - you'll be surprised how many other students share your frustrations and inspirations. Catherine