LCC MA: My first blog post

  • On 2nd January 2009

Usually I rather like writing things down on a page and physically creating a workbook that contains my ideas, visual resources and whatever else. But I think that’s its a great idea to Blog as another medium through which to explore and get feedback about my photographic practice.

So, a little bit about me.

I got seriously interested in photography in about 1999/2000. At that point I had been working in the travel industry (sales, flight attendant) for about 4-5 years and I suppose this opened my eyes to the world around me. I spent every spare penny traveling and needless to say all of my holiday from work was spent somewhere else…Most of the images I was shooting at this time were touristy snap shots of the world as I was seeing it unfold around me and none of it is scanned at the moment. After living in London for about 4 years I started evening classes in Photography-following ten week courses on subjects such as ‘Landscape Photography’, ‘Social Documentary’ etc. My mentor back then was a guy who if I hadn’t met then I might not be doing what I am right now. On a landscape module in Greece after a tutorial he was impressed with my work and asked what I was planning to do with myself? So then I looked into a BA and ended up doing a Photography BA at Westminster University as they ran a part time 4 year course so I could still work and do the course at the same time.

I began to get quite engrossed with the theory side of the BA -it gave a depth, a reason for the existence of vast number of images and image makers out there. The BA took me to experimental places, enabling me to analyse the world around me and myself in new ways through photography. Although I started (I say ‘started’ as I feel at some point I will come back to this work I am about to mention) to shoot some self reflective projects -mainly about being a twin- most of my work was focused loosely in the documentary genre and was concerned with the world around me. My travels, my work and my general interest in uncovering aspects of the world which are unnoticed remained a preoccupation. I was always driven to seek out a story… In the penultimate summer of my BA I met someone in Brighton who ran an organisation to help asylum seekers and refugees and she needed volunteers and was interested in me coming along to help. I knew I wanted to focus my BA ‘Major Project’ on an aspect of this group or on a person from this group. After  a year of volunteering there after work on  a Friday afternoon I had made friends with a guy who was happy for me to find out more about his story and for me to produce a body of work about his experiences. The result was my collaborative book project called ‘silent voice’. I have been trying to upload a Pdf of it here but without success.

I spent the next year and a half figuring out what I wanted to do next after successfully completing the BA. In that time I have shown the’silent voice’ piece of work as a solo show in Brighton at the Photofringe and in a group show in London at Photmonth and am about to show it in Australia in a group show.

That just about takes me to right now where I find myself on the MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at LCC. I was offered a place a while back on the full time course and I gave up the idea of doing it as missed some funding deadlines I was hoping to apply for and knew I couldn’t lose too many hours at work. But then I met Paul Lowe one night in a pub in Brighton after a photography talk I was at and he told me about the online version…