As part of the coursework activity this week we were asked to review our earliest photographic work and reflect upon it. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the photographs I took at university nor, for obvious reasons, images from my early police work, however I have picked some images which revived my interest in photography after a twenty year gap – these images set me on a journey specialising in wildlife photography.
“What do you see in it? Can you find a theme that connects it to the work you make today? What do you like and dislike about the early work? What was it about these photographs that made you want to be a photographer?”
Although these images are domestic dogs and the wild animals are photographed in captivity this did spark an interest and then long-standing commitment to photograph animals in their natural environment. In these early days I think the technical skills I learned as a police photographer did shine through and I was able to pick up a camera after a very long break without a significant sense of deskilling.
As far as my likes and dislikes are concerned I think these images show an empathy and connection with the animals with clear focus on their eyes and appropriate use of depth of field to blur the backgrounds. I feel I have also captured a sense of the personality of the animal. I would not choose now to photograph animals in anything other than a wild and natural environment. My later wildlife work focused less on the classic portrait and more in showing animals within their environment and showcasing an aspect of their behaviour.
I did consider leaving my well-paid job to be a professional photographer but never really had the courage to do it. Instead I chose to travel the world as an amateur capturing beautiful creatures across the world.
The MA has seen nothing of my wildlife work as I have instead decided to challenge myself by changing genre and approach.
Work in Progress Portfolio
I have been working on my Work in Progress Portfolio in the Isle of Skye so do not have access to my very old photographs. However, I will undertake this exercise when I return home.
We were also asked to produce a marketing plan which should be divided into objectives and strategy. I wrote in this journal a couple of weeks ago about how I intended to get myself noticed in the market place so I will refer back to this and also pick up some of my intentions in a weekly list of actions we have been asked to produce.
My objective is to raise my profile as a photographer on the Isle of Skye and gain recognition for my work through the sale of fine art images.
We were asked to produce a “strategy” which should be an action plan to achieve the objective set out above. Although I do not consider that to be a strategy I have followed the brief as given.
My strategy and tactics therefore to achieve my objectives are below:
- Create logo and consider name for my business
- Consider more professional and creative on-line portfolio and slideshow options
- Undertake market research activities on the Isle of Skye to familiarise myself with competitors, galleries, other outlets, locations for exhibitions etc
- Continue to produce new work
- Share new work on website and seek feedback
- Undertake micro projects alongside my Research Project The Road to Elgol
- Respond to comments on my CRJ daily
- Enter photography competitions – at least two by the end of 2018
- Improve my website and blogging skills
- Add 5 new followers to my blog each week
Pritchard, L (2017), Running a Successful Photography Business, Bloomsbury, London