Taking photos is an emotional experience. You don’t shoot from your head …
you shoot from your heart. You take pictures because something has stirred you to capture something. The very act of taking a photo burns memories, experience and emotions into your mind. I’ve got over 8,000 main keepers in my primary photo library and I reckon I can tell you almost every detail about how I was feeling the day each image was shot, what I had for breakfast, what the journey was like to the shoot and how I felt after I’d finished editing the shot.
Some images have even more attachment, images that go on to greater things. I was reminded of how much of an emotional attachment you make to photos as I left work today. I walk though a main line station owned by Greater Anglia and they bought one of my images of Epping Forest to use for one of their poster campaigns. It’s currently adorning the small A1 billboards at many Greater Anglia stations.
The image they bought was shot way back in 2012 in Epping Forest, a foggy October morning and I’d gone out to see if there was anything worth shooting in the forest. I parked near the Queen’s Lodge and walked into the open field before heading into the trees. In the trees I found the sun was just starting to cut through he mist and under the canopy was this huge array of crepuscular rays and I started shooting. I must have spent about 15-20 mins shooting them before they started to fade I went home. I held on to that image for years until I delivered it to Getty for sale.
I pass by the poster every day on my way to work and it reminds me that patience is a virtue, that sales and respect will come if you work and wait. It reminds of a wonderful, innocent time when I just shot for the love of making great images, I’m more driven now to seek out images I think might have commercial value. It reminds me that while I have to go to work today, do a job I don’t mind doing and capable of, there’s a slim chance of another career if I work my arse off and get out there. It reminds me how anonymous I am despite making great strides to become well known, that thousands pass by that image every day, some look at it but none of them realise the fat, scruffy sod in the back heavy metal hoodie that’s just passed them shot that incredible image almost a decade ago.
We don’t just shoot photos, we create images and with every one comes a thousand memories and emotions packaged in for free.