It’s amazing what you can find on the internet once you’ve finally ‘completed’ facebook (and no, it’s not what you’re thinking). I was sat in bed last week and I stumbled across a link that took me to the London Photo Festival’s website; it’s definitely not a massive event, but it looks like it’s been running for a while and it attracts a fairly healthy following.
Now, when I decide to do something that requires me to put myself out there I normally think about it long enough for the self doubt to talk me out of it; however, being ill, sat in bed for hours on end and loaded on all sorts of painkillers apparently gives you the same sort of confidence you find when you’re cutting shapes on the dance floor on a shady Friday night.
Having received confirmation of my entry, the fear starts to set in; I find out that the theme is ‘the four elements’ and I need to submit the photo within a week. After a quick Pinterest search and scrolling through hundreds of conceptual photos I immediately start to regret my decision, this is not my style at all; I like taking pictures of people doing weird stuff or looking a bit edgy. A few more photos scroll by and I come across a pretty cool photo of Steve McQueen smoking in a bath tub with a very attractive lady friend – gives you an idea of what inspires me.
I immediately message a friend that I feel I can easily persuade to have some photos taken whilst potentially being semi-nude; 5 minutes later and she’s said yes.
D-day… it’s immediately obvious that we’re both super apprehensive about the whole situation – why did we ever think this was going to be an easy ‘thing’? We take a few test shots for lighting and positions and she goes her way; we both know that we won’t be doing the semi-nude shoot that’s for sure.
This leaves me without a model and about 3 days left to take and submit a photo. I decide to jump in the bath myself; here’s the result…
Going back to the theme for the exhibition, the four elements could be interpreted through different items and focal points in the photo (tedious links so bear with me); air and fire through the cigarette and lighter, water through the bath tub and earth from the view through the window. The pitch to the exhibition is that this image symbolises how mankind has harnessed these four elements to make ‘comforts’ out of them… or something like that.
So we’ll see how the exhibition goes, I doubt I’ll be selling or winning anything soon but the main purpose of this is to get out there and start forcing my hand to learn from and meet some people in the industry.
Key things to remember so far;
- Don’t ask your friend to pose in a bath, it’s awkward
- Taking a self portrait without a remote shutter is also awkward
- Don’t sign up for things whilst under the influence
The exhibit starts on 19th May and ends on 21st May 2016 so I’ll be back with an update on this one soon after. More details about the exhibit can be found at http://www.londonphotofestival.org/.
Thanks for reading.