If there is one thing I’ve learnt recently, it’s to try and not be too inebriated when there’s a small chance you might have to make a speech. As most of you might have seen, my image ‘Comforts’ has been announced as ‘Best in Show May 2016′ in the London Photo Festival; it’s safe to say when I entered two months ago that I never expected this!
Having maintained that mentality all the way through until the Private Viewing on Wednesday, it sets you up to approach the whole situation with an almost blasé attitude. I hadn’t planned travel to London very well, I hadn’t looked at trains, return times, in fact I hadn’t thought too much about it other than it would be good fun to hit the open bar, meet some other photographers and hand out a few business cards.
I was on the train at 18:06 from Woking, the event (and open bar) started at 18:00….damn it! No bother, I had already been drinking and thought I could still make it in time for the award ceremony.
It was 19:23 and I arrived at The Crypt in Borough Market, the award ceremony started at 19:00…. DAMN IT!
I hadn’t missed all of it though; as I walked into reception I could hear the Judge making the announcements. I couldn’t see the whole gallery as the crowd was blocking the entrance to the main room, so I sidle in and stand to the side. As I’m half listening to what the judge is saying I was looking around to try and find my photo; I couldn’t see it and was getting more and more irate as I couldn’t stop thinking that they had forgotten to print/post my image in the show!
Suddenly I hear the following “and so, the reason why I’ve picked this image is because he’s interpreted the theme in a unique way; the subject is sat in a bath, he’s smoking and looking out of the window and I just really want to hear the story behind it…”. It clicks… this is when I start to panic and realise how drunk I am…
As she reads my name and asks if I’m in the room, I sheepishly put my hand in the air and two ladies start pushing me round the corner and right in front of me is my photo on the wall. I honestly can’t remember what I had said but I can assure you it wasn’t well thought out or considered!
After the horrendous speech I was inundated with people asking me how I took the image and why it was so cheap; the best answer I could give was that I scrolled through a couple of forums and set my price based on others’ advice and the size of the image. When I submitted my photo, I didn’t think anyone would want me hanging on the wall in their home, but according to one lady she was certain she’d expect to pay £500 for the privilege and not the paltry £40 price tag I put on myself..
I suppose this is a lesson for next time.
To make up for the poor speech, I’d like to say a massive congratulations to everyone who entered and submitted their work to the London Photo Festival; walking around the room afterwards it really highlighted how out of my depth I was. Rachael Talbert, who was 2nd runner up had created an amazing image using intentional camera movement whilst taking her photo (you can see her photo titled ‘Tempest’, here).
1st runner up Markus Eichenberger is a fully fledged, multi-award winning photographer and filmmaker who has travelled to over 80 countries capturing some incredible scenes. His image of him travelling through the world’s largest salt desert in what looks like an old Land Rover Discovery can be seen here.
There was a huge collection of genuinely extraordinary images that must have made our judge’s (Vanessa Champion) job a difficult one and I’d like to thank her for choosing my photo for Best in Show. Also a big shout out to friends, family and everyone who has been following and showing their support recently; it’s given me a massive kick to try and post photos more regularly and see where this ends up going.
You can find out more about the event and the organisers (Emma Mapp and Kit Shah – they’ve done a fantastic job organising such a great event) at the following links;