Well it’s the a day after Near eyes eve and the reality of 2016 is starting to kick in already. The first quarter of the year is always a very quiet time of year for me photographically so am taking the opportunity to to have a good old clear out but I’m finding it incredibly hard as a lot of what needs to go is photographic in nature and it just feels wrong!
First there is some old equipment that needs to go on ebay, this stuff started off as my primary equipment, then was relegated to backup as it was replaced and finally spare backup, to the point its just gathering dust. There is a camera there I photographed my favourite ever portrait image, a picture of my wife holding my sleeping 3 week old daughter in her arms. It’s also seen me on holidays, captured family members who are no longer with us and it feels a bit of wrench to let it go.
Also on the list are once favourite lenses that I no longer use due to the way my style and photography interests have developed. I have a beautiful ultra wide angle lens a 12mm-24mm for a full frame camera from when I was interested in landscape, but it doesn’t even make it into my kit bag these days as wide angles add pounds to people in portraits. I remember taking a picture in Devon at sunset on the beach. I had scrambled along the rocks, slipped and hit my funny bone which wasn’t funny at all. I remember thinking at the time what I would do for my art, its just one of those memories that stuck.
Hardest of all though are the old wedding albums from long ago weddings and other prints I had made for marketing myself. While the albums are fine in some cases I just can’t get hold of the same ones anymore as the suppliers have stopped producing them. I’m not in them, neither is my family and they are just business tools really, examples of my work to sell to a new generation of clients yet letting them go is harder than I thought it would be. You see I look through the albums and not only do I remember the couple and the day itself, but the amount of time and effort I put into that particular wedding and how much pride I took in the finished product afterwards.
Is it weird to document your life through photographing strangers you don’t actually feature in? Maybe, but then those strangers become people I know and that perhaps is the magic of it, I still see some of my old clients around town occasionally and its nice they stop and take the time to chat to me and are usually amazed when I remember their names or details about their day. For me it’s actually a week or more constantly reliving the day as I sort out the photographs and album, its no wonder I remember them I guess.
Which reminds me, I bumped into a couple whose wedding I photographed whose son they had after the wedding is in the same class as my son. They had the budget orientated album for themselves but I made a stunning example album from their wedding I can no longer use as the supplier stopped making them as they were too expensive. Serious quality, my sample actually cost me £400 to make! Even though I haven’t been able to show it for a few years as I can’t get them anymore I haven’t quite been able to bring myself to throw it away. As I know where they live, I think I might just pay them a visit tomorrow with a late Christmas present!