Photography: it’s what I do



 Photography; it’s what I do. 

Photography: it’s what I do.

Unlike many, I’m not a natural self publicist so I don’t like inflating stuff or overstating my status in photography. Self hype doesn’t sit well with me. I am just a photographer: it’s what I do!

My photography and all that goes with it pays my bills, earns my living; I guess this makes me a professional; in truth I just work hard at what I love. That’s how it’s been now for many years. It often makes me laugh when people think the professional photographer tag is akin to ‘living the dream’. When the subject crops up I am often found defending myself quoting,  “I work ten times harder now for ten times less”.

Photography: being diverse 

The reality of selling images and getting paid to do jobs (or commissions if you want it to sound good) to make a living means I have always had to be diverse in my approach. Saying yes and then figuring out afterwards how I was going to do it was a mantra I took on early in my photographic life. In those early days I was armed only with fairly basic camera kit and a determination to succeed.

The diversity was and still is driven by necessity and this probably defines my character; I like to believe it has made me a better photographer. Starting out solely as a landscape photographer I firmly believed if I tried hard, I could sell my images; naively assuming  that would be enough. I was lucky enough for a year or so to assist a couple of photographers with their workshops; this was a learning curve in itself. I look back to those days with fondness and realise now just how far I have come since then, both as a photographer and person.

Photography: it’s not a competition

In the early days I measured my successes by competition and the drive to win awards. Yes, they came in the guise of commended awards in Landscape Photographer of the Year and the Jurassic Coast Award. I had many publications and exhibition successes too. It felt great, for a while at least, but it didn’t really satisfy my thirst. I soon realised I needed to be a photographer for the right reasons. Ultimately my photography had to satisfy me and no one else. So photography became my medium to create. Some artists use brushes – I adopted the camera. Over the years I have taken courses, given talks, joined associations, attended a few workshops and fed myself with an almost 24/7 drive to learn. I have studied endlessly, read, trained and fully immersed myself in virtually all aspects of the medium. I breathe photography in every way, every day.

Photography: in Dorset

I was born and have lived in Dorset (UK) all of my life, so I am proud to say Dorset is pivotal to my photographic work. Under the banner of Dorset Visual Arts, I still exhibit on a regular basis and have also worked closely with the Dorset Wildlife Trust. Many of my published images have a Dorset theme, with continued work for Dorset Life Magazine and also Dorset Magazine. That said, I also travel and will work wherever it may take me, especially for landscapes, weddings and street photography projects.

Photography: workshops

Hosting photographic workshops is a great privilege and can be fun. Over the last decade I have welcomed participants from all over the globe, making many photographic friendships. I like to think that I am quite an enthusiastic tutor with a big heart to help others learn. There’s a lot of enjoyment from watching and encouraging budding photographers improve their skills. The workshops are for all levels and abilities. They include bespoke one-to-one tuition days, as well as one, two and three day group workshops in Dorset, Wiltshire and all over the south of England. They can be very rewarding and are designed to help with camera skills, camera craft in general and more importantly, creative techniques! For more details please see my workshops and courses website.

Open-ended, creative and artistic

The creative and artistic potential of photography is what I love. The thread for the arts generally seems to be ever present in me, including an interest in writing, drawing and various genres of music. My earlier experience in electrical engineering and its bias for technology, was the perfect platform for taking my photography profession into a full time living. Being totally self taught, I genuinely take inspiration from many present and past masters in both fine art photography and the art world in general. I firmly believe photography is a life long art form and pursuit. It can continue to inspire and excite no matter what the age (or experience level) of the photographer.

Photography: a mindful activity

Having lived with a painful rheumatoid condition since my late twenties, the need to self regulate and control pain has been aided by a mindful approach to my daily life. Mindfulness is a meditative process that helps tune into your surroundings and daily activities. Applying the same mindful process to my photographic life has been equally rewarding and has helped both practically and emotionally.

Photography: a Fuji X shooter

I have been a full frame DSLR user for as many years as I can remember. Over the last 4 years I have become a staunch  believer in the compact and excellent Fuji X series mirrorless cameras. Without doubt, this has been the single and most contributing factor towards enjoying my photography experiences more. The lightweight and smaller system is perfect for virtually every area of my photography and has especially aided me to develop further my urban, street and documentary photography style. It has also shaved off half the baggage carrying weight when setting off on a landscape shoot. I love the ergonomic and tactile feel of the Fuji cameras. The most important point to note is that the Fuji X system is a joy to use and enhances my daily photographic experiences. Ultimately this is what matters to me.

Welcome to my world of photography … if you are still unsure, I am a photographer!

The Tiger 's north face, Anthony Blake Photography

 North face, Eiger, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

If you would like to read more on what shapes me as a photographer please see this blog post.

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