I’ve spent my last couple of lunch breaks watching the brilliant new class over at Kelby Training, “A day with Jay Maisel.” Jay is an American photographer based in New York. In the industry he’s well known for his photo walk workshops, as well as for his straight-talking, true-New-Yorker style.
During the class, Scott Kelby mentions that he finds himself unsatisfied with his own work. Jay’s response was something of a kick in the arse to me:
Shooting for you is a sometimes thing. You do not go out and do visual pushups every day.
As Jay says, if you’re after becoming a successful bodybuilder you don’t go to the gym once every so often, maybe next week if you can be bothered. You go regularly, with discipline and focus (hah) and you keep at it until you get where you want to be.
And I realised, watching Jay and Scott sat on red chairs in the middle of Times Square, that I’m not doing my visual pushups. Either I want to do this photography gig or I don’t, and if I do I need to make the effort to do it, not just wait for the opportunity to come along. I need to hunt down opportunities and grab them while I can.
I don’t know quite how I’m going to do them yet; I’ll let you know. In the meantime…
I’m going to London at the end of June for a few days of shooting, some with friends (there’s an engagement shoot I’ve been meaning to do for ages, for starters) and some… well, I don’t know yet. I want to spend some time doing a Jay Maisel-style photowalk – at least a couple of hours – and I may try to shoot some street portraits whilst I’m at it, but I honestly don’t have any concrete plans yet.
So here’s the deal. If you’re in London between June 26th and 29th (inclusive) and you fancy being a subject, get in touch with me and we’ll try to arrange something (in my head this request will make that weekend madly busy for me, so first come, first served).
Oh, and I’m well aware that trying to do a photo walk in London will very likely mean that the Met or City of London Police will stop me to ask me what I’m up to. To that end, I’ll donate £5 to Reporters Without Borders for each stop and search that happens, because I honestly believe that the stop and search procedure, particularly when targeted towards photographers, is severely misguided and should be fixed.