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The Camera Looks Both Ways

Oops. I promised on my Facebook page that I’d have this done yesterday. Mea culpa; forgive me.

I wanted to let you all know about a project that I’m starting. Normally, when I start a personal project, I don’t shout about it from the rooftops. That’s for the simple reason that many personal projects wither on the vine, and there’s little point in me talking about them until they’ve established a foothold and actually started to grow legs.

Er, I’ve mixed up some fairly disparate metaphors there. Let’s try again.

The point is that I don’t usually shout about things until I’m well on the road with them, mostly because I don’t know if they’re even worth pursuing (but I can’t know that until I try).

The Cobbler’s Children, and All That

It’s often said that the cobbler’s children have no shoes. Similarly, photographers’ families don’t necessarily have many photographs of themselves. More specifically, photographers rarely have great portraits of themselves hanging around. How many times have you seen a photographer’s page on Facebook, only to see them hiding behind the camera in a mock shooting pose, or standing with the camera in one hand*, looking fake-smiley.

It occurred to me that I’d quite like to shoot portraits of photographers, make them look great, and get to know some of my fellow shutter monkeys in the process (for all too often we find ourselves talking about ISOs and shutter speeds when we get together, rather than what actually makes us different as artists, which is who we are).

I Shoot  You and You Shoto Me**

An added dimension to the project, which came up when I was looking for volunteers on Friday afternoon, was that if I’m going to be running around making portraits of photographers, it’s only fair that they should get to make portraits of me, too. That way, they all get to have my take on them, and I get numerous versions of myself in return. Stands to reason, and I quite like it.

And Then What, eh?

Naturally, when one’s daydreaming about a project like this, one wonders where it’s actually going to go. Here are my thoughts so far:

  • The images I shoot will go online somewhere – either on a dedicated Tumblr or here, depending on volume.
  • The portraits that other photographers make of me will also go online in the same place, with their permission. All photographers will retain copyright over their work, of course

So how do I get involved?

If you want to be involved in the project (and hells, why wouldn’t you?), there are several ways to let me know:

Whatever the medium, let me know who you are, where you’re from and what kind of photography work you typically do.

And it’s important to note here that you don’t have to be a professional photographer. I want to hear from you whether you shoot £5000 weddings for a living or love making Instagram images of the world around your front door***. The point is for us to meet, interact, get to know each other and maybe, hopefully, learn something from each other in the process.

So, who’s with me?

*There are exceptions to this rule. Arty self portraits, mostly.
** Bonus points to anyone who gets this reference.
*** It’s important, too, to realise that these aren’t mutually exclusive pursuits.