The joy of being Of The North is that when you say “Winter is Coming” people react as though it’s either super-cool or super cheesy, depending on their point of view on Sean Bean. Sometimes they just look confused — they don’t all watch Game of Thrones — or, if they too are Of The North, they nod. Yes, yes it is. From the moment the last one ended.
September in Manchester traditionally feels like autumn has arrived with a sort of firm splash, akin to a water bomb hitting a rhinoceros. At the moment, though, summer 2016 is holding its own, having arrived rather late to its own party. It’s spider season, but gloriously warm. The evenings are pleasant, but getting earlier by the day.
I’m starting to wonder what the next few months will bring, creatively. I have ideas that I want to pursue and, as ever, am stuck on the cusp of jumping into them with both feet. But my inner child is stood on the sofa and the floor is lava and the coffee table is too far away to jump to and anyway I’m wearing socks and I’ll slip and die.
These metaphors may be coming out without much editing.
Thing is, I usually find winters hard, creatively. The short days and long nights make me grumpy at best, and I start to doubt myself and withdraw from making pictures.
I’ve decided: Not this year.
Last Christmas I collaborated on one of my favourite shoots ever (NSFW) with Raphaella WithLove and Lynn Docherty. This year I’ll be aiming to do two or three shoots of the same nature: free-flowing, creative, working with whatever is in my head and trying to make it into an image.
And I want to get back to shooting daily again. I don’t do that any more and it needs to be fixed. You can’t get to the Olympics if you don’t do your pushups, as Jay Maisel likes to say. More visiual pushups for me are in order, then.
The biggest of my on-the-cusp projects — codenamed HEADLESS for the sake of reference — needs to launch within the next couple of weeks, I think, or not at all. Like the image of Cernunnos that I finally started work on earlier this summer, HEADLESS has been in my brain for a long time now. Time to realise it or chuck it on the scrap heap. You only live once.
But the main thing this autumn and winter has to be shooting something every day. Because ultimately, that’s my chosen medium and if I’m not making pictures I’m not being much of a photographer, am I?
Thus ends today’s sermon.