I made a decision a few days ago… For years now I’ve been shooting models, not just for standard portraiture work but for my conceptual work too. I’ve decided recently, that rather than models I’m now going to try and shoot my conceptual work with actors and actresses.
My favourite work to produce is work that has a narrative. Images that offer a glimpse of a story. For me that’s why it makes complete sense to work with actors. Because that’s exactly what they want to achieve. They are natural born story tellers. They will understand what I mean by emotion. By fear, sadness or confusion. They’ll get it immediately because it’s something that is asked of them every day.
I have a few ideas for new shots I want to create, and they are very much what I’d describe as “narrative shots”. Where as I’d normally work with a model I know or have worked with before, or post a casting call on Model Mayhem, I have this time decided to post the casting call on ‘Star Now’ and specifically seek out male and female actors. So far I’ve had lots of casting submissions from people, so I can’t wait to get started! As part of this series we are also going to be creating some YouTube exclusive, behind the scenes videos, which will include interviews with everyone involved as well as footage of the actual shoot.
I’m really hoping this will start a new chapter in my creative work, and I hope you all enjoy the images as I come to share them…
Image from the series ‘Fade To Black’ by Carl Beebee. 2014.
I recently read an article on the popular photography website fstoppers.com called “Censorship is Good for Photography. Seriously” The article explains, or rather argues, why censorship in photography is a good thing. It is of course the writers opinion and he offers valid points. But to me it is not a good thing. It is something that restricts creativity, opinion and thoughts. It simply holds artists back!
I want to make it clear here; i’m not in anyway supporting illegal images – only images that fall within the law. I’m also not talking about classification – where it is important to fall within age restrictions etc.If an image is “not safe for work” does that make it wrong? If it’s labelled “not safe for work” or ‘NSFW’ then to me it is fair game. It is after all, at the heart of it, personal preference. If someone wants to put the word “fuck” across their image is it inappropriate? Should it be censored?
I think we live in a world where we should all be able to offer our opinion with freedom and creativity. Surely, it’s a simple rule? – if you don’t like what you see then look away. Galleries, curators and the press already put so many restrictions on artists I feel that at times it prevents said artists from creating the work they actually want to create. As soon as that happens then they have lost their voice.
It’s so important to believe in your work, regardless of others opinions or thoughts. It has to have an honesty and an integrity to it in order for the artist to be themselves – not just as an artist but as a person. It is this trait that will blends personality into the work.
How will history view the censorship of photography? Well, look back in time at Hollywood – films such as ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Clockwork Orange’ and ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ were all banned in certain regions and countries. Today they have been re-introduced and are widely available – but perhaps more importantly, each in their own form is considered ground breaking and important. That is perhaps the biggest lesson to be learnt and the reason why I will always say “Censorship is bad for photography. Seriously.”
I realise I’ve not really been keeping on top of posting on this blog and it’s often because I really just don’t know what to put on here. I think it can become really mundane just adding photographs on here and telling people what I’ve been up to… Wondering what to do with the blog I spent hours last night looking at other photographers and artists blogs trying to gather some inspiration. I soon realised that they are all so similar – recycling images already on the personal websites with a few captions… This is why I want to change what this blog is all about…
I still want to use it as somewhere to publish my “news” but I am determined to make it more emotive and honest – like a working journal. I want it to represent my personal character – something which it really lacks at the moment. If I have something to moan about (this is quite common) then this will become my platform to do so – I realise that this isn’t going to be to everybody’s taste but so be it. I’ve not really cared about anyones taste or morals for the last ten years, so I really don’t intend to start doing so now…