I’m writing these out of sequence but a couple of posts back I mentioned that at the festival I discovered something about myself – potentially a style.
This is that I’m polite. That sounds immodest but if anything it’s a drawback. I’m certainly not the only photographer who’s polite but during the course of the gigs, despite being cocky about having a press pass and determined to get some good photos, I made a point of not getting in other’s peoples’ way or annoying the artists. I’m not the only one to take more discrete photos but that approach is certainly not universal.
This is not meant as a criticism of photographers who plant themselves in the way of people trying to watch the band or set off flash guns in the face of the artists. They are professionals. I’m sure their results are better than mine. The artists get some publicity and most probably aren’t put off after a while. Even the people they annoy by standing in front of them will cope so long as they don’t spend long in one spot. There are, however, two reasons why that’s not how I feel comfortable taking photos.
First, my ego is too fragile to be called a wanker by quite as many people as I heard people aim at some photographers of that style during the festival.
Second, I just prefer to capture what’s going on without influencing it.
Yes I want to be able to do shoots where people are posing for the camera, but at a gig where people are performing for an audience, that’s what I want to capture. I don’t want the artificial wink to the camera, I want the smile to a familiar face in the crowd, or the gurn trying to hit the difficult note.
That discovery has influenced the project I’ve started subsequently, to try and play to my – well my preference, given that I can’t call it a strength. I am sure it made for better results at my first outdoor shoot a couple of weeks ago though and it’s something I want to try and stick to, to try and develop some level of personal style.