One From The Archives
I get to have a lot of drunken wist imparted upon me because of the whole club photographer thing, whether I like it or not.
That can come in many forms, whether it’s being told how easy the job is by people who’ve never worked a day as a photographer in their lives; being given the whole ‘camera chat’, or actually some proper down right intimate details of people’s lives where no one else will listen.
Recently I had someone who felt that they should tell me about their job, and exactly how much they earned, and how great it all was; what they could afford, what they could buy as a result; what that said about their personality. It all sounded grand, but I couldn’t help but feel that maybe they were trying to convince themselves of its merit just as much as they were me.
I’ve been going over familiar territory lately, as I’ve become enthralled with the world of electronic music, particularly lo-fi, 8 bit ‘chiptune’ stuff – composed on Gameboys and synths and most mighty of all.. the Commodore 64.
It comes with guilt though. Whenever I get so passionate and interested in a new area, or an area that seems so wide and full of possibilities, I end up spending money on things to experiment and see what I can do. It’s exactly what happened with photography, and what pushed me onwards to end up where I am just now. It was never about aiming to ‘be a photographer’ – it was more a drive to learn as much as I could about something that I found fascinating.
It does mean that you end up questioning whether you just have an urge to accumulate more stuff though; some sort of sordid material-driven commercialism.
Listening to this person talk though, the difference struck me. Whilst I spent money on things that were to open new doors; to create something new and interesting, the aim of theirs was purely for entertainment; purely to cushion their life between going back to the 9-5 (and above) job that sucked up their time and purpose. Instead of being fascinated by something that was out there to be found out about and discovered, it was about a distraction from the mundane reality of life. Hey, maybe that’s exactly what I’m doing; maybe music and photography and the arts are just another form of entertainment rather than something valuable, but I don’t think so.
I remember a friend who was explaining his financial ruin because of a deep need to write and be a musician who said that “All I’m trying to do is be creative man; I don’t want to sponge or rely on anyone else”, and I didn’t quite get it.
I think I do now.