Associate Level, (ASWPP)

So in the build up to Christmas I was pretty together putting together and mounting 35 20 x 16 prints ahead of the competition in March, 15 prints for the comp, and 20 prints which made up my Associate level panel to be assessed during my time away in London. I’m pleased to say I had some amazing feedback while I was there, with all five judges unanimously passing my panel. Along with hanging my panel on the wall, I began by reading out a short statement of intent alongside it. I’m not a particularly emotional sort of guy, but half way through reading it, a moment dawned on me where I realised that this panel of images represents the core of my work since I picked up a camera three years ago, and now here it all was about to be assessed by five strangers who have been in the game a long time. Anyway I managed to get through to the end without making a plonker of myself. The morning of my panel being judged, I also met a lovely but rather nervous young lady called Audrey, she was due to go in the slot just before me, again for Associate Level, and we got our images ready in the prep room at the same time, I took a look at just a couple of her images and they blew me away, a horror esque gothic storytelling style of images, that also faired very very well when it came to competition time. We were both presented with our certificates on the same evening too, although we both chose different cameras to smile at.

Associate Panel Submission, Thursday 21st January 09:30 – Alistair Campbell

Before I begin I’d just like to say that before I joined the SWPP a year ago, I had no idea that panel’s of work even existed. When I began taking photographs about 3 years ago, I did so out of passion, creativity and as a means to express myself. Putting together this panel has helped me make sense of my style, my work and ultimately what I am trying to communicate.

The people in all of these images have a story to tell, and it lies behind their eyes, often (but not all the time) it is an extension of myself at that time.

The expressionism I like to explore is elusive, not obvious, but lies between the lines. A slight connection in the eyes can represent a deep connection and happiness or total ambiguity, often only there for a brief moment… The slightest bow of the head can mean deep sadness, loneliness or loss, a slight tilt in another direction can be playful or empowering.

When I work with people for the first time I try to take them through a range of emotions, find out their story and see what makes them tick. Often at some point during the conversation I will see that look in their eye which fits into my work, or that represents the emotion I am trying to convey.

Of course I do not work in this way every time, sometimes I work with others on just creating fun character based portraits, or even they may have a story to tell of their own. Sometimes people will say to me, why did you go to the trouble of making that set when you could have just used a green screen and edited it in… To me that’s not the ‘trouble’ but in fact one of my favorite parts of creating images. I have a personal rule that if I cannot create it in the camera, then it’s not for me (of course with with small exceptions from time to time). Visiting old buildings or strange places, gathering together outfits, costumes and a team to creating something we can all look back on, and be proud of.

I try never to have any of my images too ‘readable’ by the viewer, but always leave people guessing ‘what were they thinking about there’ I just try to suggest the start of the that thinking journey for anyone looking at these images, the rest of that journey is up to each individual…


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