The photography workshops I teach are based on the importance of composition. I babble on about how you don't need a brilliant camera to shoot amazing images, instead you need knowledge, creativity and an urge to express yourself. Using a basic camera is the easiest way to get this across. They can concentrate solely on seeing and capturing what's around them. On a recent workshop and through his individual vision, a young person raised the bar of what could be achieved with a 'rubbish camera'. And it's changed the way I shoot.
One of Jake's early photos on the workshop. The inside of a seaside binocular!
Jake hadn't any previous photography experience, however from the beginning he was experimenting. The first photo he took was shooting into a lone puddle getting a reflection of the building opposite. Jake would see a scene and work it within an inch of its life shooting from above, below, left and right. Jake seemed to be asking the constant internal questions of 'what if I do it this way' and 'what happens when I do this?'. The camera was a perfect extension of his creative vision. There was no fear of mistakes, there was no inner voice hampering him, there was just a wonderful naivety of seeing, creating and reflecting.
Jake saw the world differently with a camera in his hand. Photo taken on the last session
Since seeing Jake shoot, it seems to have reawakened a care free attitude in my own personal work. I have started a project shot exclusively on a cheap 'point and shoot' camera. I have no concrete subject matter, I have no end date, I have no expectations and it might be that no one sees the project, apart from me. But that's ok, because Jake has re-affirmed, that the reckless abandon of not setting limits and parameters allows total creative freedom.
My favourite photo from Jake. Using reflections to make the ground look like the sky!!!! Genius.
My philosophy on photography has and always will be that it's not about the camera. But it's always good to get a gentle nudge and reminder now and again - so thanks Jake!