Welcome to the Gallery

Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

As you might know I take photographs from time to time,
mainly for my own satisfaction but
occasionally some of them are used for book or CD covers, which although it doesn't pay much
gives me a small sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
To stand in a shop looking at a book cover that I created is a funny feeling.
Sometimes, the pictures were taken in isolated areas where there may have been no other person for miles around.
These are very personal pictures that I have taken just because I could, they were taken to give
me pleasure, so when many months later the picture is used to give others pleasure
[or to make them buy a book] it gives me a very strange feeling.
Almost an invasion of privacy but at the same time pleasure that others could see a scene
through my eyes.
If that makes any sense.
Of course this has little to do with the gallery, although in the past I did on occasions show my pictures, but now this seems a little too much like having an "ego trip" so it is only on a rare
occasion when I need to fill a gap that one of mine comes out.
Although it sounds like it this is not an attempt a false modesty, I really need to sell other artists work not sit in a shrine dedicated to me.
Although that does seem appealing the more I think about it.

Some of the pictures I have taken are of women [occasionally men] in period clothing, these pictures seem to be popular with others and I have had many book covers and magazine articles showing my photographs.
So it was with no great surprise that I received a call about three weeks ago from a publisher
asking if I could provide them with a series of 'Tudor' photographs to be used as book covers.
I said that I would "have a go" then after the conversation put them on the "back burner" in my mind.
There was a problem, most of the people I have photographed are not models as such,
just ordinary people dressing up,
but like everyone else they read the papers and watch TV and have become educated that models earn millions "just look at Kate Moss and Jordan" they think.
"I'm a model now, give me some of those millions you are making".
The reality is I earn between £50 - £80 a book cover, and this usually after spending an average of 30 hours 'improving' the image.
As a result I have no money to pay them, they are convinced I have made a fortune, end result:
I don't take pictures of females any more.
But there are exceptions.
One of these is a young woman called Sarah.
I have photographed her many times, a couple of her pictures have ended up as book covers.
Importantly we both had some fun and produced some lovely pictures, which have given us both pleasure.
As fate would have it she contacted me just after I was asked to do the new covers.
So cutting a very long story short, yesterday we used the fantastic church in Long Melford
for an hour or so taking "Tudor Royalty" pictures.
It was fun and for me made a refreshing change but it may have all been a waste of time.
Although I had been given descriptions of what was wanted "close up, lots of detail...etc",
I ended up doing what I always do [ask Irene] pleasing myself.

I chose one picture to work on, in "post production" so to speak, I had an idea of what I was
after but once started as usual the picture took on a life of its own and lead me along.
This evening I think that it is finished but I know from past experience that I need
"to sleep on it".
In the morning I have a strong feeling I will see many things that I am unhappy with, and it
is likely that I will devote a few more hours to it before something in my mind tells me
"that's it".
I am sure that it will never be used, as it is so far away from what was requested,
but I was told "do it in your style". So I have.
Unfortunately this isn't always commercial, which is the reason I don't make millions that I can pay "models" with.

So above are a few [very few] of the stages that the picture has been through over the last
day or so, starting with the today's finished photograph through to where I started yesterday.

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