New work – an answer

A few weeks ago now I posted an open invitation for anyone to ask me a question. I received a few and saved some of them until I was ready to answer them. This one has been playing on my mind for quite a while:

“Why don’t you post new pictures on your blog in the way that you used to when was the first website I looked at every week?”

That is what I call a question! There are so many parts to the answer that I have decided to list them as bullet-points:

  • I don’t shoot as much editorial work as I used to and a lot of corporate clients don’t want me to post the images shot for them.
  • I don’t have quite as much time to work on websites as I used to.
  • One of the main reasons that I stopped posting new work was that much of it stopped looking ‘new’ and I wrote about that on this blog.
  • Another reason that I stopped was the number of times people asked me to take pictures down.

Now that I am a freelance photographer I need to be very careful about what I post. Social media, blogs and websites are very public forums for thoughts and ideas and it is far too easy to do or say something that harms your business and freelancing as a photographer is very much a business. There’s also an element of protecting ideas. I published fifty technique examples in the period between 1999 and 2008 and I get emails from photographers all over the world saying that some of those lessons changed their practice. I still meet photographers who tell me that they read those pages over and over again when they were trying to develop their own techniques for using portable flash and that is gratifying but now I’m playing a few of my cards a bit closer to my chest because I have developed a few new ways of working that I’m not ready to share outside of my portfolio.

Like I said – there’s no single reason why I stopped posting and I certainly don’t rule out posting some more ‘new’ work over time. As a response to the question that was asked I have decided to post one new portrait that I made a couple of months ago for a women’s magazine. Te story was about three women who had written very personally about their time at school and how that had influenced their later lives. One of the women was journalist and author Gill Hornby and I was asked to photograph her with her dislike of school and team sports in mind. We had a few minutes at a playing field on a less than sunny day and this is the photograph that I liked most:

©Neil Turner. 07 June 2013. Gill Hornby is the author of The Hive (Little Brown).

©Neil Turner. June 2013. Gill Hornby is the author of The Hive (Little Brown).

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