They say that when you’re not looking for it, the unexpected happens and that was certainly the case when I received an invitation to become a Getty images contributor this week. It’s that tricky mix of creating drive behind a project and positive energy without overheating and obsessing about it. For me, my energy and drive started in November 2010, I just didn’t realise it.
In November 2010, I decided I would make my first planned photo shoot in the California desert. The location was the Southern California Logistics centre at Victorville and Adelanto which was formally George Air Force Base. I can still remember the exhilaration of the day, the set up, the technical nature of some of the shots and strangely,having to remember to eat and drink such was the consuming nature of the day. The subject of my first shoot was the airplane graveyard and maintenance facilities at the airport which whilst not making for a Pullitzer winning location, still remains our most visited set in our flickr account.
It was on this trip that I took the enclosed photo of an undercarriage truck from a long since scrapped and parted out Airbus. I remember taking the shot, as I had to work quickly in an area which was difficult to access and the owner whose permission I had asked, was getting impatient. The shot itself, I feel, is fairly unremarkable however looking at it again, it is a unique shot. It is not something that many people have access to and not something that many people will ever see in their lifetime. It was therefore a surprise to receive a request from Getty to license the image. What makes this all the more remarkable is that two weeks ago, somebody asked me what I was looking for in terms of recognition. “Having my work recognised by a major agency” was my reply. At the time, I wondered how I would achieve this without knowing that I had actually taken the shot that would realise this ambition 27 months previously. In fact, I had started to write a plan as to how I would achieve this!
It has however made me think. “How would I take a unique shot again?”. I think that sometimes we can think too much but we can’t plan enough. Creating and planning a positive environment from which ideas can flow, will therefore I believe, ultimately lead to unique and appealing photos.