The creation of a new website is a very exciting time for me. It's been a time for reflecting on the past, and my process of learning and growing as a photographer - and looking towards the future, which really does feel like an endless field of opportunity for expression.
I've been shooting seriously since I was about sixteen. Five years on, I have learned a great deal. It's also becoming more and more apparent to me just how little I know - and that thought excites me. There's so much...more...out there, than I ever could have dreamed.
Depending on how you approach it, photography can be considered an art or a craft. Your own definition of where the line between art and craft lies will no doubt differ from my own. Through things like my music photography, I've come across photography as a craft - as a commercial industry. It's exciting, fast-paced work which I enjoy immensely.
I'm also, however, just starting to become aware of the immense power of the camera as a tool for self expression. I'm starting to think about things in a slightly different way, finding that I have ideas that I'm interested in exploring.
The idea of being considered an 'artist' is still very odd to me. It seems like such a high and lofty label, reserved only for people of extraordinary talent, drive, and creativity. I don't feel any more talented than the next photographer - indeed, I feel like I'm constantly playing catch-up with my own skills. Nor do I feel spectacularly creative most of the time - although I do have my moments.
There are a few out there, people whom I respect immensely, who do consider me to meet their criteria for the label of 'artist'. I have no idea if that's how it works - if it's something that can only be bestowed by others on you. Whether I consider myself one or not, I'm incredibly flattered that they think so highly of what I do - especially when I'm often dumbstruck by their own talent and think "Well, I'm nowhere near that level of talent and creativity".
I do feel, though, that I am slowly getting somewhere. Inch by inch, I'm continuing to grow. And sure, I'm not as good as some of these people whose work I love - but then, it's still very early days for me. Five years is nothing compared to the rest of my life. I aim to keep improving for decades.
A new website is a small thing, a small change in how my work is presented. It nonetheless feels like a new chapter of 'me' as a photographer. I still have so far to go, but it feels like the blindfold is ever so slowly slipping off, and I'm learning to see for the first time.