It’s not free (part 1)

I need someone to fix my car. A friend of mine has a spanner but I thought it would be easier if you did it. I'll tell everyone that you fixed my car and you’ll get more clients.
I just need you to install my washing machine. It’ll only take a couple of minutes so you won’t want paying, will you?
I know my house cost a lot of money. That's why I don't have much money left to paint it, so can you do it for free?
My friend had arranged give me a lift to the airport but he's ill. Could you take me instead?

Would you say this to a mechanic, plumber, decorator or taxi driver?

Assuming you wouldn’t, why do so many people say these things to photographers (and musicians, dancers, etc)?

There is not even the slightest hint at payment. If the sentence started with ‘
How much would it cost’ or ‘What would you charge me’, it would sound so much better. It’s the supposition that the work will be done free of charge that annoys. Whether an artist charges should be their decision, not yours.

To be continued Happy

The future


Just a photo of a boy with a ball in the late 1940s, however, I owe this young man an enormous debt of gratitude. He is responsible for what you see now. 65 years ago, when this photo was taken, who could have suspected where I would end up or what I would be doing.
But back to the kid in the photo. He managed to escape the steelmills of Sheffield by enlisting in the army. This took him to a small town on the English Welsh border. After being posted to the south of England, the south of Wales, and then Germany he came back to this small town, but lived across the border inside Wales. While in Germany he bought a camera a Canon FP which he later gave to me in exchange for a point and shoot. It was my first SLR, although not my first camera, and before that he had instilled an interest in photography in me. Now, with the Canon, I suddenly had a whole new world open up in front of me. And he was always on hand to guide me through this new world.
In the same way that when you learn to cycle, you don't realise that your parents are not holding onto the seat anymore because you're too busy looking where you're going, now is when I realise how important he was in sending me on my way into the world.
Thanks dad.




Like buses, nothing for ages and then three come along at once!
First, with the Plec Collective in Res Non Verba, next with El Mirall Que Ens Mira in the Department of Culture, Lleida.
Finally, with Albert Bonet, Caballer Sumalla and Ermengol in Malignum Castrum, Os de Balaguer.
Thank you to everyone who worked to make this possible.


Photos are for everyone


Late last year I did a photo shoot with a friend. It's difficult to know what to call her, I suppose the most common term would be cancer survivor, certainly not a victim of cancer. She, like many others, has fought very hard to overcome the disease and she decided to have some photos to remember what she looked like after she had finished her chemotherapy. It is easy to forget things as they slip into the past, photography helps us to remember: by freezing time, we create moments that live forever.

While I was waiting for her I started to get nervous, I had never shot anyone suffering from an illness, or at least that I was aware of. All sorts of things were going through my head: all the ‘what ifs’ of a normal shoot plus the added unknown quality of someone who has been through a lot of varying treatment and has lost her hair as a result. A bald man is not unusual, a woman without hair is. When the wig came off she seemed just as beautiful, only differently so. We chatted about what she had been through and how she was, the effect on her family, and very soon the shoot was over.

What made it special for me was that I was being allowed to show something which is normally hidden from society, and in my view I was empowering someone to feel better about the way they looked. In this society, obsessed with image, it's good to show things as they are, especially if this helps people come to terms with difficulties, whether they be mental or physical, from illness or injury.

Check out the work by
Jade Beale and David Jay, both of whom are working hard to challenge popular conception of what is attractive in this modern world.

To the memory of MHG 1939-1999