Street Photography

(You know I am into Street Photography, well all types of photography really, except photos of Jeremy Kyle, I am not one for grammar or understanding where to put a comma, so please be patient it will come. If you are a grammar Nazi, then this blog isn’t for you, it will only ruin your day.)

I have always been a photographer before I even considered Street photography, even before I had equipment, my artistic brain or my need to be creative is on par with how an addict is with their chosen vice. From the earliest thoughts that I can remember, I have always been recording scenes in my head, a build-up of creative expression that I needed released, and often I would translate and release it through my local amateur dramatic club.

Photography was too expensive for a kid like me from a poverty ravaged time in North Lanarkshire (Monklands District) under the Iron Lady Thatcher.  Creativity was frowned upon by members of the establishment, from teachers to careers workers.  “A career in electronics or some factory work for you laddie, that’s if the gates of Barlinnie aren’t being oiled for you as we speak” would be the only constructive input these dream stealer’s would feedback to me. I could hardly swagger about the schemes of Coatbridge with camera in hand; it would have ended in tears.

I had no academic interest, practical creative energy release is what I needed, school sadly at the time didn’t cater for me, I bored easily which often resulted in my rebelling and getting in trouble hourly if not daily. I wasn’t a vindictive kid, merely a jester, one for a laugh. Being suspended from school was a reward and certainly not the punishment the authorities had wished for.  Too much of a dreamer O’Hare would be the parting shot from the head master on the long walk home to let my mother know it was another holiday for her little genius.

In these difficult economic times coming from a single parent household (as did about 80% of the area) I was incredibly fortunate that I had a loving and amazingly supportive mother who encouraged my dreaming, and believed in it, she still does. Luckily she installed an incredible and inspiring iron shield around me. Almost (“almost” if it wasn’t for those pesky critics ha-ha) invincible self-efficacy and self-belief. If you dream it you can do it.

Frustratingly self-efficacy and self-belief couldn’t be cashed in for the camera I had always wanted, so creating them in my mind was the next best thing, and anyway I was doing exceptionally well with my drama, getting parts on both stage and screen, studying theater arts was a natural progression as I escaped Thatcher’s Youth Training Scheme which rewarded me with a much needed City and Guilds in retail excellence qualification.

I dabbled with media throughout my three years studying community arts and drama, gaining merit awards and further stage and screen success, got myself Scotland’s best agent and personal manager, which lead to enjoying further success on stage and screen. My creative addiction was being fed, but it was boring and draining the life from me, constant auditions, rejections and stereotype parts, working while my friends partied, travelling when my friends partied, sleeping whilst my friends partied, parting without my friends. Spending any more time than you need to with actors  is never a fun night out, too much ego and not enough substance, ;), I did meet and mix with some impressive people and I enjoyed the experience, but I decided at least for now, it wasn’t a career I was  looking for, especially after a national TV advert I starred in turned out to be the biggest pain in the arse of my life.  I was however purchasing some nice wee point and shoot cameras and gadgets.

Street Photography: Glasgow

But the gadgets made way for my desire to party, which I was also equally good at. Anyway fast forward to being 30 which from the age of 20 seemed like 10 minutes never mind 10 years, where I was everything from an advice worker to a publican. I ran out of creative avoidance excuses, and I needed to feed to creative monster again, this time I bought my DSLR a simple basic canon 1000D, started going back to photography classes just to rejuvenate the buried knowledge on rule of thirds, composition, technique and build on the forgotten belief my mother had programmed into to me. At 30 it was still reassuring to hear that my mum never lost the faith that I did in myself.

Street Photography: Glasgow

After six months I was charging clients for photo shoots, and getting some decent results, I loved letting out the pent up creativity that I had neglected for so long. I was just about to receive another wonderful gift by becoming a first time father. Life was full throttle, my small photography business was expanding, I was doing weddings, cooperate shots, head-shots, portraits, families the works, winning accolades and awards from magazine entries to entering into the highly respected Guild of Photographers image of the month awards, (64 awards so far 😉 ) also becoming a father for the second time, oh and a few house moves…..phew…. and at the start of 2015…. I hit a creative block; I probably hit the block a few years previous but only noticed in 2015 when it hurt….

Street Photography: Glasgow

I lost my way for a while, I wasn’t doing it for me any more, it had become a job, I already had a job during the day as a keyworker to disengaged youth, and my photography had become a full time job in my spare time. Robotically pumping out shoots and weddings, don’t get me wrong, I was enjoying them, but I wasn’t learning anything or expressing myself in the way I wanted. When something becomes your job, your relationship changes with it, you still love it and couldn’t live without it, but the relationship changes.

A few camera upgrades, a few more pounds round the waste, sleepless father nights and a few grey hairs , resulted in me sitting in GLASGOW George square, after being paid off from my last job at the end of January 2015, and although I had just lost my job, and had a hundred worries about feeding my children and maintaining the life style I taken for granted over the previous years, I couldn’t subdue the creative monster who also needed fed. I had always loved being a people watcher, a building watcher, a surrounding watcher…. A day dreamer… no matter where I looked or what I saw, I kept saying to myself; that would be an awesome photograph, or I wish I had my camera with me.

Street Photography: Glasgow

I left George square that day with a promise to stop my creative avoidance, get a new job for now, as for some reason I keep telling myself that I am not ready to be a full time photographer, even though I am a full time photographer, get myself a wee camera that I could carry everywhere with me and feed the creative addiction that I was born with.

By the middle of Feb I had secured another dream job working with young offenders, and by March had my hands on the amazing Fuji X-E1 and was feeding the beast, by accident or fate I have become a street photographer and my appetite to learn, develop and improve is insatiable.

I hope you join me on my journey,  please come and have a wee look at where I am at so far, enjoy my adventures in street photography. My page is Streets & Stuff Mark Mutch O’Hare ©