The Road to a Licenciate Never Did Run Smooth…

What can I say about preparing for my licenciate assessment at the end of this month? It’s been a great distraction from the misery of the last year, but it has also been a tremendous eye opener in why I set out on this journey and how I perceive myself as a photographer.

What I have come to realise, that if you do want to undertake this journey, make sure you do it for the right reasons. I say this with great certainty in that as I started out with all the wrong reasons.

The last year and a half of delving down into the pixels of my work, has made me realise that despite the periods of doubt in my own ability, countered by the pride in seeing my body of work collected together, mounted and sitting on my living room floor (trying to pefect my hanging plan); irrespective of the outcome at the end of this month, the whole process has vastly improved me as a photographer and made me realise how much I really do love photography.

It’s made me super critical of my own work, which ultimately has lead to me in my opinion and choosing 10 of my most exciting and vibrant photos in my vast portfolio that I am proud to display at the RPS.

I have met, been to, and experienced a whole gamut of people, places and emotions with my camera in hand. 

To all of my subjects, to especially Hannah, Katie, Shaun, my family… I owe you a massive debt of gratitude for your patience and allowing me the privilege of photographing you.

I’ve been trolled and abused for some of my work, the people I’ve photographed and I’ve even had people want me to photograph them as a result but the entire adventure has been an enriching experience, one I never expected to get when I set off on this journey. 

Ultimately I’ve discovered that like my work or hate it,  photography and my love for it is a deeply personal (bordering on the spiritual) experience.

There are numerous forums and writings with advice, what you should AND shouldn’t do when going for a distinction, and I know there is ultimately a game to play in order to achieve a positive result, but for me, after almost 2 years of preparation, looking at my final pieces of work… this isn’t for the assessors, this work, this body of love, is for me… and if you remember that your work is for your own personal fulfilment, the happier you will be.

(Whilst my interaction on the official RPS distinctions group forum have been very limited, I have been absorbing the feedback, the joy and love from all in the appreciation of our art form and I thank all the participants in that forum for that.)

I’m not the only one going for the “L” but good luck to those going for it, keep going for those who didn’t quite get it, do it for those dwelling on it and well done for this who got it… I’ll see you all on the other side 😀

Keep clicking and que sera, sera
Matt