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2017 Year Review

I like writing these yearly reviews as much for myself as anything, looking back through the previous ones is a great way to track your progress both in terms of favourite photos from the year but also thought processes and achievements, hopefully they’re of some interest to others too.

I set myself 6 goals in last years post, a quick recap:

  • Shoot more for myself and develop my own style
  • Focus on quality not quantity and only share things I’m really proud of
  • Go to more exhibitions and events, meet more fellow photographers
  • Go on a workshop
  • Experiment more and do more project work
  • Work towards having an article published and a photo in a book

Looking back I reckon most of these have gone well, I’ve put a lot less focus on competitions or how often I should take photographs and instead concentrated on putting the time in when the conditions are right and shooting what I enjoy.

One boring but well overdue accomplishment which wasn’t on the original to-do list was relaunching my website, which is a big step forward from the old one and was a self build so represents a lot of frustrated evenings trying to get it right – I’m not a web designer!

There weren’t a huge amount of exhibitions/events other than the fantastic ConnectedTEN in April, but this was a brilliant two days spent catching up with some familiar faces and meeting plenty of people for the first time too, combining that with the talks and the work on the wall it was a hugely inspiring weekend. If you don’t know about Connected then I’d recommend looking it up and coming along in April. I also managed to meet up with a few Twitter folk at the Photography Show in March, Patchings Festival in July and during a week’s holiday in Northumberland in June. I’m not convinced I ever produce my best work when I’m with other people but I love the social side of it, there’s a great community of photographers out there and it’s always good to compare notes, take inspiration or just have a chat.

The Patchings Festival in July was my first chance to speak in public, with a last minute (the evening before!) offer to fill a spare slot in the Outdoor Photography tent. I’m not one to turn down things like this so frantically put a 45 minute talk together which ended up going down really well, leading to a couple of camera club bookings in 2018 which I’m looking forward to. A big thanks due to Rob Knight and Anita Nicholson for putting me forward and giving me the opportunity.

If you know me at all you’ll be aware the majority of my photography this year was dedicated to the Sherwood Forest project, which was a yearlong series of 100 images, started in December last year.

The response to the Sherwood project blew me away throughout the year and it’s given me some fantastic opportunities too. Biggest of these is the book which is being published by Kozu in the new year (still some available to pre-order here [edit: now sold out]) which I’m so excited to see come together and I’m hugely grateful to Greg for believing in my work and letting me be part of the fantastic Landscape Editions series.

I spent a weekend in mid-December set up in the Sherwood Forest visitor centre as part of their Sparkling Sherwood event selling prints and cards from the project, which was another first for me and couldn’t have gone better. Sales went really well, but it was also hugely positive putting the images out there and talking to people about them, plus making some connections which will hopefully lead to more opportunities in the future.

As corny as it sounds a lot of these successes are due to the support I’ve had from everyone, so another thanks is due to anyone who’s commented or shared my work, bought prints, pre-ordered the book or given me motivation to follow through on it all.

While I’ve been a lot quieter on the weekly competitions this year I’ve entered two of the major ones and have images still in the running in both which is a step forward from last year, fingers crossed until early next year when they’re announced.

Lastly I was delighted to have a few appearances in Outdoor Photography magazine including the 3 page reader gallery and winning one of the monthly competitions. There are also two magazine features lined up for the start of 2018 which ticks another item off the list above, so plenty to look forward to already.

There’s not a solid plan for next year yet and no fixed goals this time round. It will probably be a more relaxed year and I’d like to get back into more of the abstract side of my work which was slightly neglected in 2017, so have a couple of project ideas already running around that need some thought.

Enough rambling – here’s 10 of my favourites from the year.

March – Shingle Street
March – Sherwood Forest
April – Sherwood Forest
May – Padley Gorge
June – Dunstanburgh Castle
June – Embleton Bay
August – Sherwood Forest
September – Oxton
September – Sherwood Forest
December – Sherwood Forest

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