Mike Woodman

Mike Woodman

I relish the constant meeting of people in all walks of society, largely through a remarkably wide gamut of happenstance ... and the getting to know them, sometimes fleetingly, and sometimes .... if I find myself privileged ... then in surprising depth; finding each and every person wonderfully rich with fascinating insights, humour and tales.
If they give me the opportunity to photograph them, then I endeavour to find a little something I want to say about them and wherever possible, the context in which they find themselves at the moment we find ourselves thrown together.
Now and then that little something, movingly, says a lot.

Photographic stance:
I consider that the plethora of contrived and hackneyed photographs that of late litter the pages of so called quality photographic magazines and journals, that win awards, that are given space in exhibitions, that are talked up and praised by so called arbiters of what's supposed to be good ... whilst marginally clever .... are at the end of the day, utterly irrelevant and meaningless ... and in time will be recognised as such.

I'm someone who prefers to fly in the face of the current fashion for doctored reality.
Instead I value reality as seen, ensuring even the slightest hints of context are kept instead of being cropped or erased for ever (much to the disdain of all self-righteous, mindless guardians of what is supposed to be ‘pleasing to the eye’ and doesn’t jar).
For me ... such a stance is insufferably trite ... it’s too easy, and it has nothing whatsoever with the way we see in real life, nor the way we absorb the information we are presented with, both our conscious and our unconscious minds.

Furthermore, like Cameron I don’t care (that much) whether a picture is in sharp focus, whether highlights are blown, whether there is too much grain or whether there is some blur. Technology will soon make such considerations irrelevant.

So I am more of a risk taker. That means I always want to try and push the boundaries:
- I don't (like to) play safe, and, I don't (like to) play by the rules.

Instead, what I do care more about is whether I have caught the essence of the moment somehow, despite the deficiencies in the technology, or indeed in my own experience and skill at that moment.

Having got that off my chest, it should be recognised that I am not immune from my own self-criticism, as over that last year I‘ve taken well in excess of 20,000 such inane images, primarily during Fashion Weeks. But that's the price I acknowledge I have to pay to help support my passion for creativity.

However, at the end of the day, even my simple, straightforward photography tends to provoke an emotional response.

Note: As you can tell from the link I've provided to some of my own stuff, then for professional purposes, I have never worked under my own name.