A series celebrating the talent of our friends over in the Londonist Flickr pool who make our site look great with their fabulous photographs. Here, they introduce themselves and share their favourite London shots.
I’m Mike. I’m a Photoholic. I’ve taken lots of pictures and I can’t stop. I’m 46. It’s my job, and it’s a constant struggle to make a living from it. I’m very fortunate as I’ve travelled to about 80 countries. But to be a Pro snapper now is very difficult... Nowadays somebody only has to drop a plate, and 20 people are shooting it on a phone. It’s like the Wild West out there.
I grew up in W.Ealing, then moved around. I’ve been in SE London since I was 24. I covered sport for about 20 years, hence the travel. Now I shoot all sorts of things to make a living.
A few tips from what I now know. There’s nothing new under the sun. But put your spin on things, don’t copy. Shiny kit is lovely, but I won Sports Photographer of the Year in 2000 with the standout photo having been shot on a Nikon D1. 2.7MP with a big crop. It still made the Telegraph front page the next day. Don’t get bogged down by gear. Pro’s call Leicas “doctor’s necklaces”. They can afford them, but only wear them. Don’t be shy out there, but always wear a smile. It can disarm most people. Don’t be too precious about your metal; use it. If you keep it under wrap, you’ll miss everything. Don’t assume you can take the shot later. Chances are you’ll never see that combination again. Recognise how fast life is changing now, and record it. You’ve got to use your wits out there. I’m lucky as I’ve got a couple of Nikon D700’s with some decent glass to put on them. But I’ve also got a Panasonic Lumix compact that I whip out occasionally if I don’t want to look like a Pro. My cameras are fairly new, but all my lenses bar one are at least 7 years in my use, and I bought them secondhand.
I’m always on the look out for interesting things happening around London, thank you Londonist. I’m also a fan of Flickr. I would strongly recommend only posting pics lo-res. As someone with a small amount of picture editing experience, I’ve heard of people downloading other people’s work then selling it under their name. People entering other people’s work into competitions. You name it. On the upside an Australian Ad Agency contacted me last week having seen a pic they liked. I sent them the Hi-res and they asked me to invoice £500. I can’t say this is common, but it won’t happen if you’re just giving it away.
Keep shooting, Mike.
You can check out the other features in our Londonist Behind the Lens series here.