Updated: Nov 15, 2018
Recently, I did a special workshop for Hull's HIP Photography Festival 2018 which was all about night photography and how to shoot it from my perspective, with an unexpected interesting result!
Earlier this year, HIP (Hull Independent Gallery) had asked me if I could help with running another workshop as I had done one last year for them and Hull's City of Culture. I was delighted and felt honoured once more and accepted without hesitation! I always like to look after those who have given me opportunities in the past and are making big stride efforts to make it work and provide opportunities to the local people, and this is what HIP have done very well since their first ever festival back in 2014 which was when I had met HIP, unexpectedly!
It was April 2014, I was going around my usual business in Hull and went into Princes Quay and in one of the empty spaces that used to be TK Maxx of which the space was huge, I thought there looks to be something going on that looks like a show or something... Shutter entrance were two thirds down, I was thinking it must be a new shop coming up or something... Suddenly uplifting the shutter was a gentleman who saw me and said hi! We started to chat abut the shop and I had learnt that it was going to be a huge photography exhibition and festival! I was excited as this is something fresh and new, even though I was not based in Hull or East Yorkshire for that matter. When he then asked if I was a photographer, I then told him that I was a professional and the exhibitions awards and honours and with that he got so excited! I then learnt that the gentleman was Alan Raw, the man behind everything of today's HIP and the Photography festivals of Hull! After his explanation and introduction, he then said he has some wall space in the set up for launch day the next day and did I have any work to show. It was very lucky I had a lot of framed works to show as they were coming in from recent London exhibitions so that day I went back home, collect all my works and brought them to Princes Quay and installed it there and then that day! I even did a talk for the first ever festival back then which was an introduction of myself and my work and unexpectedly grew since then! And that is how I met Alan and his fantastic team and I had even donated my darkroom equipment to them for teaching the next generation of photographers the beauty of darkroom and film photography and everything developed on (no Pun intended!) ever since!
But as I was going around Hull on my recent rehearsal for this year's workshop, I was inter mixed and spun in thinking of where I could run this year's workshop. I first thought Humber Street and the fruit market area, then I thought well I did this last year so no. I then took a walk round and many different areas were intriguing.... From the gardens through to the old town, I felt like I was traveling in time again. I really do feel that Hull is making every effort they can to lift the city out of the dark world.
The oddness of walking through the streets with men shouting out wanting to have a picture taken and myself thinking no I don't think so and just walked on! I'm not a rude person but sometimes to avoid uncertain confrontation, you have to be rude and pretend that you didn't hear them.
Hull has a lot of unusually mixed views and avenues of which I shall talk about in another post in the future.
Finally, I set a plan after many visits and on Tuesday evening 16th October 2018 my workshop began and from feedback, it was a huge success which I was delighted with of course. One of the participants of the workshop had posted her result from the evening and when I gave her feedback on the image I said I should have a go at showing it in an exhibition as the image was that good. I can remember the next day Wednesday I was sat at home working on my projects, planning and giving feedbacks from the night before's workshop when I thought I would put on our local news Look North on TV. When I saw a picture I vividly remember from the night before I thought hang on that looks extremely familiar! I recognised the name and thought yes that person was on the workshop and then when I went onto the group on social media it was then clarified that it was the image I said they should try and put in an exhibition!!! I was absolutely gobsmacked and in shock that in just 24hrs I managed to help someone boost their confidence and even got the work on television!!! In real terms from experience, it is hard to get the work out there so a huge congratulations all around to both the participant, HIP Club, the participants of the workshop and although I never boast about myself but I felt that I have done something right to get that sort of result in such a short notice!
There will be some news to come in the next few weeks hopefully as I put my final plans and ideas together from recent requests and interests so stay tuned!
You can find out more information about this year's HIPfest 2018 here: hipfest.co.uk (opens on new tab / page). You can also find out more about the specialist clubs they run and other events too.