Alexander Wolfe – Zigfrid Von Underbelly – 16th December 2014

Photographing with mild concussion is an interesting state to be in.

I collided heads with a Year 8 student prior to going and photographing Alex, I now have a lump the size of an egg on my forehead, and it hurts a LOT.

BUT … I wanted to see Alex play, it’s been a while.

I know Alex through Officer Kicks (yup – that band has enriched my life quite a lot!) and I’m glad I do.  His music is beautiful, plaintive and induces goose-bumps and tears at the drop of a hat in this over-emotional photographer.

Before the gig we did an interview for an ex-student of mine. She’s creating a documentary for college about the music industry and we plumped ourselves on a dimly lit staircase and chatted for a while.  Hopefully we got something useful for her!

Anyway – here’s some photos I took on Tuesday evening with a bump on my noggin.  The rest, of course, can be found on my site here.

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PLEASE go and listen to his music – you won’t be disappointed!

http://www.alexanderwolfe.co.uk/

“It’s not easy to ask … asking makes you vulnerable.” – Amanda Palmer

Asking was something I learned to do very early on when I started photographing.  For someone who is actually fairly unsure of themselves and very self-concious this was an extremely difficult thing to do.  It still is – whether I’m asking on a professional or personal level – asking basically makes you naked in front of the recipient.  You are waiting for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and must be prepared for both.

With regards to my photography I’m finding it easier to ask … after all my livelihood doesn’t depend upon it.  I don’t pay my bills with my photography, I simply enjoy myself and hopefully connect with new people.  Probably because I’m fairly confident in my abilities as a photographer, I have lots and lots to learn still, but I know I am a fairly decent photographer.

On the personal level it’s much harder; it always will be.   I spent so much time asking my ex for the truth, for honesty, for transparency but if I was faced with silence or lies, it made asking the next time much harder.  Since I spent so much time before that relationship hiding my true self I made a promise:  I would ask.  Whatever the answer I would always ask. Sometimes it makes me come across as pushy or ‘forward’ but … as my students say … ‘YOLO Miss!’.

‘Will you …?’

‘Would you …?’

‘Can I …?’

‘Could you …?’

‘Why …?’

‘How …?’

Sometimes I just wish people understood how hard it is for someone like me to ask. I live my life second-guessing every nuance of speech and text, which is a hard habit to break. I’m learning to but without that communication between those involved, how could I do anything but?

I’ve been having long conversations with a friend about this.  He’s in an open marriage, something I find difficult to understand, but their relationship fascinates me.  He said that without ‘asking’ they would never be happy.  By asking permission from his partner, and vice-versa, they are really bloody happy.  So why don’t more people ask?  Why don’t more people answer honestly?

So why is this blog about asking?

Firstly I’m reading Amanda Palmer’s ‘The Art of Asking’.  Anyone who knows me knows I’ve had an up and down relationship with Amanda Palmer.  I fell in love with her music and her passion 8 years ago … then I fell out of love with her.  But, Amanda, I’m sure you’ll be over-joyed to know this, but I’ve fallen back in love.  Deeply.  The Art of Asking is a beautiful book that, for women like me who lay themselves bare, allows and empowers.  So firstly, this is a ‘thank-you’ to Amanda.

Secondly, I’ve found myself asking, asking, asking people for different things over the past few months.  I’ve demanded time, shoulders to cry on, partners in crime, patience, help and friendship.  I’ve not asked without giving though. I will always give more than I ask for.

Finally, it reminded me of the first time I ever asked to photograph a band.

I’d photographed The Dresden Dolls at The Roundhouse and wanted to see if I could photograph other bands so I went to The Dirty South in Lewisham to photograph a band my students were in.  I turned up with my Minolta 5D, my kit lens and a few quid in my pocket to buy some Dutch courage.

I heard a band sound-checking and liked their energy.

I approached the guitarist at the bar after they’d finished and asked if I could photograph their set.  He was very charming and said ‘of course’; and so I met James Fisher. So that conversation was my downfall.  I was tied (in a good way) to the highs and lows of Officer Kicks for the next 4/5 years.

I found the photos I took that night earlier in the week … I thought I’d share them.  They’re not great, after all this was before I knew about fast lenses and low lights. But I’m still proud of them – after all I would never have gotten them without asking.

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I remember that Dirty South used this on their Myspace (oh those were the days!) for well over a year … the first photo I ever took of Jamie, I was just trying out the light!

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Up the nose shot – natch!

 

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Sharing the mike.
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Getting my mojo back …

Although I can’t share the photos with you, I’ll share this one:

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I was really pleased with the quick photoshoot I did with James Fisher and it seems that he was too 🙂 so here’s a photo of me photographing at Number 3.  Photos will hopefully appear some time in 2015.

In the meantime enjoy listening to his plaintive tones here: https://soundcloud.com/fishstudio

Follow him on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/fissicella

And tweet him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/fissicella

Thanks to the awesome Caffy for the sneaky photo above.

Number 3 Live Sessions #1

There is a large warehouse in SE8 that has become a hub for the creatives in South-East London.  It’s called Number 3 and it staged its first live sessions on Friday 5th December.

I took some photos that night …

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You can find the full gallery here of James Fisher, Jean-Genie’s Massive Hugs and Rhiannon the Nightmare – South-East London’s finest!

See my previous post: https://pollysshortattentionspan.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/the-zine-chapter-3/ for links to the artists.

I also did a little photoshoot with James Fisher … can’t post yet … but keep your eyes peeled.

The Zine -Chapter 3 …

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Click on photo to take you to the latest edition of The Zine

The latest edition of The Zine has some photos what I did … being a part of such an amazing community that has grown and spread across Deptford to all corners of London is such an amazing privilege. Caffy St. Luce, Deptford’s own love pirate, and I have engaged on many adventures, weaving friendships through our love of bands, musicians and simply connecting with people. Her newest venture, Number 3, is a hub of crazy creativity which invigorates the soul of anyone who enters.  I love it with a passion and was lucky enough to do some promo shots for the venue – some of which you can see inside Chapter 3 of The Zine.  The rest can be found on my website.

Other than that,  you can also find photos from Alleycats of Jean Genie’s Massive Hugs, Son of a Lumberjack and Bad Wolf.  WHOOP!

I’ll be heading back to Number 3 tomorrow for  Number 3 Live Launch :

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my camera will be in my hands and I’ll be hoping to capture some special moments from this exciting night.

Rhiannon The Nightmare: https://www.facebook.com/rhiannonthenightmaremusic – listen to them on Soundcloud too

James Fisher: https://www.facebook.com/fissicella – listen to him on Soundcloud

Jean Genie’s Massive Hugs: https://www.facebook.com/jeangeniesmassivehugs

and DJ Gavin Black: https://twitter.com/djgavinblack

Come down.  Come dance.  Come hug.

Can’t wait!

Making It – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Diaries by Jamie Scallion

Making It (Rock ‘n’ Roll Diaries, #1)Making It by Jamie Scallion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the kind of book I wanted to read when I was a ‘young adult’. In the 80s we had ‘Sweet Valley High’ and Judy Blume tomes (not that I am criticising Ms Blume – I was a big fan and my copy of ‘Forever’ always fell open on ‘certain pages’) but nothing about Rock n Roll … nothing about boys in tight trousers playing guitars.
The band in the book are diverse, like most rock bands are. They are a mish-mash of YA character types who come together to create a sound that rocks the scene. Much in the same way as I have seen many bands do before.
I read this with a wry grin on my face as I photographed and loved Officer Kicks for many years. Although I didn’t see the boys I know in the characters in the books there are moments I’m sure were reaped from real life!
This novel is essential for any boy or girl who wants to venture into the world of rock and I loved it.
Good work Jamie – when’s the next one out?

View all my reviews

Love Lock … some photos from Rome

According to Wikipedia there has been a trend in the 2000s of ‘locking your love’ using a padlock and inscribing your names on the lock – awe – ain’t that sweet? (I’m trying to come across as cynical here … )

When we were in Rome, we found some locks on the Bridge of Castel St. Angelo.  They’re more hidden than other ones I’ve seen photographs of on other bridges, probably because authorities are starting to remove these little tokens of everlasting devotion.  So I grabbed some shots of them.  Being the romantic that I am, I’m hoping that the love is still shining brightly for the couples who placed these under the lights and hidden away.

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