I have recently been photographing a series on how music and the arts materially benefit special needs children (other than being a source of entertainment that is). The not-for-profit organization that I have been photographing have a regular slot on a local community radio station and asked me if I would agree to come along and be interviewed on air and talk about my journey from a corporate life to humble documentary photographer and my work. Hmm. No experience with radio, not really a public speaker, but perhaps something good will come of it. “Sure”, I replied.
I prepped for the interview, gave some hints as to what the host should ask me (nothing like leading the conversation!) and on the day happily trotted off to the radio station and did the piece. You can hear the interview by clicking the link below, but it went quite well – at least I don’t think I came across as a babbling schoolboy.
But here’s the thing: Prepping for the interview really made me think about what I was doing. It was local radio, and on at 11am on a Tuesday so hardly headline prime-time stuff, but even so. Having to think about my motives for photographing this subject, how I was approaching it, and was I really being objective in my imagery was actually quite a challenge. The overall project that this is a part of specifically looks at how music benefits us (in a non-entertainment way). It’s a long term project – so far nearly three years. That is a long time. But the up-coming interview really made me look at what my underlying drivers were and reaffirm, to myself at least, that this was a good road to be on and the work had a wider benefit to people other than just me.
The lesson learned was that we should re-assess from time to time. As a photographer in todays insta-everything mindset where everyone around me with a cell phone is a citizen journalist, stepping back and taking an objective second look at what I am doing has actually energized me, and given me more confidence to continue photographing this project. My suggestion? Don’t wait for a radio interview – take some time out to honestly review what you’re doing.