Today, I’ll be attending the opening of the Research As Art competition, an annual celebration of art on university campus where I work.
This is the third time I’ve entered. I’ve never won.
I don’t expect to win today.
And I don’t care if I do, because I’ve already won the ultimate prize in photography. A couple of months ago I submitted one of my favourite photos from my book, Every Shot Matters, to the competition. This was just as the kickstarter for the book went live.
Since then I’ve published a book of my work that I’m hugely proud of.
I’ve had my work in magazines, extending the reach of my photography.
I’ve got an exhibition planned halfway across the UK, and I’m so excited about this.
And I’ve done this without compromising my values:
Lo-fi, minimalist, anti-capitalist, subversive art.
I shoot photography for me, because I love it.
I develop my own film, not because I’m particularly good at it, but because I’m in love with the zen of the process.
I publish my work where I like and when I like.
That is the ultimate prize in photography, and is attainable for everyone.