Lyle James is a photographer who is building his portfolio with aim to get into the professional world. Currently he’s working on a project concerning the monotony and loss of individuality when being part of the 9-5 workforce. He is based in Scotland.
The pushing of the shutter is just the beginning. Once your work is on the wall or in the pages of a book or magazine and communicating its message, then it’s done. If it can still resonate a year, 5 years or 50 years after it’s created then all the better. Some images have greater longevity. It’s what happens in the world as a whole that determines this.
I enjoy the simplicity of it. There are plenty of complicated aspects you can get into, like metering, development times and lighting, etc. But at the end of the day the important elements are you, the camera and the subject.
I got my first camera from my father, I kind of inherited it after he died. It wasn’t an amazing piece of kit, just a standard Pentax MZ-50, but it got me started off capturing and creating images. Most recently I’ve been using a Hasselblad X-PAN which is just a wonderful object. I’ve had my sights set on a Leica but they are so expensive I’m a long way off being able to afford one. I firmly believe that it’s the person behind the camera that is the most important piece of equipment, so this longing for a Leica is purely to emulate all the great photographers.
Marcel Duchamp has always been an inspiration to me, Led Zeppelin too. Neither are photographers but every time I delve into their work and learn who inspired them, I come back energized. Photographers who inspire me would have to be Robert Frank, Martin Parr and Steve McCurry to name just a small number from some of the greats.
I’ve always had that voice in the back of my mind telling me to give it up as it’s not worth it. But I usually remember why I want to keep taking photographs after seeing an image in the dark room that just jumps right into my soul!
I’ve still to make the jump from turning the passion into a full-time profession. I want to build up my skills and understanding before I make the leap. There is also the issue with confidence that everyone has to deal with – am I good enough, etc. Maybe you have to experience enough dead-end jobs and horrible bosses to force you to take the leap and do what you love as a career.
Work, work, work. Find a subject and stick with it until the end. Find people who share your passion who can act as a constructive voice. It took me a while to realize that working with others makes life easier. Don’t be afraid of failure, embrace it as part of the road to success.