Regarding Photowalks London
For a while now that I’ve been delaying this decision, I’ve been talked out of it a few times, and I always come to the same thought … To leave Photowalks London ownership/leadership. So, maybe it’s time I really take the courage to leave this project, a community at heart!
There will be a few questions, there will be a few rumours and to avoid that, let me give the full reasons for my decision.
I started PL because there was need for it, because from an early age I‘m always keen on leading social projects and later on professional projects as well.
As they say in Portugal, I grab the bull by the horns and fearless lead projects where they need to be lead to.
I once read “A project is only big as its survival without you” thus, I started to invite others onto this project named Photowalks London.
A few people were not the best chosen ones, personalities and egos started to clash. Because I’m protective towards my projects, I decided to invite those people out of the project. Especially when I was told “You should gain something from all this hard work”, meaning if I would gained from it, those on the crew would do as well.
That was one of the reasons why I always asked crew members to not sign their names on the page posts. This was not about individuals. This was about a group, building a community before Communities come through on G+ ; this was about creating a safe space and fun environment for photogs to get along. Never to gain from it, and less alone to promote ourselves with it.
So forgive me if I was never supportive or certain projects here on UK Photography groups; apologies if I was never supportive of sub linear ways to promote one’s stream; apologies if I was direct at saying so and not a hypocrite as some would like or had have prefer.
I have never set up to gain anything. However, I did gain.
Every time a participant on a Photowalk come to me and said “I lived in London for a x period of time and I didn’t know this part of London” that for me was a huge kick, a huge gain of feeling Mission Accomplish. Why?
Because preparing a Photowalk every month is indeed hard work or at least demanding.
You need to scout the area; do a pre route; get authorisation for group shooting and or at least consider the logistics or having a group of 30 plus photographers in one place. Thus, yes, I did gain every time I was made felling that I was giving something unique.
While giving this to others, I sacrificed personal projects due to the lack of time. Still …
Photowalks London helped me to keep alive.
Having lost all my hearing due to illness, there were moments in my last 2 years where depression was very acute.
In spite of having photography on my life; in spite of all the love and support from wife; there were 2 times that I seriously consider the suicide and once I did go about it.
It was in mid-May and I found myself dangling from a tube platform. Two things saved me in that moment: The Tube driver, who was good to observe my intentions and put the full brakes on, and my wife, who’s love shone over me on that moment.
This happen on the week before the Portbello Photowalk and after this incident, the responsibility that I had with Photowalks London, was essential to help me to just … Keep going no matter what. So, yes, again … I did gain from this project.
Twice I thought about clearing the air around Photowalks London, even if I was threaten about going public with anything damaging for one photog in question. I didn't do it because I was afraid, I simply didn’t do it because I’m not about washing dirty clothes in public. And ultimately, because what does a person deserves? A person that didn't know any photographers in London and then goes about creating his own group? For me … from me, nothing really.
The point is, I find myself with choices to be made on my life. Being responsible for Photowalks London and other communities, while trying to deliver a good service to those involved in these groups, currently and in the near future it’s just not possible.
I'm eager to get back into my photography, my own projects, thinking first about me and not others.
Photowalks London is here. Beyond me hopefully.
I am forever grateful to +Julian Davies
simply the most selfless person that I ever meet. He jumped on this Photowalks London wagon to help me out and what a precious help is has been, going beyond the line of just helping and creating the Monopoly Photowalks which were a huge success and that took loads of organisational skills and his personal time.
I'm grateful to +Alan Gurling
as well, our very own almighty photog, always ready to rise to the occasion with a smile. He lead many Photowalks alongside me and Julian, and I feel much fortunate to have him as a friend.
Currently there is a little bit uncertainty around the future of Photowalks London itself.
Julian and Alan will need to ponder on what to do, if following with this group or not. Therefore, if you have been on our Photowalks, once or twice, all of them or just a few, your feedback on the future of this group is very much appreciated.
We do things for you, with you. I’m out of the picture, but Photowalks London is your decision.
Please have your say!
Thank you to all members of Photowalks London fro respecting my decision, sure thing we'll see each other around!
Thanks for all your kindness and love that you've showed me.