August- 2017
Extracts from, It Fell From an Unknown Height

An Amateurs Guide to Surviving a Street Photography Symposium
1. Drink up, the booze is free. 2. Don't drink too much because self-imposed people of importance are in attendance and what you say may come across as either: a. Weird. b. Slurred. c. Overly critical. d. Unintelligible. e. At some point you may simply just be staring. Stop now. 3. If you're drunk before the thing begins, drink coffee - it's free. 4. Just drink coffee; no-one wants to see you drunk and make a tit of yourself. Remember, you're surrounded by street photographers and anything out of the ordinary is like gold to them. Because that's all they like to photograph - out of the ordinary shit. 5. If you're an alcoholic, refer to Point (4) and stick to it. 6. STICK TO IT. 7. During presentations, clap when no-one else does. This will show an overly keen interest and will also wake you and everyone else the fuck up. 8. Toilet breaks are a must. Don't wait for the organisers of the event to tell you when it's break-time, because some shit drags on a while. You're not in school, so just fucking go. Sit close to where the toilets are located, preferably situate yourself at the back of the room. This allows you to escape the room without anyone noticing. Spend a good five-minutes in the toilet checking your emails and Reddit. 9. Take business cards. Take Ten. Any more than that is desperate. Hand one out when in conversation with another photographer. Don't offer it first - ask the person if they have a website. If they say yes, ask for their card. At this point, still don't offer yours; nine times out of ten, if you ask for theirs, they will ask for yours. If they don't, keep your anger and butthurt contained; the person may already know who you are and may have seen your work and probably thinks it's shit but has forgotten to politely ask for your card at which point you can revel slightly in knowing that at some point they'll realise this and have a momentary bout of guilt. Their guilt won't last long, so get over yourself. 10. Don't be too hard on yourself if only two fucking people have asked for your business card. You're just a bit shit at selling yourself naturally to others. Pro-tip ... it's easier to put things into people's pockets than it is taking things out of them. 11. If there's food, load up and run because that shit'll be gone quick. If you're on Point(3), then load two plates to soak that shit up because there's another eight hours to go and you look ready for bed and are slurring words already. 12. Don't be scared to fall asleep. If there's a sofa, use it and maximize its overall size for yourself. Let the youngsters stand. This shit's yours. This sofa's fucking priority sleeping for the elderly. Exploit your old age. 13. Your interest should be in others, so when you're done hanging off the dick and tits of the person everyone loves and is crowding around and vying for their time and attention, go talk to everyone else. And be interested. If you love the genre, you'll want to know what everyone is doing. This ... a) Is a good time to get to know strangers. b) Is a good time to steal, twist and bend their ideas into a vision of your own choosing.
c) Is a good time to slip business card number three into their pocket as you lean in to tell them something over the annoyingly loud music the organizers have put on. 98% of the conversation you have with them should be entirely focused on them. If you're not the self-absorbed type, you'll have little want to talk about yourself, so what else are you going to do? Talk about the fucking weather and the slowing migration of a particular species of bird this year? Ask them everything you can ask them, and be genuine about it. If the 2% remaining of the conversation comes whereby they don't take the opportunity to ask you about your own work, end the encounter quickly and head for the bar knowing that the person you've just sucked off for the last ten minutes has absolutely no fucking want to know anything about you. Get over yourself quickly and refer yourself to Point(1)
Dinner at an Indian. I can't remember who is there, but it's a good mix of the known, the becoming known and the 'I have no idea who you are'. To most, I am most likely to be in the latter. I cannot remember what conversations took place and any video's I took of the dinner that I saw on my phone come the shame of the hazy hangover, were promptly deleted without being viewed. If it doesn't exist and I have no knowledge of it, it didn't happen. When it comes to money and spending, I'm fucking useless. Useless in that I cannot or am completely unable to realise when I shouldn't spend. Apparently it has something to do with a chemical inside us that releases some other chemical that sends messages of joy to our brain when we are about to make a purchase, making a purchase and in the immediate moments after a purchase -which is then followed by regret and depression soon after as the chemical leaves the brain. This chemical made me buy dinner for all at that table, drinks included. I think it cost me £120. Luckily for me, I thought a few days later, that I had my Oyster card topped up or I'd have been fucked trying to get home. he missus gives me some homemade Sardinian berry farmed liquor a work colleague's husband made. I sip this whilst hoovering. It tastes like medicine. Later on we argue. We argue about the validity of Anders Peterson's respect for those he photographed for, 'Cafe Limitz'; her screams and discontent seemed muffled compared to the sound of the Starka-30 42.5% proof booze she seems to be pouring angrily, although somewhat knowingly into my cup - is this a sign that she wants more out of me, knowing the freedom of my voice when it comes to booze, or is it merely a play, a way of dampening tension?.