I’m sharing this because I had a confrontation today where I was judged and I judged too… so I ask these simple questions, “Do we, as real photographers, judge others? And if we do does that adversely effect what we do?”
I was doing some test shots today at the Clyde (photography not alcohol)… two ‘lads’, trackies and jackets, were walking along the path towards me they stopped to look at what I was photographing…
Ned 1: Are you gay?
(I looked at them with a quizzical face, I was wondering if they would pose for me, so I decided to answer them)
Stuart: I tried getting into the training program but I failed the wardrobe test! However, I don’t harbour grudges towards them, they said I was fabulous in other areas… but we aren’t all cut out to be fucking fabulous!
(there was an awkward silence lasting a few seconds, and I admit that I reconsidered asking if they would pose, but this was a test shoot for a collage effect, not a wildlife shoot so I thought ‘focus on the task’)
Ned 1: So are you Gay?
Stuart (employing a simple sales tactic): Are you both gay?
Ned 1: Fuck off!
Stuart: Let me guess you failed the wardrobe test too?
Ned 1: You’re a cunt
Stuart (change to deeper, and I think sexier voice): Some people believe that to be true, I prefer photographer, artist or lost soul, however if you want to contextualise my life and experiences into a single label then I suppose ‘cunt’ would work.
Now, at this point I have to say I was expecting to be attacked, I was obviously being verbally aggressive and patronising, so after a few seconds his companion, Ned 2, nodded towards my camera resting on the tripod with remote trigger nestled snugly upon it pointing proudly to the sky…
Ned 2: Is that a Nikon?
OK, I’ll admit it, I was taken off guard, I expected an escalation of the simmering hostility and not a defined, informed question!
Stuart: Eh, yes, D7000
Ned 2: Sweet
Ned 1: (to Ned 2 in the same derisory tone as was employed towards me with his first question): Are you gay?
Ned 1 then turns and walks away leaving me and Ned 2 looking at each other, unable to work out what we were to do next, Ned 2 offers a slight nod to me, then turns and follows his companion.
A few seconds later Ned 1 shouts back to me
Ned 1: By the way, you’re gay!
Stuart: Thank you!
Stuart turns to the camera mumbles, “If only you were on the judging panel, who knows what heights I would have reached!”
Moral of the story: Gay is a level of fabulous we should all strive for and don’t judge people based upon what they wear, there maybe a photographer wanting to come out!
NB: I was not proud of the way I acted, I’m 6’1″, big and although I haven’t been in a fight for a long while mainly due to the employment of intelligence and common sense, neither of the two presented a viable threat. My nature usually has me engage rather than appose. I have found that in many instances this engagement leads to opportunities. I do over think things, which has a positive and a negative outcome depending upon the situation but my course, BA Hons Digital Art is harnessing this quality(?) so it becomes a useful tool.
I judged based upon primarily the persons dress sense, for those who know me, you’d have found this laughable!