In need of assistance – a week of Wil
I have been living in Trondheim for eight or nine months now, working my thermals off to find work and get ahead. It was very much the dawn of a new day when I came out here – I had been living at my parents in Buckinghamshire (UK) for 6 months after a year or so of globe trotting. It was comfortable, but I was in a dead-end job and my career was going nowhere fast.
I did however hold a successful exhibition displaying my photographs of the slums of Calcutta. The next blog post will look back at that event – you can see the photos here. Off the back of the exhibition I decide to sell myself as a photographer in Trondheim. This plan was very much driven by girlfriend and her Norwegian family, who were keen to have us living out here. “O yea, there´s plenty of work for photographers, we are always using the same two guys, you´ll have no problem getting work as a photographer!”
Now let me first say that this prophecy has actually proven to be spot on; I am working seven days a week, doing a whole range of photography. Job´s a good’un. But the future didn´t always look so rosy. When I first got here I discovered that one of Norway´s top photo schools – Norsk Fotofagskole – is located here and churns out some 50 graduates every year. What chance have I got in a city of 200,000 which has 50 excellent professionals joining our ranks every twelve?
Well it turns out that 98% of them want to be fashion photographers, or at least are moving in different circles to myself. I´ve met a few of them and they seem like a quality bunch, but my one little dig at them would be that they seem a little big for their boots, too grand to take the little jobs. My only desire is to be realistic about my abilities and learn as I go – the beautiful things about photography is that you are learning on the job everyday. The technology moves faster than individual experience and so I would hypothesise that if you are not learning anything anymore, then your tenure as a ‘photographer’ is up. My interest is in documentary and photojournalism, but, being new to the country and the profession, I happily lend my hand to anything photography related. I work as cameraman at the local football club, I take photos for the newspapers, I do portraits, product shots, weddings and pets, and I am an assistant to a great local photographer, Øystein Hermstad.
Being an assistant is a great way to learn about photography, and the benefits (studio, networking, etc.) are really… well, beneficial. And ultimately I relish the experience of doing different things everyday, and so I welcome the challenge of different tyopes of photography.
The photos below follow my trails this week.