Monday, 19 April 2010 Okay, first off I want to explain why I decided to withdraw all my images from the various photo libraries they were with and why I then decided to market my work myself.
There were two reasons.
First I figured that, in the digital age, I might be able to do a better job myself anyway. The majority of my rock star/celebrity images were with London Features International and, in truth, I'd long thought that they weren't really the right picture agency for me. But I felt somewhat obligated to the owner, John Halsall, who I really liked. When he put LFI into receivership in 2008, that gave me a bit of a kick in the pants and an excuse to sever my links with them. Although LFI quickly found a perfectly decent buyer, my mind was made up. When I went into LFI's offices to retrieve my work, and I saw just how awful some of the dupes they'd been using were, I wished I'd made the move a lot sooner.
The second reason I decided to market my work myself was that I thought that it would be a very good idea if I had more control over the images that were out there. That I didn't have previously was entirely my own fault. But until a few years ago, I was flying around the world so much and working so hard that I just didn't have the time. For instance, when I worked at the Glastonbury Festival (throughout most of the '90s), I'd drive home after the last band had finished on the Saturday night, process and print the black and whites during the early hours, deliver them to the NME offices in the morning and then drive straight back to the Festival. It was great fun but not always conducive to great work. Oftentimes I'd shoot so much that I'd find myself dumping armfuls of of prints and transparencies on people's desks and then run off to get to the next job. Inevitably, sometimes the best images didn't always get used. I suppose the people on whose desks I dumped my images were busy people too. So, now that I have more time to think, I'm gradually going through everything, re-apraising and re-editing and picking things out that often I just didn't see at the time. I also want to refocus on what I always thought was my main USP - dramatic portraiture.
So, that was the genesis of me putting my archive online.