When I started my Another Day Off Series I had no idea it would take four years to complete, if I had I might never of started it ! , the project started life as a seed of an idea that would allow me to explore my Country and myself as a photographer.
I have learned a lot about my own photography during this shoot and can reaffirm that the reward really is in the journey, being disciplined enough to stay with the subject for a long period of time was possibly the greatest challenge as I am naturally inclined to take a butterfly approach to my creative endeavours, although once the series started to gather momentum and establish itself within my mind it became easier to maintain and find the moments that were waiting to be included in the project.
My approach was not terribly ambitious, I hoped to achieve an average of one decent capture per week, this modest objective really helped in the early days as I saw no sense in heaping excessive amounts of expectation and pressure on myself. I knew that as long as I invested enough time into the series the moments would eventually give themselves up. The first year did not even achieve the 1 per week target but my ability to see my subject improved as the series progressed.
The biggest mistake I made was that I underestimated the effect of giving up my "days off" to capture this series would have on my day to day life . The commitment required to match my ambitions certainly created conflicts with my other obligations and I must admit that I am relieved to have completed the series as I did not have the appetite for another year of "Another Day Off" !
The isolation of creating independently can lead to moments of frustration and self doubt, but the series almost takes on a life of its own after a while and the will to carry on and finish the job becomes greater than the thoughts of quitting. The support I have received from my Twitter followers has been exceptional and has helped me through the lows, I would like to thank John Meehan & Peter Barton of the f50 collective for their kind words and support.
I am currently editing the project and am finding that some of the images are better than I remember at the time of capture, sadly the opposite is also true !
I think it is unlikely that I will undertake a project of this size again on a spare-time basis but I would love to take on a large project on a full time basis. This series represents the realisation of an ambition for me and helps me to understand the commitment and sacrifice that other togs have made in order to pull a body of work together while holding down a job and keeping the wolf away !