Daisy Lakelin attended our photo course last year. The brief was to produce a compelling photo story. Her photo essay of life on a farm won a round of applause from her fellow photographers. We loved her images.
Here is a small selection from what we all felt was an incredibly accomplished piece of work for such a young talent -
Daisy has just hit 20 and, after scrimping and saving for the last year, she is heading off on a personal journey - a kind of self-imposed assignment; to photograph the modern face of New Zealand.
Daisy will be following in the footsteps of those many photographers before her who had the drive to get up, get out, and go looking for stories. And some made their names doing it. I know what a big fan Daisy is of that intrepid photojournalist, Mary Ellen Mark.
Mary Ellen Mark
Mary Ellen, great teacher and traveller that she was, would be the first to say to Daisy- 'Be Bold and be Brave!'
For our part, we are going to be supporting Daisy by acting as both her technical support and as her picture editors back here in the UK. What follows is an open letter to you, Daisy - and to all those who are just starting out on a career in photography -
Great photography is a journey of the mind and body. It is both an intellectual odyssey and a practical mission. Your photography must be driven by both excellent technique and artistic rigour. See all you can. Read all you can. Try all you can. Because -
Becoming a photographer requires constructive action
Your aim must be to develop an 'instinct' for recognising a great photographic opportunity - and the ability to capture that fleeting moment without hesitation. More images are lost because of a moment's delay before releasing the shutter than any other photographic mishap.
Being a photographer demands an instinctive reaction
There is a reason why photographers are described as people who 'shoot' images because just like an expert shot, the principal action of the photographer can be encapsulated with the vital and explicit direction -
Don't think: just act