Paul Dean, owner of Moments By Paul Photography; I have had an undiminished passion for photography that has lasted over 30 years. A student in Technique, Process, Image and British Academy of Photography BTEC Higher National Diploma.
In my early years of photography, and I mean in the first 10 years, I never gave thought to where my initial interest came from, or to what inspiration had quickly developed the interest in to a passion. Whilst still at school I took on two part-time jobs and as soon as I had sufficient expendable cash I purchased my first film camera, a Russian made entry level Zenit film camera. It was cheap, simple and temperamental but it was mine and I’d worked hard to get it! It wasn’t until later in life, between years 10 and 20 of my photography journey, that I started to ask myself the question, where did the inspiration for my desire and subsequent passion in photography come from. My parents were not photographers and not artistic in any way, no aunts or uncles or grandparents were the source. I hadn’t followed or identified with a famous photographer that inspired, I recall David Bailey promoting Olympus film camera’s on television, they were amusing from what I recall but I’ve never owned an Olympus and therefore conclude that this wasn’t my influence!
Just recently I returned to questioning myself to identify the source of my passion, and after 30 years I believe I now know myself well enough to have the answer. I have been successful in business, managing at a senior level, creating teams and growing businesses. There are many different strengths that an individual can have to enable them to be successful. I know one of my strengths, it is ‘control’. I have a process orientated mind, everything is a process to me, a process can be broken down, understood and redefined in order to achieve a desired outcome. There is even a process for managing processes; Forecast, Plan, Operate and Control (FPOC). FPOC is a continuous loop in order top manage any process, at Control we measure the outcome of the process against what was Forecast, and if we are not achieving the Forecast then we redefine the Plan in order to succeed. Now I know I have descended in to a management control theory. The point is, I love control and process, and I feel my most uncomfortable when I’m not not in control.
Photography is a process, you imagine the image you want (Forecast), you decide where you need to be, what you need to be there, what time of day you need to be there, what lighting conditions you need (Plan), and then you take the image or images (Operate) and then you review the images either on the day and/or in the studio lightroom to compare against what you imagined (Control). The process for this imagining might end here but it can also lead a photographer to retake the image or plan the image again or a new imagining that takes the process straight back in to Plan. I relish knowing what I want, how I’m going to get it, critiquing myself harshly to judge if I’ve achieved it and if required I go again and keep going until I have achieve what’s needed. This is when I’m happiest and I believe is why over 30 years ago photography was a sub-conscious calling for me, a desire and passion that without thinking about, just made sense to me.