Do you have any personal traditions or rituals around Xmas?
Not since my children have grown up. In the past the (Boxing Day or post-Xmas) sales have had some interest (as part of on-going cost consciousness).
Does the imminence of the new year affect your mood?
The new year has been very important to me in recent years. When things were really bad I approached each new year determined that it would at least not be as bad as the last. I have spent the festive season reflecting and making plans for the year ahead. A lot of my time throughout January has been oriented towards setting up projects for the year ahead.
Post Xmas ?
In Leeds city centre the crowds are out for the sales. Some families who have travelled to be together may be moving in unfamiliar groupings. The hustle and anxiety of Xmas shopping has largely been left behind.
Also left behind, for most, is that period when religion (in the form of carols, nativity plays, iconography on cards) crosses their personal horizon.
I preferred the title of last year’s outing “Twixmas”. I liked the idea we were exploiting a period of relative calm – downtime – between the two frenzied festivities. I liked the tour that we did that started in the alleys and backstreets, avoiding the usual highways.
It was great to have such a popular event appropriately organised. Great starting and end points (although it would have been good to introduce everyone to the joys of The Village and their brand of photozine).
What did not work so well – for me – was the arbitrary limit on submissions when there was no particular focus. Having a number of themes – not too many – has worked so well for so many of Jon’s inspired projects.
I really like the city centre as the open and familiar space for our projects.
The half-dozen contributions
I have several plans for my photography in 2015
I have just begun exploring a variety of publication formats beyond the Blurb photobook. I will have begun talking to other publishers with promising results. I have several big projects that I intend to bring to something like a final format including my “Leeds By Night” project and a big book on Leeds City Markets at Kirkgate. There will be an exhibition of the Merrion Centre project within the Centre and I am currently working with clients interested in using some of my images commercially. And there are at least a half dozen more private projects that are quite well-advanced (dance photos, music gigs, portrait projects, a long-term project of nude photos with a well-known life model, more books of nature photographs, a landscape project that I have been working on for a decade).
2015 will see me writing a good deal more about photography and finally mastering the organisation, back-up and utilisation of my extensive archive.