As adults, we don't really need permission to play, it's just that because we're so grown up we're far too serious for that type of thing, everything has to have a purpose, or maybe earn us money, or advance us in some way. Well, at Photocamp yesterday we stuck our tongues out and blew a great big fat raspberry at all that.
After a fabulous day of semi-serious playing, cameras being very much toys for grown-ups, the final session was pure fun. Kirsty and Amy from Pavillion emptied out boxes of props ranging from rosettes and toy buses to rolls of wallpaper, hats and sticky-back plastic and were inspired to let our imaginations run riot – and play.
There was a certain amount of a-hemming and looking down at shoes before the brave ones scooped up whatever was at hand and set to work. Tom agreed to let me wrap him up in wallpaper, which was immediately photographed by others who were still scratching their heads – I had no problem with that, their photos were better than mine so it was great to see an idea executed with a degree of expertise. As my lovely creative friend Andy Green says, there's no such thing as a big idea, just lots of little ones put together by different people.
Best fun was taking a photographic reflector and pretending it was a shiny pool, I collared the others and got them to pretend we were dipping our toes in. My fancy camera out-fancied me, I couldn't work out how to use the self-timer, so I had to operate it with my toe on this shot – and hold it above my head with the other.
One took a toy bus on a trip around the National Media Museum, which hosted Photocamp, I can't wait to see her shots!
With my dissertation due for submission in 13 days – I'm well on target, by the way, though I never want to see the damned thing again as long as I live – even if asked, my, my, how can I resist it?, I'm thinking about the Next Big Thing.
It will involve photography. And playing.