When I was a boy..

I feel a bit like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire today. You know that bit at the start when he writes that essay from the heart, well here's mine.

As I walked through the rain to my latest exhibition in Canary Wharf I beheld the wonderment to a body of work that was first realised about ten years ago but only shot this time last year. From my humble beginnings at the Colour Care Lab located in Boots the chemist and then working with Jean, possibly the worst high street photographer of her generation. To messing about at college and landing a job with Robin Bell the best black and white printer in London where I met all the big names in photography at the time. I had come a long way from the days of smelly dark rooms and crappy jobs.
In April 2003 I had my first solo show in London. It was all I had ever wanted for many years, heck, I even sold two 30/40" prints before the show opened which was a big deal for me at the time. The shows continued and I spent my time either travelling and producing new work, or in the darkroom printing. I moved out to Los Angeles in 2004 confident that the galleries here and in the USA could sell enough to keep me going. In 2005 I had my first book published (no, it was not a Blurb book). The book was launched at Paris Photo where upon I sold more work in three days then I sold in an entire year.
In my first year living in the states I clocked up 60.000 miles just driving around and taking pictures which form most part of my archive to date. I was living the life most landscape photographers dream about. No ties, working at my own pace, shooting whatever took my fancy. Just me and my dog Piglet.
One beautiful autum morning in LA 2006 I got up early and went for a run through the Hollywood Hills. After about 45 minutes I reached the top of a trail above the Hollywood sign. At that moment I felt a sharp pain in my back and was barely able to walk back to my apartment. Three months later I was back in London recovering from spinal surgery. It was the darkest period of my life and I was unable to work for twelve months. I thought everything would be as it was before. The work, the galleries, the print sales. But I was wrong. The Galleries had closed and the market (certainly in the UK) had seemed to vanish over night. But this did not stop me, in fact it made me all the more eager to produce a new body of work, only this time a little closer to home. The North Shore project took about twelve months from start to finish. After making the final edit I was completely satisfied with the results. I got the best prints, best frames, best location, several sponsors and Getty's name behind me. I thought to myself if this doesn't work nothing will.
I wish I could now say that this show has made all the difference. But my friends I would be wrong. To be honest I don't think London has ever been good for selling photography, not even back in the early days when prints where selling before the show started. These days people would rather by a big television to watch X Factor than buy a piece of art, (and I include every artist/photographer here) a big flaming TV that will be worth nothing in a couple of years and pack up when the warranty runs out..
I have tried to kid myself that things will improve within the business of photography, but even as an optimist I cannot see it getting any better regardless of a recession or not. Its sad to think the country that invented the medium is just one big washout and thinks that a cel phone with a camera attached is a good idea.
I am tired of pretending its all good, and I am tired of flogging that dead horse. In fact who reads this blog anyway.

When I did my works experience for the local newspaper at the tender age of 14 a photojournalist said to me;

"You cant make a living taking pictures trees and sunsets.."

22 years later I get the point.


Anonymous said...

I wish I were in London instead of sleepy Klerksdorp, South Africa so that I could attend your exhibition. You've probably heard it all before, but when I first saw your work, I couldn't get the images out of my head wherever I went. I've even told everyone at work and all my friends about this awesome photographer I discovered by chance. In this way I think I've made quite a number of people aware of your work and who read your blog

Yup, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - I've been inspired a lot by your eye style in the way I see potential photos. Impossible to pull off!

People's gravitation to only spoon-fed, easily digestible media will always be there. I admire you and other creative photographers' different way of seeing things in the pictures you take. It always catches me off guard.

I'm saving up for a Doyle print here.

mark page said...

Marcus, I was thinking of taking up R&B singing instead of Art, Care to join me? And don't forget how the olympics will save us all.....

marcus doyle said...

I was thinking more along the lines of acapella and a banjo..

marcus doyle said...

Thats a nice reply,
thank you.

kieron@mac.com said...

Similar to Anonymous, when I walked into Getty on Great Titchfield Street I was stunned by the North Shores work. Simply because I hadn't seen a single body of work that was (to me at least) so original.

When I was a little-photography-boy, black and white was the only source of extraordinary impact on me. As I grew up that didn't change. And then I saw the North Shores work and finally believed it was possible to get the same impact from colour work. So, nice one, thanks for investing a year of your time. It was certainly worth it from my perspective.

I don't know if this is worth it from your perspective, but I have worked in advertising for nearly 20 years, worked at Saatchi's and a lot of the big agencies on a lot of the big brands. And what I love is photography. So if you want a Nero's and a fresh pair of eyes on your how to market Marcus Doyle prints then I'd be happy to chat about that and explore a few ideas. I mean, why not?.

And lastly, keep writing the blog. Because its not a boring photography blog, its a very interesting story of photography and life. And everyone loves a good story. Maybe its just that not enough of the right people know about it yet.

Keep going.



marcus doyle said...

So many kind words. I feel like dancing..

Anonymous said...

I'll chime in. One of my fave blogs. Good eye, good humor. Refreshing. dz

michael said...

was wondering around canary wharf last week waiting for my buddy, saw your photos they were amazing! really blown away by them.

anyway was sitting outside of canary wharf tube station taking pics really enjoyed opening the aperture on the camera and over exposing my shots, but aside from this it got me chatting to beautiful girl, c'mon at least photography is good for meeting women!

oh and check this blog out http://stilllifewith.com/ its cool and this is where the money is!