It aint your picture, it’s mine !

Chinatown – London

I really enjoyed What do Artists Do All Day on BBC Four this week featuring photographer Dougie Wallace or Glasweegee as he’s sometimes known. I knew it was going to be a hoot when he got out of bed naked and the first thing he put on was his hat, such swagger. If you’re interested in street photography then check it out on line somewhere. It’s one of the best What Do Artists Do All Day I’ve seen. Highlight for me was when this uber rich veiled Muslim lass demanded he delete the image of her he’d just taken and he quite rightly refused. Of course we don’t know where this lass was from, I mean she could be a bona fida British citizen with a British passport which is fine by me but if you’re going to be uber filthy rich and arrogant with it at least familiarise yourself with the laws on photography out in the public domain. I have a problem with the veil actually but that’s another discussion for another time. Another laugh out loud moment was Dougie asking a bloke to move out the way so he could take images.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I’ve had one or two scrapes myself including a fight with a thick teenager in which the only way I could prize myself out of the bear hug he had me in was to grab hold of him by the balls. It doesn’t take much for them to let go of you then I can tell you. Another occasion I had an American tourist request I delete the image and threatened to call the police. I offered to actually take him to the police station myself to discuss the matter further.  When he realised he was on dodgy ground he put his own camera back in his pocket and pissed right off. As Gary Winogrand once said in a clip I saw when a bloke asked him why Gary was taking his picture “It aint your picture it’s mine”, he was so right, best response ever.

I don’t think Dougie whom I’m connected to on Facebook, yes we’re Facebook friends (whatever the fuck that means), would be irritated with me if I said his work is the secret love child of Martin Parr and Bruce Gilden. Dougie’s image taking approach and technical approach are very similar to these two photographers and there’s nothing wrong with that. What I like with Dougie’s Harrodsburg project is the very fact he’s documenting the super rich whose world is often hidden and closed to the rest of us. His images exude a ‘let them eat cake’ feeling to them layered with cultural ignorance and poor taste in rich clothing, lipgloss and jewellery. Some of these people need lessons in presentation from our own English aristocracy for whom vulgarity is a cardinal sin.

Bye for now !