Last weekend me and the wife went to a party. A very special party which by most standards let me tell you was quite something. It was a Golden Wedding Anniversary and Staff Party combined given for about 1700 people. So special was this party that the Company responsible for the catering was so proud of their achievement in producing a three course sit down meal for said number of guests that they produced a marketing video to show on You Tube. Just watching this video brings a lump to my throat in remembering the evening………… and I was just a guest !
The invite to this party which arrived several weeks ago placed no dress restriction on the guests other than with it being a Golden Wedding Anniversary suggested a hint of Gold and to ‘look fabulous’, the interpretation of which was open. After much deliberation the wife and I decided we’d dress smart and casual for a warm summer evening. Now I’m not normally someone who likes to stand out from the crowd but then again I’m not a suit and tie, dickie bow and cumberbund man either. Frankly I’d rather dress up as Coco the clown than wear those things ( some might say I did do? ). It’s just not me and it’s not the Mrs either. So in taking up the Gold theme I got myself some yellow chinos which I knew I’d wear again and pushed the boat out with some cheap and cheerful Gold LED trainers off Ebay. The shirt I’ve had about two years and being vaguely goldish fitted the bill perfectly. So the get up didn’t really cost me much at all.
However arriving at the doo I immediately began to regret my fashion enterprise. I kinda stuck out like a sore thumb and I have to say I could feel some odd looks from both men and women. Not from people that knew me but from strangers. Strangers who’d stuck to some unwritten convention and were in the main wearing suits, jackets, Dickie bows and cumberbunds etc. I even got a couple of comments, one of which suggested I’d dressed down and the other from a man who queried whether I’d come as the clown, ‘did I do turns?’ he queried. How rude ! By the time we got into the massive and sumptuously decorated marquee ( a posh tent ) I was feeling slightly nervous and anxiety had kicked in the point where I was wondering where my appetite had disappeared to. It took a glass of wine to settle down and begin to enjoy myself and dismiss any negative vibes that I might be feeling. As it was I got more positive comments than negative but sometimes if you’re not a wholly confident person you always focus on the negatives instead of the positives don’t you ?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this little episode this week. It’s no use saying I didn’t give a shit about what others thought or how I looked because clearly I did otherwise I wouldn’t be talking about it now would I ? and It wouldn’t have played on my mind ?
The thing is, I don’t do convention or the conventional. I positively strive against it and the older I get the less conventional I’m determined and want to become and this applies to my photography. Simply put I don’t want my photography to be like everyone else’s. I don’t want to have to play by the rules of others If I don’t have to, written or unwritten. Nobody pushed the boundaries by being conventional and the same applies to photography. It was an important reminder to me.