Three Fifties

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This is an incomplete project and I failed to finish it.

Not only did I fail to finish this project but I failed to deliver on my promise to all those involved that I would have an exhibition of these images.  OK, lets back up a little.

Way back in 2012 I decided to create a project called Three Fifties.  Its actually a very common theme for photographers to base a project on.  Mine was to take fifty portraits in fifty days using a 50mm lens, hence Three Fifties.  The most important aspect of this project was simplicity.  I could only use the 50mm lens and a flash were appropriate.  I asked those who ever wanted to take part to pick their favourite location and we would shoot the images there.  Easy right?

On paper there was no reason for me not to finish this project, I mean I am full time photographer so its hardly a lot of extra work to grab a couple of portraits here and there?

Why I failed.


When I started this project I wasn’t as busy as I would’ve liked to be.  With the benefit of time and experience I know now to embrace and enjoy the down time but three years ago it scared me.  So I remember seeing this gap in my calendar come around and this project was born.  On some of these portraits I spent well over four hours just traveling to, shooting and traveling home.  I had no idea how time intensive this would be.  This leads me on to my next fail.


The twenty people I ended up photographing lived or picked locations between Ballymena and Warrenpoint.  Northern Ireland isn’t very big but it can sometimes take a long time to get to places that aren’t that far away.  My professional career was in its infancy in 2012 so I was running back and forward shooting work for people all over the country.  I thought I could’ve coupled my paying work in with this project and shoot the portraits as I was travelling about.  It didn’t work out like that of course and it involved me driving to meet people for a one off shoot.


I guess the first two points aren’t really the real reason why this project was never completed.  Looking back at it with several years more experience of life and work under my belt it was always down to my commitment.  The only person who was responsible in driving this project was me and I let it run out of gas.  I cant remember the specific moment when it happened but knowing myself, other things got in the way and I let Three Fifties slide to the side.

So I created all these lovely portraits with the bare minimum of equipment and after making promises to the twenty people involved and did nothing with the images.  For some reason I just stopped working on this.  I archived them and forgot about them.

So why have I posted them now?

2015 has been a year of analysis and development for me.  I’ve been looking at what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been doing it and through this process of rethinking things the Three Fifties project came back in to my mind.

I’ve learnt a lot in the last three years.  The only way you get better at something is to keep doing it over and over.  I look at some of these portraits and I can see ways I can do better but of course three years ago I didn’t know that.

Yes its uncompleted and yes I broke at least twenty promises but I finally got my ass into gear and did something about it.  The count currently stands at twenty and I would really like to finish this at some point.  Some times projects just run out of steam or come to a natural end but I think this one still has legs.

If you’d like to take part in this very extended project drop me a message here.  I cant guarantee when I will finish this but I owe it to those involved and to myself to see it to the end.

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