The Hunted Has Become The Hunter
Ok you know I've been caught up with by the council. You know I've been squatting here for six and a half years and the shit has hit the fan. I've got to get out. Well just when you think things are at their worst something always comes up. Well they do for me. Tonight while taking photographs of bands I was approached by some dude who enquired about my services. He runs a detective agency.
Yeah you're all thinking Philip Marlowe and stolen Jade necklaces. Raymond Chandler this aint. This is city councils wanting to gather information on people like me. People the other side of legitimate. People who claim one thing and do another. They want me to photograph, using a long lens, these people so they can take them to court. It does seem like a crazy coincedence to me. That the very week they are on to me I am asked to catch others like me. Spooky huh? OK I'm happy to go legit if they pay me enough to be legit.
And the pay seems quite good. £2000 for a stake out and photos. A mornings works.
The guy who approached me said, rather clandestinely "It can be dangerous if you're not careful."
"How long is the lens I get to use?" I asked trying to find some comfort zone.
"It's a 500mm anti vibration lens."
"Will it fit my Canon?"
"If it doesn't you rent a camera it does fit and charge it to expenses."
"What just like that?"
"Sure. They want results. What we pay you is peanuts compared to what the council will save when they catch them. And even if it isn't it's the principle that matters."
So I'm having to think very carefully about this. I need the money, there's no argument there, but at what cost? I could go down the sex line and take discrete photos for people who don't want or can't get their photos done at Boots or I could put my life on the line and do detective work. One thing is for sure taking photos of bands isn't paying me a wage other than beer money.
I have noticed Sony BMG are using my photos on one of their websites. Yes that's why I took them, for the website. But we agreed they'd pay me £450 for the job. They haven't paid me yet. I think a stern email is in order to get my money.
If any of you guys are harbouring ideas of being a professional photographer. Take heed. It aint easy. Anyone can be just another guy with a camera. It don't mean shit how good you are. I consistently produce excellent images. I am very good at what I do. In fact it's the only thing I am truly good at. But does it earn me a living?