This is it, my number one image of 2018. The one that gives me the most pleasure. The one that sets my benchmark for 2019. The one that I’ll get framed for my wall at home.
So, fanfare please…
#1: The one I’m most proud of
If you’ve read through all of the flannel I’ve written about my top thirty images of the year, you’ll hardly have failed to notice that I keep banging on about telling stories through my work. If you’ll excuse the rampant hyperbole, it’s my raison d’être as a photographer and image-maker.
And this – in my very humble opinion – is the best encapsulation of that ethos this year.
Here’s what I see: In the centre the image, a glamorous pair totter through the frame on high heels. But they’re not the focus of this shot. Squeezed into the side of the frame, a mechanic silently watches, her plain overalls a stark contrast to the look-at-me peacocking. There’s an emotion, a yearning that’s epitomised by her hands – which are perfectly framed by the car’s windscreen. But although she isn’t dressed up to the nines, and may want to be, she is definitely the hero of this image. She’s Cinderella.
Of course, when I took the shot, I didn’t think about any of that. If I had, in that split second of hesitation the moment would have disappeared forever. To be honest, I don’t really remember much about taking it, I was just operating on instinct. Garnished with a large dose of luck.
However it happened, I’m glad I was there to capture it.
In fact, I was so pleased with the outcome that I exhibited it at the Birmingham Photography Festival, where I did what I presume other artists do when their work is on show: hang around listening to what other people think of it. It was interesting to hear other interpretations of the image, especially when they differ from my own.
And that concludes the round-up of my favourite images of 2018. That was a mission to write, believe me. Next year, I might stick to twenty. Or ten.
Of course, you may read the above and think it’s a load of pretentious bollocks. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, on this and any of the other images in the top thirty. Drop your comments into the box below.