THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN….
There are any number of song titles or lyrics I could have chosen to christen this blog.
Quickly discarded for obvious reasons, the mawkish Con Te Partiro - sounding only slightly better in Italian than it does in English and undoubtedly handicapped by too many talent show interpretations. Also speedily abandoned without consideration anything by Celine Dion or James Blunt. In the end it came down to a toss up between Bob Dylan and Changes by David Bowie and in deference to DC’s hero worship of the voice of a generation, I chose the former.
The times are indeed a changin and it is with some sadness that Doug and I have decided to part company with Light and Land. For a while now we have held differing opinions about how we wish to organise workshops and tours - ideas perhaps that are simply not viable for a large organisation. Following a meeting with Charlie and Emily last month we thought we had found a way forward that would be mutually beneficial. Regrettably - just like the nations’ fervent belief that football was finally coming home this weekend - it has now become apparent that this was not going to pan out the way any of us had hoped.
The fault lies nowhere - Doug and I believe in the value of small groups and want to have the freedom to travel to cities of our choosing. As a partnership working from our respective homes, our overheads enable us to offer tours with 10 participants at a price that is simply not possible for a large company with all its associated overheads. It has now become apparent that what we thought we could pursue with Light and Land was logistically and commercially impossible.
We part company on very good terms. I will remain eternally thankful to Charlie for all he has done for me, and to Light and Land as a company for helping me gain a foothold in a very competitive marketplace. I know Doug feels the same. Light and Land have established themselves as a leading photography tour company and always worked hard to care for their clients and impart a real love for both the landscape and photography. Their influence, especially that of Charlie, Joe Cornish and some of the other long time leaders, on landscape photography in the world today is not to be understated. We have always been very proud to have been associated with them.
We are lucky that photography is a broad church and can so readily be different things to different people. Doug and I have chosen to dwell in that murky wilderness where art and photography collide, pushing against convention and ad-libbing as we go. It’s not for everyone. It’s not even for most people. Perhaps it was inevitable that eventually we would have to break away. We have some exciting new ideas to push ahead with. We cannot (and nor would we want to) claim that we will try to undercut Light and Land - our objective is more about taking smaller groups away to be immersed in an environment that emphasises the development of self expression and creative vision. This will always take priority over 4am sunrise shoots and honeypot locations.
I know my reluctance to engage in social media promotion has not been helpful during my time with Light and Land and I’m lucky that this is something that Doug excels at. We are currently in the fortunate position of having tours sell out to our mailing list clients thus avoiding the need to promote through the usual channels. However we are realistic enough to see that this will probably not always be the case. We also realise the shadowy figure of the VAT man lurks as we edge ever-closer to the threshold, so our decision to stand entirely on our own does not come without impediment.
In the meantime we have been completely overwhelmed and moved by the outpouring of email support we have received following the announcement of our decision yesterday to the people on our mailing list. Thank you so much; it means a great deal.
As I write we have a tour to Bilbao - launched about five hours ago to the people on our mailing list- now has just one space remaining*. It feels like a good omen.
*The tour is now fully booked