Stepping from behind the lens.
I was sitting on my couch rapidly typing on Twitter about my day and the photoshoot I just finished. After the 10th tweet I thought to myself, Who is actually reading this?
Social media fits my personality. Ironically, I’m not really an overtly social person. I didn’t really go out to parties and don’t really know a lot of people on a personal level. My family is huge and I have loads of cousins so didn’t feel the need to form a friendship circle. I wasn’t a loner, I mean, I had friends but my cousins took the place of tight bredrins throughout my school years. When school turned to college and then university, everything started to fragment. Moving out of Hackney also had an affect and now, I can count my friends on the fingers on one hand. When I say friends, I mean the people you would invite to church service of your wedding, not just the reception.
Anyway, I’m going off my point. Social media was a great fit for me because I could look (pree) in to conversations and be involved in discussions without having to actually know the person. As much as it’s been good for getting my photography seen by more people, it has enabled me to communicate with others. Even if I don’t get a response. I’ve never been hung up on retweets and likes. I’m just happy with the idea of some possibly reading a random thought that I had in my mind. That manifested in the idea of actually speaking to people that I find interesting. Podcasting allowed me to do that.
I created the Focal Point Podcast in the passenger seat of my car, speaking into my phone. The sound was horrible so I reached out to Rashid (Link Up TV) and he helped me get a studio session. I spend an hour in a dimly lit room speaking to myself in front of a microphone. It was pretty weird at first but quickly became comfortable. Just like my tweets, it felt good to be able to speak about things that were previously locked in my head.
After a few episodes, I was ready to have a guest. The first person I spoke to was Nick Asiama (Certified UK). A guy that I became familiar with from frequently seeing him filming at shows and his website. I purposefully didn’t have a format to the podcast which continues to this day. I wanted to see how I could hold a conversation with someone that I’ve only interacted with through social media. I surprised myself and also Nick when I told him that he was my first guest. I now felt confident and invited other people that I met through social media to have a conversation for Focal Point.
My problem with the podcast was my inconsistency. I didn’t have a set release schedule. Instead, I just dropped them when I felt like it. Maybe because it wasn’t my intention for the podcast to become something big. It was more of an exercise for myself. I needed to become comfortable speaking to someone that I didn’t know. I also used Focal Point to satisfy my intriguing nature about things that I found interesting and people that made it happen.
I’ve been fortunate that people took time to listen and I've had positive opportunities as a result of Focal Point. Being invited to speak on panels and even recording my podcast in front of a live audience is something I couldn’t imagine doing a year ago. As a photographer, I’m comfortable being behind the lens. Even now, people who know my work don’t know who I am. I like that. But it’s come to a point where I need to put myself in front of people and let them know I exist in order to be considered for opportunities. I have my Focal Point Podcast to thank for giving me the tools to do that.