Photography fascinates me. I have no great skill at it and am still very much a point and click sort of person, despite the fancy(ish) SLR I own, but that doesn't stop me greatly admiring people who can do it properly. Tim Hetherington is a bit of a hero of mine and if you get a chance to watch Restrepo or Which Way Is the Front Line from Here?, I strongly recommend them both.
I went to see Rankin's Alive: In The Face Of Death exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery last year and it blew me away. I suppose he's best known as a fashion photographer which probably explains why I didn't know that much about him before that point - I had a passing knowledge but I don't do fashion magazines so hadn't seen a lot of his more famous images. His portrait work is so captivating though. The exhibition was, as the name suggests, all about death - people with terminal illnesses (such as Sandra in the photo above), people who had fought off death, people who worked with death every day. It wasn't as depressing as that description would suggest though - I left the room feeling really inspired rather than really gloomy.
That's the man behind the camera. Nice to see him, isn't it? I think photographers can often get overlooked as artists and unless they're massively into self-portraits, you don't often see them on camera themselves.
Samsung are running a Launching People competition which is an amazing opportunity to pick up your camera and work with Rankin as your mentor on a project. If your skill set lies in another creative sphere than photography, there are also chances to work with Gizzi Erskine (food), Idris Elba (film) and Paloma Faith (music). Rather fab bunch of mentors, eh?!
Paloma is so deliciously bonkers. Music really doesn't play that big a part in my life but she's one of the few artists that I listen to a lot. She's a flipping joy to see live - just imagine the fun you'd have hanging around with her in real life!
Alas I don't have enough ability in any of the four disciplines for it to be worth my while entering the competition but I know you readers are a fabulously creative bunch! Why not give it a try? You just need to make a 2 minute video and upload it onto the Launching People site. Deadline isn't until 6th March so you've got plenty of time to get cracking! Check out the video below for a bit more info about it: