Different Strokes

161117000038950025 I had the pleasure of giving a talk to members of the Isle of Man Photographic Society last week, it’s the first time I’ve done something like this to other photographers, so I was slightly apprehensive. They were a friendly audience, but I’m not sure that some of them, notably the older members, ‘got’ my somewhat alternative brand of photography. Despite arriving totally unprepared, I managed to talk for over two hours; I deliberately kept away from the technical aspects of film photography and shared my experiences while shooting various projects over the past year. I did ask the audience for questions, and most of them were interesting and relevant, but there was the inevitable, “Why use film? You’re wasting your money”. An older woman informed me that having a little tidy up in the area I was shooting in would vastly improve my portraits – I disagreed.
At the end of the evening, the chairman of the IoMPS thanked me and presented me with a bottle of wine, which I drank in the car on the way home (I’m kidding…I’m kidding!). Then he warned me that what he was about to say might be taken the wrong way – Apparently, the images in my presentation were ‘nothing special.’. Still, he added that he realised he was looking at them and comparing them to competition photos. No, they aren’t competition photos – I don’t sit in my car waiting for sunsets to Photoshop the shit out of or relax in my conservatory and snap blue tits on the bird-feeder. My photos certainly aren’t 500+ ‘like’ crowd-pleasers.
I know there’s a lot of people who like my work, but I’m entirely aware that there’s probably an equal number who don’t. But I’ve said it a thousand times – if everyone liked my photography I’d be worried. 161003000034760002-edit 161003000034780028 PK190516241034-24-Edit1635-002-0025 161116000038920016hhh 161117000039000012


  1. Amy C

    Phil, I went to the IoMPS once – I hated it! They’re a nice enough bunch, generally, but it’s typical camera club mentality. They just wouldn’t have understood, which is sad. The speaker that had been there the week before I went got a proper slagging off, so you probably did too, but I wouldn’t worry – your work transcends πŸ™‚
    Loving these shots, especially the one of Hannah doing the selfie – she is smoking hot!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Katie

    Your work is stylish, contemporary, individual and sometimes controversial – none of which can be said of any club photography I’ve ever seen. Keep doing what you do, Phil.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m certainly not having a go at the members of the IoMPS – they were all really friendly and amiable. It’s all ‘horses for courses’, I suppose. I’ve seen a lot of work from members that I’ve really liked, and I’ve seen photographs that I didn’t like, but that just reenforces my point – and in the words of Grove Armada, “If everybody looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other…”. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  4. There are camera clubs around here and all their stuff is lame. It’s all digital shots of birds and trees, sepia toned and faux tilt shift blurred in Photoshop. It’s all so boring to look at that it makes me want to hurt myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love your work, and I’d say it is definitely something special – I can usually recognise a Phil Kneen photo before confirming who took it. And that’s very much a compliment.


  6. IoMPS Member

    Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation, and I can vouch that most of us did. You’re naturally charismatic and your storytelling skills are superb, I was fascinated. As for your photography – it’s not to my taste, I do however acknowledge your skill as a photographer and your ability to convey a story or concept in text, words, and photographs. You are like no other photographer on the Island (I’m sure you know that) and you can be quite controversial (I know you know that), so I think your presence can be quite daunting… but I suppose this is how you got to where you are today, people can be very envious of that, especially on the Isle of Man. I’d love to see you back, sometime.
    (Name and email supplied)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Andy Kerruish

    Even as a biased fan of your unique talent, I sometimes have to ponder over what you are trying to portray in a shot, but overall, I think your work is different, unusual, controversial and overall , thought inspireing, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but then some like coffee..πŸ˜‹


  8. You know I love your work. I love this collection. I remember one of my photography lecturers telling us “Never play to an audience, never shoot something because you think others will like it. Shoot how you want and some will love you, some will hate you.” Perfectly done Phil, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The comments of the chairman reminded me of the experience a friend had at a local camera club competition. His B&W (film) entry was eliminated by the judge in the first round, with a similar remark. He subsequently entered it in the Washington, DC FotoWeek–the largest photography event in the city–where it took a major prize and was selected for one of the images to be displayed in a public space. As you and your readers as well as the members of IoMPS all have remarked, people react differently to images and that is what makes it so interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. HannahY

    Proud of you for going and sharing your experiences and knowledge with the others members ❀️ You’re a one of a kind photographer and that shows in the uniqueness of your photographs… May not be their cup of tea but you are inspirational to so many others 😊 Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Isle of Man Art News – 12 December 2016 | Manx Art Directory

  12. Bruce Parkinson

    Hi Phil, I was at that meeting, my first having just got into photography. It opened my way of thinking about what to take/shoot. There was a story behind each shot which I suppose when taking trees and birds/feathered kind, there is normally no story, that’s just one thing I took away from that meeting, thanks for giving up your time.


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