The Value of a Wingman
By Adrian Zupp
We’ve been talking quite a bit in “Exposed” about building confidence and becoming a better photographer. Having another photographer (or a few) to go on shoots with you can be a real advantage. And it’s something that’s been a big part of Peter’s experience as a photographer over the years.
“My mate Michael Plumridge and I grew up together and we both love photography,” said Peter. “We started taking shots together thirty-one years ago. I became a landscape photographer and Mike became a top glamour photographer. Going out shooting together as young blokes was a really good thing for both of us. We encouraged each other and learned together. It was a lot of fun and even a bit competitive to see who could get the best shot. In those days we only had film, no digital, so you didn’t know what you had until you could afford to get your film processed. Sometimes that was weeks later.”
Actually growing up together and both being obsessed with photography helped Peter and Mike’s development in the field immensely and that’s continued for 30 years.
“These days we still have the common goal to keep improving,” said Mike. “Two heads are better than one!”
Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have quite the same situation, but it’s never too late to buddy up with a friend and get out there taking photographs, offering each other feedback. The benefits in terms of improvement aside, it’s a great motivator to share and magnify the experience with someone else who is also passionate about photography. And if you go to really remote locations, as Peter and Mike do, it’s important to have a buddy in case you have a mishap and get injured.
“Mike and I just loved going out to all kinds of places and capturing them on film,” added Peter. “We’ve always had a great camaraderie and that keeps you going and, like I said, makes it fun. You can sit down at your campsite at the end of the day and talk about what you did. Some of my best memories are like that.”
Peter and Mike still go out and shoot together, and these days Peter also with his assistant and protégé Mark “Uma” Thurman (who is featured in each Friday’s “Riding Shotgun” blogs). It’s always great to have more than one sidekick, if you can, as it adds even more to the experience.
So give a photography friend a call and buddy up for your next shoot. You both have everything to gain.