Category Archives: Opinion

Are your photos stoppers?

A red octagonal STOP sign against a blue sky used to illustrate a post on "stoppers". Photo by Douglas Kurn
A stop sign. Photo by Douglas Kurn

What do I mean by stoppers? It is a term that the fashion editor of Vogue magazine Phyllis Posnick attributed to former Vogue art director Alexander Liberman, that meant an image had the power to make readers stop at a page and absorb the content. Posnick even used Stoppers as the title of her book of photographs that she created at Vogue with some of the worlds best photographers and fashion photographers of their time.

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Global Recycling Day

Today is Global Recycling Day (18th March 2021 if you’re reading this on another day) and to commemorate it I have changed my logo to that of the Global Recycling Foundation logo, just for the day (although it could be the shape of things to come – but more about that another time). Here’s a screen grab of what it looks like in case you missed it:

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Dentist

In the first week of January I did my first job of 2019 – some executive portraits. One of my subjects said that she hated having her picture taken. I spent some time trying to convince her that it was going to be alright and there was nothing to be worried about. Finally I managed to convince her and she said “Well, its got to be better than going to the dentist!”

So for 2019 my new strap line is:  Douglas Kurn, photographer – better than going to the dentist!

GOODBYE 2018

As we see the back of 2018, maybe it’s time to reflect on it in a historical context; 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One – the Great War, the War To End All Wars. It’s perhaps sobering to think that 100 years ago Europe saw the year ahead as one where they would try and put Europe back together again – how times change! 

Whatever your opinion about the ongoing shenanigans surrounding the departure or otherwise of the UK from the EU, we would never have been able to have had the debate if it hadn’t been for those who fought in that, and subsequent wars.

I wish everyone what I suspect was all that those who survived war wanted; peace, love, health and happiness. x

The Silent Soldier Memorial

Sunday Times Gig

No, not a job shooting for the Sunday Times, but a profile of little ol’ me in the Sunday Times – in the business section don’t you know. It was for a piece about the self-employed, or more specifically the effects of the gig economy on the rights and benefits of workers, or lack thereof in reality.

It can be summed up nicely by a conversation I had with another photographer a while ago when he asked me if I missed anything about my previous job (I was employed in sales travelling all over Europe for a FTSE100 company in case you didn’t know). “Apart from the regular salary, company car, paid holiday, sick pay, pension, company expenses, company laptop and mobile phone, there is one thing I miss and that’s the best feeling in the world – taking off my suit at the end of the day and pulling on a pair of jeans as it signified that I’d finished work”.

And that’s the biggest difference for me now – knowing when to stop, as there is always something to do – shooting new work, editing, processing, estimating, marketing and promotion, admin (grrrr!!!), VAT returns (double grrr!!!!) archiving, sorting out IT problems (too much time), oh and chasing unpaid invoices. Luckily I don’t have too many issues on that last point, although when I do have to chase an accounts department I like to remind them that only one of us is being paid for my time spent chasing payment, and it ain’t me!

There are lots of challenges and many uncertainties but would I change it? Not a chance! Why? Well this year I’ve been shooting on boats, beaches, planes, rivers, canals, as well as the streets of London, Oxford, Hastings, Berlin, Brighton, Nottingham. I’ve had jobs in London, Surrey, Sussex, Herefordshire, Wales, Shropshire, Merseyside, Staffordshire and Cornwall. I’ve been in kitchens, offices, breweries, boathouses, factories, building sites, as well as photo studios.

Put simply – every day is different and I get to meet some fabulous and interesting people along the way – what’s not to love?

You can see the lens being turned on me and read the full Sunday Times article here.