David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

I won an award with this - though it forget what it was. It was during the very hot summer of 1976.

I was driving back to Fleet Street from a job in Kent. I drive across Blackheath on the way and as I was passing one of the ponds, I noticed that it was utterly dry. As I drove on, I saw a young boy walking up the pavement carrying a toy sailing.

An idea hit me. I stopped and asked him if he lived nearby and if his mum was home. He said yes and yes she was. So I gave him a lift up the road and spoke to his mum. She was happy for me to take him back to the pond to take some pictures. This whole episode will strike anyone today as very odd. But back in the 70s, all men were not paedophiles and children were alowed to play out on their own. It seems impossibly free now but it was so.

I got the young man to put his boat into one of the cracks on the pond bed and look fed up...and it was done. I took the boy home and later sent a set of pix to his mum.

It's a great feeling when you produce a good pic out of thin air, off the cuff. The office love it, of course.

In some ways, it's what marks off good photographers from ordinary ones. You can train a monkey how to use a camera. It's the ability to originate ideas and carry them out that is the difference.