David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

The cult of celebrity seems to have displaced many of the humorous and more creative aspects of photography for newspapers and magazines.One of the great pleasures of photography is its creative nature, not always pictorially, often an inspired idea. It's a lovely feeling when something glimpsed sparks a train of thought that leads to a picture sale and the feeding of a family for another few days.

An old friend of mine Richard Reed, from Reading Evening Post, days was an on the ball freelance in the town. We were talking once about the best thing about being a freelance editorial photographer. I opined it was taking a good picture and getting a good price for it. Richard agreed but added that what was even better was taking a lousy picture and getting a good price for it! A truly freelancer modus operandi.

This pic is of a friend of mine in the film business, Peter Glossop. It was near Christmas and walking past Selfridges, I'd noticed a truly massive teddy bear on sale in the window. I wondered how anyone would get it home. Bus? Buy a ticket for it? Car, I suppose. How would it look sitting in the passenger's seat of a car? What if you didn't have a car? A motorcycle? On the pillion but would it need a crash helmet? It struck me as funny.

I phoned Selfridge's press office and asked if I could borrow the teddy for an hour. Peter used a trail bike around London so he rode that down to the West End. We used bungee cords to secure the teddy on the back of the bike and a crash helmet on its head. Peter rode round the block a few times as I took pictures and we were done. Some good sales around the world and an honest crust earned from a little inspiration. It is so satisfying to conjure up something from nothing like this.

There aren't that many jobs where you can have a brainwave and turn it into money - and enjoy yourself at the same time.