Dipping back into the archives again with this image, which shows my friends at Mak Mak almost at the beginning of their journey…
Now they’re continually recognised as one of the best macaron producers in Sydney, something they’ve achieved in only a few short years, but then? Then they were barely past starting out. And I wanted to show that.
The doorway (made of macarons) represents ‘success’, with a pathway of sugar leading the two founders towards it; from the mundane world to something else. And as they were at the beginning, they were still at the space in between.
That’s how all of us who work for ourselves feel – we leave the mundane behind – of full time jobs and security and usually boredom, to make something special. That path is hard and long, and oftentimes we never reach ‘success’ because our ideals of success keep changing. Are we successful when we’re respected? Rich? When we have a great family life? When we’re lauded?
If you ask Carlos from Mak Mak if he’s successful, he’d likely say no. Sustainable, yes. Successful, no.
Speaking of success, this image to me is mostly a failure. I hate the attitude of ‘fix it in post’ – you should get it right in camera. That’s part of the craftsmanship of a photographer. But in this case, well, our retoucher Sam Hawken fixed the shot.
I nearly bollocksed it up – the perspective on the two founders is wrong; the backgrounds don’t really match up; and while the doorway is an epic prop, the rest of the image doesn’t feel at the same level.
Yet, it works. Sam managed to pull the image together and make it feel cohesive.
On a job this would never have happened. But, as I’ve mentioned before, with personal work we have the liberty to muck things up. That’s part of the learning process.
So, is it successful?