Recently, English photographer Dan Prince launched an exhibition in Gateshead, UK that depicts a year in the life of the paralympian Stephen Miller. This incredible group of images documents the life of the three-time Paralympic champion, from the long and intense training sessions to his relaxed home life with his wife and his mother. Originally, Dan had a very different idea of how this project, “100% Stephen Miller” would turn out.
100% Stephen Miller was a personal project with the intention of Stephen’s story being part of many others, but I soon found there was a lot more to this story than originally intended, so I kept revisiting Stephen at key points within a year.
While the majority of Dan’s photographic work is conceptual, 100% Stephen Miller is a personal project that is completely different from his commissioned work:
Personal work lets me have control over the subject and the style I want to photograph. You don’t get to choose what you get commissioned to photograph, so this is the ideal opportunity to show your own ideas.
While shooting the photographs did not present challenges, planning and managing the exhibition was a different story.
I have exhibited in the past, but have never done everything myself. By using my contacts and relationships with clients, I was able to bring people and businesses together to help fund the project, although most came from self-funding. There were too many factors to list in putting something like this together, as one idea triggered another. We ended up shooting a teaser video, as social media was our main promotional tool to get the word out.
The reaction has been fantastic. Everyone I have spoken to understands the project without any explanation. This has the ability to have interest with many people from many walks of life, and not just to show a limited amount of people interested in photography.
After seeing the project’s ability to inspire people and how successful it’s been, Dan has already begun working on another portrait project that will hopefully be exhibited in the next year. In the mean time, 100% will be traveling to different venues.
It always amazes me that however hard you try and come up with that new project or idea, it always comes down to the fact that if you are passionate about something then just go out and photograph it. My projects always start out as a small idea but once you start, the ideas start coming and you will find direction as you push and make the project the very best it can be.
To see Dan’s commercial work, visit his site.