Revealing the quiet person inside
Thomas (DHThomas), a member of our Bliposse of writers, had a chat with blipper PokeyBagel. Below is their conversation.
Hello, PokeyBagel! Who are you really, and what would you like people to know about you?
I'm not sure if this will come as much of a surprise but my real name isn't Pokey… it’s Naomi. I always say I came from a broken egg as I am an identical twin. I'm a primary school teacher, married to Emsie and we are the proud owners of Teddy.
We all come from different photographic backgrounds here on BlipFoto. How did you get started with photography?
My father had his own photographic business when I was very young, and I was always fascinated by the chemical element of the darkroom. He didn't take that many pictures of us but those we have become increasingly important as we've got older.
There came a stage when my sister and I wanted to redress the balance. I think we were about 14 and we were given a 35mm film camera each- mine was bright red. I can be really shy, but I love having my photo taken and so does my sister... so we were ready to go! Years later, I started taking things more seriously and set up a darkroom in my bathroom. I'd be in there all night, emerging like a mole, feeling slightly nauseous. Those nights are amongst my happiest memories.
How did you get into Blipfoto?
I was feeling a bit like work was taking over my life and I made a conscious decision to make time for photography every day. Emsie was working with Nogbad who told her about Blip and suggested I give it a go.
What prompts you to choose the theme/series of photographs you are doing?
I'm actually not someone who sticks with a particular theme or style although certain elements recur. At the moment, I am having a bit of an instant film craze. I love the unpredictability and glossy quality of the prints. It takes me back to the days of collecting my prints from the local chemist…there was something magical about it all.
Family and friends feature in my journal, although I was initially very private about my life. These are the photographs I am most likely to look back on and use in other contexts. I love taking portraits and being behind a camera is the perfect place for someone as quiet as me.
I also like to experiment with the camera and try out different techniques and I am often in pursuit of beauty and, to a certain extent, order.
My photographs are generally much neater than any space I might occupy. :)
Having been raised on a diet of chicken soup, Hebrew classes and Streisand's back catalogue, it's not surprising my Jewish heritage appears in some of my photographs. Recently, this led me to explore the fate of some of my ancestors. It was, at times, a harrowing experience but photography enabled me to record things too painful to say.
What are the challenges you might experience to continue blipping consistently?
Time is a challenge. In the week, I only have the evenings to take photographs and engage with other blippers. It’s a relief when the holidays and weekends come with new possibilities! It is also quite difficult to bring something new to the table. Many blippers achieve this much more successfully than I do.
What advice would you offer to blippers thinking of doing what you’re doing?
Get a dog…you’ll never be short of a blip!
Seriously, though…it’s a brilliant way to document your life and actually, the things you don’t photograph are just as revealing as the images you post.
What would you say is the best thing about Blipfoto?
The people, the people, the people. (Did I mention the people?)
My dearest friends are members of the Blip Community. The site is so positive and bursting with talent... I am incredibly grateful to be a part of it.
What draws you to subscribe to a journal?
I am drawn to all sorts of things… location, for example. Iceland or a Scandinavian landscape will have me clicking the follow icon. I am often drawn to photographers who have a very different style from my own or have a clearly defined theme. And some I just love for the quality of the photography. I subscribe to quite a lot of journals featuring dogs too!
I know you've enjoyed Blipmeets. What did they bring to you? Did it change the way you interact (both on Blipfoto and outside) with those Blippers you've met? In what way?
Many blipmeets have become meetings of friends now. I found having an online bagel persona gave me a new confidence…not just in terms of how I interact with others but with the degree to which I feel comfortable sharing information about myself online. I love talking about photography and have had so many opportunities to do that. I have learned a great deal from other people and it has really meant a lot to me when people have asked about my own work and taken it seriously. It has encouraged me to embark on different projects and submit work and this has been incredibly valuable.
Well, thank you Naomi for taking the time to speak with us, and best of luck with your journal!
Cover photo: PokeyBagel
Call for nominations: We are interested in nominations for blippers to feature in our profile series. We are particularly interested in journals that go unnoticed or blippers that are new and caught your attention as well as blippers outside the UK-zone to help us reflect the worldwide membership of Blipfoto. Kindly send your nominations (and reasons why you find a journal interesting) to our Community Coordinator: Michele@blipfoto.com. To see who we already featured, follow this query: #blipperprofile