I know she's not Norwegian.
A Swedish name (I think) and she was French... but she was the only one in the crowd that looked straight at me.
I was surprised the reaction I got from a few that read my last blog... I appreciate the concern and the well-wishes, and all the positivity and faith I got from people as I put my dilemma to them.
To explain: I was offered a place in Christopher Anderson's class at the Magnum Workshop in Oslo, to be held in March. First notice of the event went out on the Magnum site Jan 12th, and while I soon realised it would a dream opportunity to go, I wrote it off as a fat chance. But then I read something else January 21st, thought long and hard, put my insomnia to good use and wrote a proposal and submitted my images... with photographers like David Alan Harvey, Paolo Pelegrin, Alex Majoli, Christopher Anderson, Jonas Bendiksen, Alessandra Sanguinetti, and Alex Webb present, I had to at least try! And then I went to bed, after saving the work in a folder named "Magnum Pipe Dream".
For anyone who knows me, they will know how many of the names above I respect and admire, as photography goes... all of them in fact. And two days ago I found out that I had the chance to meet and learn from them.
The depression I entered into then was as a result of the financial implications of such a trip, and the almost surreal nature of it coming now... the days I will be in Oslo are the days that I would have been moving into my new house with my wife and child (home loan approved today!) and my father raised me well enough to weigh up that as a possible hindrance.
But there has been fantastic support from a number of people, and some good clear advice from others, and my mind has been made up and I am on my way. Thanks to Ingrid, who woke up with her alarm at 5 the day I found out, surprised to see me still awake, and even able to congratulate me, sleepy as she was. Thanks to Zander for the late night reality check, and likewise to my Dad.
Thanks also to Sam, Bennedicte, Tiago, Leksa, Mike and others that I spoke to that night at the gallery, and especially Frank Arisman for weighing up the pros and cons with me and for what he had to say about my work; it meant a lot.
Finally, a special thanks to Bethea, Gavin and Sibu and Pat of Red Bull for all they have/will/might do behind the scenes... whatever comes of it, the show of faith has meant a lot to me.
If it sounds like I am gushing, I am. The opportunity is, in my eyes, one of a lifetime... but an eye opener was the good vibes and positive reinforcement of those I asked opinions of.
Means a lot.