532 Words on: Box ticking

“We never listen to the record company man, they try to change us and ruin our band. That’s why we don’t wanna be good!” – Neil Young, Prisoners of Rock and Roll

When I started 5-3-2 I made five rules for myself.

1. If it’s not negative it’s PR. I want to be critic and conscience not a free ad agency.

2. I don’t attend football games to tick boxes.

3. I’m not a results service. If you want to know the score, look it up.

4. Average photography is taking an action shot. Good photography is capturing the atmosphere.

5. There is nothing and never will be anything on 5-3-2 that I’m embarrassed to put my name to.

Rule one just means I say and do whatever I want whenever I want – as one friend described it a few weeks ago – this is “Enzo unleashed”.

Rule two is inspired by a short documentary I saw about an award winning English Premier League photographer – one of the things he said was (paraphrased) you can go to a game and tick boxes – ‘yeah, I got that goal and that celebration’ – or you can take a few risks and look for something interesting that isn’t a dime a dozen. I want to push myself to do the latter both with my writing and photography.

Rule three speaks to the boredom and frustration I felt with ITBOTN boxing me into a duty to report on football games – which was never my intention when I started blogging. As I constantly tried to tell you over there, I don’t know diddly squat about football and am in no way qualified to analyse the game. That’s not why I’m here.

Rule four does what it says on the tin and is a work in progress as I come to grips with my new camera. But, like rule two, it also means I’m not necessarily trying to take “newsy” pictures of events. I am trying to capture occasions – and everything that encompasses. Why don’t my photos have captions? Because captions are irrelevant to what I’m trying to do. My photographs should speak for themselves.

And as a result of all of the above, rule five is simply the law around here. The day I cannot stick to it is the day I shut this thing down, delete it, and quit blogging altogether.

I am not going to respect “journalistic conventions” because I am not a journalist. I am not going to fear upsetting the powers that be in the game because this site is deliberately set up to ensure I don’t need them for anything whatsoever. And I am not going to conform to other people’s expectations because I love what I’m doing and I believe in it.

Last week someone on Twitter asked me if I hate my audience. Of course I don’t, although I do concede it may come across that way sometimes. The long and the short of it is this: I don’t care. I’m doing this to please myself and I’m doing it my way. If you like it, that’s awesome. If you don’t appreciate it, that’s your loss not mine. Take it or leave it.