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Best of September

Let's start with the positives! This month has been phenomenal.


Here's why

I did Folio Friday!

Every month or so, The Photographers Gallery in Soho hold a portfolio review and it's terrifying. The review itself isn't what scared me. I'm more than happy to have heavyweights in the industry critique my work and point me in the right direction. The terror came at 2pm when the gallery opened the room to the public.

The terror came at 2pm when the gallery opened the room to the public. That was the first time I've had to display my work to strangers while they looked me dead in the eye.

But Y'know what? it all went really well. It was a delight to meet the other photographers and I picked up some priceless advice from the pros Sid Motion and Kate O'Neill.


So here's a few of my favorite shots from this month.

I've been kept rather busy by training and editing but I did have a fair few shoots for NEO Model Management.


Here's a few of my favorites

Choukri

Prince

Choukri

Nasir

And now for the less fun stuff.

I'm not fighting on the 10th. I've torn my pec and it'll take 6 months max to heal. I won't lie to you, I'm pretty gutted BUT I'm the younger brother of the poster child for sporting injuries and I know full well that this could be so much worse. I also completely understand that this was a charity boxing match and really doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things. But nonetheless it still really sucks and it's taken a few days to figure out why.


For those who know me well, I'm constantly injuring myself. If A&E had a rewards scheme I'd be swimming in free Jello. It used to be funny in a cathartic way but that's because whenever I'd injure myself it would be for something that I was doing just for fun. I could brush myself off and enjoy a couple months of free sympathy before getting back to it.


The difference here is that the boxing match was my way of proving that I had some toughness. Whether it's true or not, I felt like people were getting the impression that I was weak because I kept breaking so easily. I was constantly getting my ass kicked as a child and even on a couple of occasions as an adult. Never in my life have I felt more like I had something to prove.


It wasn't the thought of violence that made me want to do it, but the idea of going into a one on one scenario where I would actually be able to win. Every other sport I'd ever done had just been about taking part but this one had an actual winner. As training went on I started to care less and less about winning because the training was so grueling, I started to feel like I'd proven myself at the end of every session. The fight itself was just the cherry on top.


16 days before the fight I started to feel a sharp pain in my chest. I drowned it in painkillers and kept on training until, 9 days before the fight I couldn't feel parts my left arm and the pain in my chest was worse than ever. I had to go to A&E and from the waiting room, text the coaches and tell them that I was out. In school, I would relish the possibility of an excuse to get out of any physical activity but this time it just hurt because I felt like I was quitting.


I had completely buried any thought of backing out because of the pain. I'd watched clips of Robert Whittaker fighting with a broken hand and used that to motivate myself to push through and get to fight night. I'd started game-planning how I was going to go 3 rounds and effectively win with only one arm and a complete inability to take a body-shot. That is probably the dumbest thing I've done in a long time. Fighting on the 10th would've left me with permanent injuries that are not worth it for a charity event.


But I sold the tickets and I raised the money. Part of me forgot that I was doing this for such an important cause and not just to re-affirm my own fragile masculinity. Did I feel like I let my friends and family down by backing out? Yeah! But that's because I'm dramatic sometimes and I take thing a little too seriously.


It's taken a few days for me to be proud of myself again. The training was one of the most difficult things I've ever done but I was smashing it and in 6 months I'll be back at it again.


To those of you who supported, donated and bought tickets, Thank you! I mean every letter of that. The support leading up to the night was phenomenal and it's for such a good cause.


If you bought a ticket it will be valid at the event that I end up competing in when I'm well enough to fight.


Thanks for reading

Promise I'll be less whiny in the next post


Best

S


Huge thanks to my buddy Lex for driving me to the hospital!

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@2020 by Stefan Hanegraaf

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