Thoughts on Fame

My 15 minutes of fame with a solo exhibition has been a journey, a bumpy one! I see me as a woman with a camera, observing people not the one seeking to be the object of the gaze. A woman who grew up believing she was worth less or worth nothing. I grew comfortable with that. So when people began to tell me what they thought of my work and me, describe the impact it had on them and the community I got really upset; because I have never listened to such praise. To help me to accept it graciously I am going to quote some of it here. Then I can think about telling the world that actually I am worth quite a bit!

“The exhibition isn’t everything it will and has changed things and the more it goes the more it does, the chances to get the models noticed their stories heard and your name out there as a serious portait heavyweight. 

It’s an amazing collection of portraits Allie Crewe and unfortunately at same time still a semi taboo subject I guess.

Consider that it is a beautiful body of work that you have created, and now it has its own identity to grow. Be very proud of yourself

 It will be fine. You’ve achieved so much and you should be proud. The portraits will continue to inspire people, and you will continue to have a positive impact on vulnerable people’s lives. 
Your work is exquisite, and shows the strength, vulnerability, character and beauty of each sitter. It will “grow it’s own wings and fly” without you, as others have said, step back and let your baby go. It will be loved and there will be discussions of all types about it, but at the end nobody will be able to fault your talent xx

Allie, what you have accomplished is an amazing thing. Take strength from the fact that your work brings forth strength in others to be able to tell their stories. This is a wonderful and unique creation. And it all started with you. It is brilliant. XX

Oh Allie Crewe I wish it was as easy as saying how fab you are! We’re curious creatures, aren’t we?! Fear is so crippling but it really is liberating when you stare it down. Set the same standards and expectations for yourself as you would anyone else and go a bit easier on yourself. Oiur comfort zones aren’t fixed, they are like thick elastic bands - hard to stretch but not impossible.Soon you’ll forget where it was once set. Xxx
I haven’t seen this body of work, at the gallery yet, but know it is sensational. I am sorry that the other elements of displaying your work are proving so difficult. However, you should be so proud that your talent merits gallery status, and you can only use it as a marketing tool for future work. I hope that this will bring in added interest in your portrait work, from everybody who views the exhibition. Sell yourself and your capabilities whenever you can, during the exhibition tour. Emphasise that this is just a small part of your work and do not accept that you are only focussed on transgender photography. This exhibition certainly shows the beauty of members of our community, but we are also part of the everyday world. I hope you can get to a point where you can enjoy the attention and emphasis on you and your work. xxx

Get a grip and get real. You have more talent in your little finger than most of us will ever have. Revel in that gift and feel its power. Yours is work that will provoke comment and feelings, it’s not vanilla and never will be. Some people may hate it but the majority see it for what it truly is, magnificent life in all its glory from the hands and eye of a true artist.
Start believing in yourself, self doubt has no place in your life and I’m so going to kick your arse when I see you.”

Searching for Families

” This is a terrific body of work, filled with heart and empathy.”

I Like shooting families. It sounds like one of those T Shirt’s doesn’t it - you know, “I shoot people for a living and sometimes cut their heads off!” Seriously though, I love watching people and children are rather quirky. They have a habit of pushing boundaries and they tend to offer the truth about themselves. Mum maybe saying, “Smile for the camera,” but they know that is fake. So I watch until they relax and offer those unguarded moments - those photos I love, they are tender and intimate. They frown when they are thinking and laugh when they feel happy. It takes a little longer than a traditional studio shoot but why hurry it? I’m not a production line and I re -touch by hand too,  ( the studios use a computerised app for speed) it is all artisan in Chorlton!

Shooting siblings or parents with children is a pleasure too. I’m fascinated by the relationships between families. If I place you on a white background, pose you and tell you all to smile I impose a generic formula onto you. It takes skill and patience to see your authentic story. I win awards and have a solo exhibition.

 Magnum Photography say, “Highly Rated. Sincere, poignant and classical work.”

 LensCulture say, ” This is a terrific body of work, filled with heart and empathy.”

Lets leave the last word to the experts!

The Solo Exhibition


 I’m going to find out. When I had work at The Getty Gallery London last year it was terrifying. People would look at mine and I’d think, no look at Martin Parr’s work or Rankin’s, I’d hold my breath, they moved on, I’d exhale!

This Thursday 26th July my solo exhibition opens in Manchester. Today we delivered all of the prints, yesterday we did the installation, tomorrow we hang.  I’m nervous so why am I doing it? My mentor told me to on 2nd January and the very next day Sparkle got in touch and said they’d been watching me and would like to meet. Serendipity! These narratives are important. To help to tell the stories of those who are often oppressed and denied a voice. To give work to a charity who can profit from the publicity and sales, this makes my work meaningful. 

I’ve been working for Sam’s Diamonds - the cancer support charity and start a job for Emmeline’s Pantry next month. These tend to be huge projects and I’m still juggling the business and family work. Not shot a nude for a couple of weeks though - now I do need more of those in my diary!

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