Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Mini-Photomarathon

Brighton Mini-PhotoMarathon

I had an idea for an event, a day-long PhotoMarathon. As far as I was aware, no-one else was doing one in Brighton, so why not? I spent some time devising how it would operate and the format it would take and then ... wouldn't you know it, only days later I came across an ad for a PhotoMarathon in Brighton! Shucks! That's what I said. Honest. I remember it clearly.

Anyway, instead of adding to my own workload and competing with Stacey's PhotoMarathon - she clearly knew what she was doing - I decided it would be better to meet up and see how we could combine to create a larger pool of photographers. After all, I have over 750 group members who frequently request challenges, walks and events to get involved in so this was a perfect opportunity for them. Stacey's website can be found at http://www.brightonphotomarathon.com/

I arranged a meeting with Stacey, who was warm, friendly and encouraged by the idea of helping each other. She kindly agreed a discount for any BPG members who entered the competition. Stacey usually runs the much longer 12-hour PhotoMarathon, and has touted the idea of doing a 24-hour version! This particular event though was only 6 hours - hence the 'mini' aspect.

The Photo Challenge

The six topics were released online, on the hour, starting at 10am and we had until 4pm (the same day) to submit all our images. We were able to edit our shots but they had to have been taken within the hour following the topic's release. The chosen topics were -

  1. Who I Am 
  2. Seeing Red 
  3. Surprise 
  4. Where Am I ?
  5. Connection 
  6. Probability 

My initial struggle was not just the 10am start, but feeling creative - the weather was miserable and so was I. In spite of that, I had committed to this challenge and I knew once I got into it, I would enjoy it. By just before 11am, my brain had joined my body and they started working together. 

What I wanted most of all was to try something a little different. For example, with Who I Am, the obvious choice would be a selfie, or with Seeing Red, just photograph a red thing. Now don't get me wrong - the shots I took are by no means ground-breaking, but I did put more than a moment's thought into creating them. That is something which can help you elevate your work. Think "What is the obvious shot? Now, how can I make it better? What would they not expect?" (Now all chant together "The Spanish Inquisition!!!") 

Coming up with creative ideas is not easy, but I find coming up with any idea is a start, then work on it. Trying different angles, props and concepts all help you move in different directions. I find that music can help as it distracts your mind, elevates your mood and the words can inspire you. Below is my selection of submitted images.

I heard from Stacey that the PhotoMarathon was a great success, with entries from all around the world, even as far away as Australia. Oh, and she also happened to mention that I had won the Where Am I? category :)


Dade Freeman is a Brighton photographer producing portraits and headshots for actors, musicians, corporate business and other professional industries.