All Happens on the Farm

With the world starting to open up again, it’s lovely to have plenty of shoots booked in for the weeks and months ahead.One recent shoot saw me in the middle of the Northamptonshire countryside, on a farm up to my knees in……. well, not quite that bad, in fact, it was a great experience. and so nice to be out, talking, shooting images and doing what I love!

I was shooting for one of the UK’s premier workwear brands, producing material of their new lines and we were blessed with all manor of conditions to really provide a real life workout.The model (also radio & tv presenter) Oliver Tompkins was on fine form, taking to farming life

#shoot#model#catalogueshoot#photography#prophotographer

Portrait of Muhammad in Sudan

Continuing with the portrait theme from the epic cycle ride to Rwanda in 2012, this is a portrait of Muhammad in Sudan.

I had packed up and left my pitch in the desert at 5am – it was peaceful, beautiful and really quite special. 30 degrees already, it was going to be a hot one.
at 65 miles the temperature was around 40 degrees, so I slept for three hrs in a storm drain (the only shade available!) Eventually, after 85 miles, I arrived in Abri. Famished, hot & bothered. I enjoyed four eggs, 6 pita breads and handfuls of salt. It was the only thing available in the village and Muhammad’s father (who cooked my eggs) was a godsend.

Muhammad was leaning against the stunning blue washed wall and it simply made the most beautiful portrait.

After an epic day in the saddle, this was the perfect end!

A Life in Beet

Another portrait from the social portrait series, taken in 2019.Alex Mason – A life in Sugar Beet Spoken in his own words in 2019.

“if you’re a long way from it, it’s quite a pleasant smell”It was long journey to Norfolk, in fact I guess it all started around 1960.I had just got my Highers (education) in Fife and got a job in a laboratory in Scotland.

After a while I was offered a management course, which ultimately saw me take management positions at factories in Shropshire, Kings Lynn, Newmark and eventually to Cantley in 1990, where I was manager until 2007. From there, I also took on responsibility for the Ipswich and Downham market site.I started to have meetings with the local community, we built relationships and became an integral part of the community.

It was an enjoyable place to work and be part of.

’m firmly part of Norfolk now, in fact, many years ago we were part of the Norfolk Caledonian society, I was secretary for the society for a time and although this doesn’t continue anymore, we still meet twice a year for lunch.

#norfolk#broads#sugarbeet#portraiture

Portrait of Karina | Norwich

Continuing with the portrait theme and stories about positive immigration. I shot this portrait of Karina in Norwich around two years ago, as part of the Portraits project of people (still ongoing) who live, work and have moved to Norfolk & Suffolk.

Spoken in her own words.

“I come from San Paulo, Brazil and this is my second time in the UK, we came to Norwich this time as my Husband got a job working for Aviva. The first time we were in the UK was 2014, when we were based in Bexley Heath in Kent, but this was not a good experience for me because I could not speak English and my daughter was only 6 months old.

I found it difficult with communication and I didn’t feel good at all, so we went back to Brazil whilst my Husband remained working in the UK, because he was unable to find a job back in Brazil due to the economic situation. I went to university to study management. I then decided to return to the UK to try again and I now feel very happy here. I can’t explain what happened the first time, but something made me feel bad, but now I would really like to stay here. Norwich I love, with the Broads, nature and you can do a lot outside, even if the weather is not great.

The schools are very good here also. I have made friends through my English class also. All my Family are in Brazil, it was just my Husband, Daughter and myself who have come to the UK. We hope to visit them in August time. It is very difficult to leave when we go home, a little bit of my heart remains there, but I am also excited to come back here, it feels like home. I am hoping to do volunteer work to help progress my English and get to know more people. I think volunteering is good as I can give my time to help others, and give my experiences to others. We have lived in Portugal for 9 years, my Daughter is Portuguese. I didn’t come from a rich family and we had financial difficulties, I had lots of different jobs. I started working when I was 13 years old to help my Family, cleaning houses. I gave all my money I earnt to my Mother”

#portrait#positive#stories#immigration#Norfolk

“We are the last of the hunters”

Photographed in 2019 as part of theportraits.co.uk social documentary series and spoken in his own words.
Lowestoft Skipper Melvin.

At 16 I went to sea, I was a merchant seaman, travelling around the world and learning a lot.
In my late twenties I returned home and had a family – it’s my hobby that is my job. It’s a job you can’t do for the money, you must want to do it.
Being a born optimist is a requirement. Just because you didn’t catch finish last month or last week, doesn’t mean you won’t tomorrow. You must remain positive.

Generally, things go in cycles, nature goes in cycles, that’s just part of life.

We catch a lot of Welks. Of course, Fishing is very seasonable, summer is completely different to Winter. Then it’s mainly long lines, catching Cod, Skate, dog-fish, seabass etc. In the summer we mainly use nets, catching dove sole, whiting, plaice, brills, turbots.
It’s traditionally been like this for smaller vessels for many years.
Sadly now, it’s virtually impossible for a young person to join the industry and create a lifestyle to suit.

The boat is called the four daughters, a reflection of my lovely family.
You find a clean shiny boat; I’ll show you a boat that doesn’t go to sea. It’s a dirty, grimy job, but hugely enjoyable. In Winter it can be tough, 4am starts when everyone else is in bed, it’s dark, cold and wet and I’m off to sea. It’s certainly not for everyone.

#lowestoft#suffolk#broads#sea#abp#port#portraiture#fishermen

Ash – Envy Barbers | Lowestoft

Good luck to all those retailers/pubs/gyms& hairdressers opening today! Whilst working on some lockdown portraits, I popped over to Envy Barbers in Lowestoft and shot this striking portrait of owner Ash.

I don’t normally shoot portraiture this wide, but felt with his striking furniture and colours suited the angles perfectly.

#envyhair#lowestoft#suffolk#portraits

The places I shoot!

The things we Photographers do to get ‘that’ shot… I must admit, it was a joy to be out shooting imagery again for clients… and on a wintery day, what better place to be that climbing a grain store in the Northamptonshire countryside!

Those memories of a fun childhood climbing grain stores & jumping off hay bales came flooding back

#Photographer#UK#NikonUK#Strobe#Models#catalogueshoo

#KQPrivateView 25th March

Delighted to be presenting on Thursday @ the Knowledge Quarter in London, talking about some of my imagery from May 2020 and my time spent with Age UK Camden during their #Covid19 community response.

What’s the visual story behind @AgeUKCamden’s response to the pandemic?

On 25 March at our #KQPrivateView, photographer @Jules_Foto will be highlighting Age UK Camden’s passion for providing services for people in a challenging environment.
Book: http://ow.ly/Z0H150DYMYn

AgeUK Camden – Covid19 Response 2020

Portrait of a Shop Keeper, Mijatovac

Day 13 of cycling from Suffolk to Rwanda… on a another epic day in the saddle (total of 102 miles) I had cycled roughly 80 miles when I came across this wonderful little store on the outskirts of a village near Mijatovac in Serbia – it was a wooden shack by the road and was a real godsend as energy levels were dipping!

Chomping down on bread, biscuits and coca cola, I replenished my energy levels sitting on a stool inside the shop, attempting to communicate with this lovely lady. We didn’t really understand each other, but it’s amazing what a smile does.Thankfully she posed for a photo (I just loved the aesthetics of the small wooden building), becoming part of my story of the life changing journey I was on.

Interestingly, as I was packing the bag and leaving, a chap in a new Mercedes pulled up and chatted in depth with her, asking me who I was & what I was doing in this part of Serbia.

He was nice enough – but I later found out he would have been part of the local mafia.

#travel#photography#portraiture#serbia#people#story#cycletorwanda

Llessa, Eastern Desert, Egypt

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be uploading a selection of portraiture that I shot in 2012 when I cycled through East Africa.
These portraits represent some of the remarkable people I met throughout the 5500 mile cycle adventure.

Ilessa. Photographed in Egypt, 2012.
The story of how I met IIessa is a fascinating one.
Awaiting the ferry to Sudan, I was based in Aswan for an extra 7 days, meeting locals, recovering from illness and preparing for the harsh Sudanese desert.
I decided to stretch the legs and cycled north along dusty tracks out of Aswan into the desert. After roughly 20 miles I came across a small oasis. It was a truly spectacular scene. No infrastructure and just locals on donkeys and the odd beaten up car. I remember it well, it was roughly 43 degrees and seeing this small Oasis was a god send. Standing drinking some lukewarm water, a young lad came over on his donkey. We chatted and he invited me to his house. Following a series of tracks I arrived at a small house deep within the Oasis. I spent four hours in the company of the family, meeting cousins, uncles and friends. They were incredibly hospitable people, providing me with fresh pita, meat and fruit.
During this time I met Lessa, a beautiful young girl who was happy to pose for a portrait.
I took her address (managing to keep it safe through the rest of Africa!) and sent her copies of the photos to her father.
I feel incredibly blessed to have had these interactions with such honest kind individuals.