Inspirational Story for #Suffolkday

As #Suffolkday is around the corner, I wanted to share an inspirational portrait and an incredible story from someone I met in 2019 and photographed as part of the Water, Mills and Marshes: the Broads Landscape Partnership funded portraiture project.


Ivan Humble
Ex English Defence League Regional Organiser

“I’ve been a Lowestoft lad all my life. I had the usual upbringing, to be fair it was pretty good compared to most on my estate.

I suffered with Mental health issues and had a craving to be normal. I started smoking cannabis, which helped in a way, but then I was spending a lot of time indoors, reading stuff, browsing the internet and stuff like that. I guess it all really changed in 2009.
Our troops had a homecoming parade in Luton and I remember seeing the abuse the troops were getting from some of the Luton residents. It was a real concern for me and I felt disgruntled.

I put a paragraph on Facebook, ranting about what had happened. Within minutes, someone got in contact and it felt like someone was interested in me and we talked for hours. He mentioned about a street protest and to be honest, you got to remember my life was shit at the time. It was a tough time. Suddenly I felt part of something. Within four months we went to a protest and it kicked off, people started to notice me and I was becoming something. I was becoming something in the EDL, it was like a football awayday. I felt like a man again.
I guess things began to change a little after a demo in Peterborough. We caused a lot of problems.
A couple of weeks later, the mosque we harassed invited us (regional EDL) back for a cup of tea and cake. I couldn’t get my head around it. But that stuck with me for a year or so.
Life changed when I was in Norwich a year later. Two Muslim women passed me; they were at a religious meeting in the forum, so I followed them. I was angry, knocking on the windows. A man came out, an awkward silence followed, I had adopted a stance, ready in case something happened. I then said I’m EDL.. he moved towards me and hugged me, saying he had wanted to meet with the EDL for some time.
Over time we started talking weekly, monthly and gradually life began to change. It took a long time and was a slow process, but was really productive. I started talking to a former Jihadist in Ipswich and we understood each other. I learnt a lot from him and a bond was formed.
I now work with intervention charities and put something back into the community. Labels are dangerous, I’ve learnt that”

#suffolk #lowestoft #mentalhealth #lifechanging #access #portraiture

Gennady

Gennady kindly posed for a portrait in 2019 as part of the ongoing #portraiture project.
Like many of the subjects, his story is both fascinating and incredibly moving.
A shortened version is below.

Gennady arrived in the UK around 19 years ago, due to the political situation in Eastern Europe.
First moving to the Midlands. Eventually he found himself in Lowestoft, after praying that he would be able to continue his fishing career.
“I came to the town, walked the streets and had nothing, no money and had lost hope. Eventually I stumbled across the Bethal Church. That’s when things changed, I found work on the docks and have been here ever since”
I haven’t seen my family for 11 years, I am waiting for a passport, it’s not easy, but with the support of friends, family and the church and it is bearable”

#watermillsandmasrhes #portraiture #portrait #lowestoft #fishing #suffolk #fisherman

Last Day of Portrait. at Skippings Gallery | Great Yarmouth

Today is the final day of Portrait. being shown at the lovely Skippings Gallery – open until 4pm this afternoon.
Although I’ve only been at the gallery on a couple of days, I have heard it’s been really well received with some good numbers coming through the door – so thank you!
It’s always a pleasure to show ones work to new audiences.
Portrait. is continuing over the next two/three years and I’m on the look out for further people willing to model for the project, which will ultimately end in a published book of the work.
theportraits.co.uk
Broads Authority #norfolk #suffolk #greatyarmouth #exhibition #whatson #norwich #englishplus #Watermillsandmarshes #timeandtide

Wonderful Winter Wedding in Suffolk

I’m delighted to share some further images from the lovely wedding of Gary & Tina, held at the stunning Woodhall Manor, near Woodbridge.

An intimate winter wedding was something I’ve never had the pleasure of photographing, but WOW, what an idea… everything just seemed to work – although the light disappears quickly, it does bring other options to the table (eg, sparkler /night images) and thankfully we were blessed with some lovely light and dry weather.

Wishing you much happiness Tina & Gary x

In Sunny Lowestoft with Access Community

I was recently back in sunny (well, it was damp & cloudy actually… in fact the amazing backdrops made it feel sunny!) Lowestoft to work with the fabulous Access Community, shooting material of their passionate staff, amazing volunteers and dedicated service users.
 
I traveled to a few of their sites, meeting some really passionate people who are making change in the Suffolk community – certainly not an easy job in our time of constant social care cuts – but the determination shines through and it’s down to organisations like these that help to shape our communities for the better and I feel privileged to be able to provide some form of photographic record of this.

Creative Annual Report Photography

When a call comes in for a shoot, asking you to capture images for the forthcoming annual report, naturally a certain style / preconception comes to mind… within a very short amount of time and following a meeting with the dynamic Chief Executive those preconceptions were blown out of the water as Emma’s plans for a dynamic, vibrant and inclusive Annual Report came to life.

Working with the staff of Access Community Trust
volunteers and service users I had great fun over a day and half shooting images in different settings around the town of Lowestoft – by the end of the second day the report begun to come to life – a selection of vibrant images captured the passion and commitment of the staff, the self-belief of volunteers and service users and provided a perfect visual story to the report, continuing their amazing inclusive commitment.

“The making of” is also available to view
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxpZbWN1S3E&t=4s

#community #annualreport #Photography #portraiture #norfolk #suffolk

Water, Mills & Marshes Performance

On Wednesday 9 May the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft saw a live performance by pupils of Lowestoft Sixth Form College and Pakefield High School when they concluded their project to compose, record and perform an album of songs inspired by the Broads. The finished album now kicks off a new competition which will see the pupil’s work go ‘on tour’

The pupils drew their inspiration for the album from a trip to Halvergate Marshes where they were able to spend time immersed in the Halvergate area of the Broads National Park. The experience was then used as a muse from which to draw inspiration as they took time in the classroom to work individually and in groups to compose, write and produce their own score of music.

#lowestoft #broads #school #music #performance #watermillsmarshes

Corporate clients invest in photography

I’m fortunate enough to work with a handful of terrific corporate clients who invest in photography – they have ditched cheap universal stock photography and all the associated problems these images bring (the same images on similar businesses etc) and instead believe in creating their own imagery of staff and clients – real people and a real focus on individuals.

Recently I was sent out to the coast to photograph one of their clients, a landlord who has a reputation for providing fabulous property services, as well as renovating some of the gorgeous Victorian properties along the seafront.