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Project Portrait: Day 130

Next up we have Glykeria Kissa and Antonis Ninos – a lovely couple who I’ve worked with on multiple occasions. They came down to the studio for my portrait marathon. For this shot I wanted to try and convey how they are together. They met on an island in Greece (where they’re both from) when they were teenagers, and have been together for eight years since. They’ve traveled together, lived together, studied together and now find themselves in London together, graduating from their Masters and heading out into the world together. So for this shot I wanted to try and show that connection. How a relationship is made up of two people pulling together to make the whole thing work. How two faces make up one if you will. I have yet to met a sweeter, more dedicated couple to each other.

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Project Portrait: Day 129

Next up we have Sam Butterfield and his lovely daughter Marlie. They were another brave pair who put their names forward to come and sit for me. The original plan was to shoot just Sam but he asked if it was ok to bring Marlie with him. She was a bit shy and looked a bored while I was setting up my lighting to shoot Sam. So I asked if we could do something together. Marlie really liked climbing so I found the only thing she could climb on, her dad. She was a bit reluctant at first but soon relaxed into the idea of having her dad as a climbing frame and this wonderful image presented itself. It’s been a huge joy to have people take time out of their lives to come and sit for me, and it’s even more of a pleasure when I get the chance to share work that I think has so much joy in it. I’ll be posting my portrait of Sam later in the week but wanted to share this one first. If you’d like to be part of the series, please do get in touch

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Project Portrait: Day 128

Next up we had the lovely Anna Stanford who is an old old old friend of mine I haven’t seen in a bloody long time. Anna swung by my first marathon photo session – more to come from this – and we had a right good catch-up. Me and Anna first met about 10 years ago when I was first starting out as a journalist writing gig reviews for a now long-dead site called Dogmanet. It wasn’t paid but it meant we got to go and see new bands every night of the week, which was a pretty sweet deal. Anna is now running the online world of Design Bridge, but still enjoys a good gig. For this photo I wanted to hark back a bit to the days we both spent in dingy pubs and clubs watching new-rave get everyone very excited – and then promptly disappear. But instead of the dinge and day-glo, I wanted to put Anna in more opulent surroundings, to suggest we’ve all grown up a bit. In more ways than one. If you’d like to be part of my project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Project Portrait: Day 127

Next up we have the wonderful and inspiring Melanie Denyer. Melanie volunteered to be part of this project after seeing some of my earlier work. In fact, she discovered it by chance as she moderates the FB page of the studio I work in and saw me tagging it as a location. With every new person that comes and sits for this project, I always ask them the deceptively simple question, “tell me a bit about yourself.” It sounds easy but I’ve come to realise it really isn’t. It requires someone to have a sense of the journey they’ve been on, and how difficult (and positive) experiences have shaped who they are today. I’m loathe to quote Steve Jobs, but it does make a lot of sense in this context. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” For Melanie those dots have been difficult, challenging and life altering pretty much since birth. When I asked her why she volunteered to have a portrait she said, “I’m tired of hiding all the time and saw this as an opportunity to prove that.” So for this photo I wanted to show Melanie emerging out of the darkness and into the light. It’s a portrait about hope and overcoming. About the start of something new. Melanie was an absolute joy to photograph and we had a big hug at the end as I felt we’d both connected over all the above, and hopefully this portrait.