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Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 11.27.48

Project Portrait: Day 123

Next up we have Kathleen Patricia Keefe. Kathleen got in touch with me after I shot Adah Parris last week and wanted to put her name forward. This is one of the reasons why I have loved doing this project – it’s given me the chance to connect with people and hear their stories in ways I never thought possible. For Kathleen, she’s an artist, a milliner and a book binder. She’s also a carer, charity shop volunteer and life long fan of Frida Kahlo. She has spent her life collecting clothes and trinkets that remind her of the artist ever since discovering her work in art class at school. So for this photo I wanted to make this an ode to one of Kahlo’s paintings. Frida was famed for her strong, very direct self-portraits that were loaded with symbolism. She often used bright colours and objects that provided very direct references to where she was in her life. This is the first of two portraits I took of Kathleen – the second will come on Wednesday. In the half an hour I spent with her, she gave off this wonderfully calm, centred and above all, peaceful vibe. Which from what I know, is something Frida Kahlo always struggled to find. But it’s amazing how someone can find a sense of self through others – and there’s a little Frida pin on Kathleen’s lapel that nods to that. This was one of the most relaxed, enjoyable and above all, fun shoots that I’ve done and I can’t wait to share with you the next two from this series.

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Project Portrait: Day 122

Next up we have Hannah Ross. I met Hannah while on my therapy training course last year. Hannah works for ActionAid when she’s not exploring psychodynamic ideas with me. This was shot at her home in south London. For this portrait I wanted to show Hannah as the strong, articulate, independent woman that I saw sat across me during our sessions. But despite the bright red hair and the love of colour (her living room was full of it), I always felt there was a quieter side to her. I got the sense there was more than meets the eye, in the best possible way. So I took lots of photos of Hannah at home, a lot were very good, and I’d be more than happy to share them. But as I’m learning with these photos, I’m trying to do more than just get the exposure and framing right. I don’t want these to just be headshots. I’m trying to get these images to say something – that doesn’t necessarily require these lengthy descriptions to go with them. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but having lots of interesting people around to shoot makes it a lot easier. 🙂 Thanks Hannah!

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Project Portrait: Day 131

Next up is another photo from my weekend spent with my family. This is my brother, Chris. About 12 years ago he bought a one way ticket to Pakistan after he graduated university and never came back. During that time he’s travelled throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand, had a brief stint in Turkey before cycling the entire length of South America on a bicycle. You could say he’s a bit of a nomad. That was, until the guy in his arms came along. That’s Bruno, his six month-old son. Since then he’s been getting used to fatherhood – which from seeing my brother for the first time face-to-face in three years, looks bloody hard. So for this photo, we were riding an old steam train (my dad’s idea) and Chris was sat in the back feeding Roux on his own and I just saw this image and thought it went some way to summing up the above. The thoughtful look out the window, the dutiful pose, it kind of reminded me of Dorothea’s Lange beautiful photo of a migrant mother during the Great Depression. I thought a lot about how I was going to capture my brother, this wasn’t the photo I was expecting to use, but seemed to say more about Chris now, than it did the brother I grew up with.

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Project Portrait: Day 120

Next up we have only my second group photo in over 100 portraits! But this is a very special photo for me – this is a portrait of my family. Now for people that know me, they’ll know that my family has been through a lot over the past 15 years. But despite our ups and downs, we came together last weekend. The last time we saw each other face-to-face, my two nieces and nephew weren’t around, nor my wonderful fiancee, Emily, or Elaine, my step mum. But they’ve been amazing additions to my family and it was a great privilege to bring them all together – despite the family tradition of a) resisting photos and b) making fun of my camera equipment. One of the main reasons I have loved doing this project is because it’s allowed me to spend time with people, some I knew, some I have yet to. With this photo, I got to spend a day with my family, after a long hiatus. I hope this is just one of many photos I get to create with them.