31 March 2009

Jack



"I suppose so, if you must!"

I found Jack in a local market town fruit and veg shop. He was happy to be photographed and it took one quick shot. Lovely easy smile.

I then discovered from a little conversation we had that that this is the Jack of Jack Richards and Son's fame. His yellow lorries are all over the place. I gave him the link to see his photo here- he joked that he'd get them to show him at work as he cannot even turn on a radio..

30 March 2009

Jean


"I can't think of anything that I'm afraid of really, not nowadays. I'm not afraid of death, I just think when your time comes, well that's it, and there is nothing you can do about it, so no point in being afraid"

"I didn't really get into much trouble as a child. I was pretty well behaved really. I think the biggest lesson my parents taught me was to work hard and be honest."

Jean was sitting on a bench, it looked as though she may be waiting for somebody. She joked that she felt her face was a bit worn really, but was still happy to be photographed and to talk a short while.

29 March 2009

Sally


"I think most people have fears don't they? I get afraid of upsetting people. Being misunderstood - yes, it's something like that"

Sally was willing to be photographed and very interested in this project. She was waiting for a friend. She looked very smart. She was bright, alert and easy to talk to.

We talked about the things that made her heart sing - "I think the most recent thing was George Bush leaving!"

28 March 2009

Monique



"everything is so small here! Even the McDonalds!"


I found Monique walking with her two friends - they were all in high spirits - talking and laughing.

When I stopped and asked to photograph her (she literally seemed to smile all the time, and I wanted to capture it), her two friends were slightly jealous. I ended up photographing them all. All the pictures were lovely, but I have decided to use my original choice for this blog.

They were visiting from California (or 'Cali' as they called it, resulting in some confusion on my part - 'calais??'. They were very patient with me). They loved England. And they had visited London recently - also loved it - 'though the buildings were a bit dirty'.

Monique said she'd love to sky dive one day

27 March 2009

Trisa


"I was a very headstrong child. I still am very headstrong.."

Trisa was peering out of the shop that she manages as I passed. We caught each other's eye and her face made an impact on me - the brightness of it mostly. I backtracked and her eyes followed me into the store, widening with curiosity and confusion by the second!
She happily agreed to be photographed - she was very easy to capture, she simply didn't try too hard

"My partner is the most important thing in my life. We've been together 17 years now - we're getting married this year"

"I do get ideas that other people think are odd, like I have got some rollerblades and I want to start rollerblading to work! I have a memory of being on rollerblades when I was younger and I was good at it, but I'm expecting it to feel very different now I'm older.."

26 March 2009

Nick



"I was pretty close to my dad. Still am. Best thing he ever taught me was how to ride a motorbike. I did get into big trouble once though, for stealing from a shop. Just a stupid little plastic toy thing with a parachute. I got caught."
I found Nick standing outside a pub at lunchtime having a quick break from his work. He looked quite intimidating at first approach, but as he said himself "never judge a book by it's cover".

25 March 2009

Alicia


"I've done quite a lot with my life really. I like to try different things. And I do what I can to look my best. That's all you can do really isn't it?"

I turned a corner in the city and found Alicia just stood by a bookshop, waiting for a friend. I was very pleased to find her.

24 March 2009

David


"the best day ever for me was when my stepdad left my mum"

I was very touched by this. David was playing his guitar in a side street. I have one other picture of him with his guitar, but this picture is closer to how he was, and more natural, as taken mid conversation. He seemed a very gentle, easy going and unassuming character.

23 March 2009

Keir


"I was a troubled child"

Keir grinned as he told me this. He also told me that this wasn't the first time somebody had asked to photograph him

"I'm doing alright for myself lately though. I'm a musician - industrial music, keyboards.....and I also do computer stuff. I'd like to make lots of money"

22 March 2009

Maurice and Barbara








Just on this occasion, I will break with tradition and post four photographs of two people. I found this couple walking together in a market town. They were looking in shop windows, talking, laughing and generally looking completely happy with their lot.
I asked if I could photograph Barbara initially, but then decided to take photographs of each of them after noticing what a lovely kind face Maurice had. (Barbara had said 'yes, he does have a lovely face')
We talked for a good long while, beginning with Barbara proudly announcing '80 and 85!'. I was astonished at this. They both look amazing. And they still had such energy. Barbara was telling me how when she popped into a shop a moment ago, Maurice had tried to hide around a corner - but she had spotted him when she came out. We all realised that what was keeping these two young was their sense of fun. Maurice looked proudly at Barbara as I took her photograph and as I photographed Maurice, Barbara adjusted his collar and jacket. These small gestures spoke volumns about the quality of their relationship.
Maurice asked towards the end 'if we get married, will you photograph the wedding?'. Barbara gently clouted him 'we're already married!'

21 March 2009

Sheila


"I'd love to climb Macchu Picchu in Mexico"

I noticed Sheila's cart first which was full of brightly coloured felt flowers that she'd made. She was setting up her cart in the city for trading. Very chatty and cheery and immediately agreed to be photographed - even offered to move her cart away from some bins in the background if it made the photography easier. We managed by changing the angle - which also created a lovely shadow/sunshine effect.
We talked a while about our children, about climbing mountains, and the problems of combining the two!

20 March 2009

Clive


"Why?" was Clive's first reply, when I asked to photograph him.

"I don't know why you noticed my face, I think I blend in perfectly with everybody else!"

He was amused by this whole process, but happy to oblige.
We chatted a little while and I asked a question or two. The best thing that's ever happened to Clive is his marriage and his two children. He sounded very content.

19 March 2009

Philip


"People. Communicating"

I had asked Philip - what was he good at?
I had just walked past an estate agents and he had been looking out of the window. Immediately, I decided he would be a good image for this project. I went into the office and there were several people working at their desks. I explained what I was doing and said I had seen a face. I then asked Philip. The other people in the office sighed with relief

He kindly stepped into the doorway and we talked some more as I took his photograph

"I'm afraid of failure" Philip didn't hesitate when I asked if he was afraid of anything

"When I was a child, I got into big trouble when I stole the school photograph money. I was supposed to hand in £7.50 to the school, but I pocketed it. It wasn't difficult for them to work out who had it"

18 March 2009

Jean


"An old girl like me?"

Dear Jean couldn't imagine why I wanted to photograph her, she thought it was very funny. I'd spotted her lovely face when I saw her chatting to a friend on a street corner.

"Oh my friend was just making me laugh so much. Her husband has false teeth...keeps taking them out. He took them out and left them on the sofa of all places. Well. The dog got them! And he chewed them up and now he needs to get a new set"

"I'm 93 now. Life can be hard now. I can hardly see, and you miss so much when you can't see well. But I try to get out every day. I have a lovely daughter, grandchildren, great grandchildren.
In that pub over there....sometimes I walk past and there are some people there outside who are very drunk and, you know, they can be very chatty. But I always say hello, and stop to chat, within reason... I think that's important. Everybody is a person aren't they? It's better to be friendly isn't it? One girl the other day....she had drunk quite a lot..you know..she came over to me.....and she is twice my size...she wrapped me up in her arms and said 'oh you are lovely, you always talk to me'. I thought to myself 'hmm, I don't really NEED this...!'...but what could I do?'
But you have to have the right...attitude...you do. And I know that if I got any trouble in the street, those people would be the first to step forward and help

17 March 2009

Girl



"oh! right here? oh, okay then!"

In my fluster and rush I forgot to ask her name!
I had such a small window of time to find a face today and I had such a struggle finding someone to ask. I caught sight of her walking with her friend. Her coat was bright red, her hair was flying about and she was smoking a cigarette.

She agreed to be photographed, she was very sweet and reassured me more than I needed to reassure her! We tried a shot with the cigarette, but somehow this one is better and clearer.

16 March 2009

James



"alright then".

I really expected James to say no, as he didn't look very impressed when I asked. I realised that he just had an understated style - didn't give very much away. He didn't try to do anything or pose, which was absolutely perfect. It was almost as though this happened to him everyday, he seemed very relaxed.

I found him while I was looking at some local railway works, lots of volunteers were around trying to bring an old railway back to life. It's quite a scene

"One of the blokes who works here told me I should come and look at it all - so I am"


15 March 2009

Lynette


"I don't think I ever did anything brave!"

I met Lynette for the first time while visiting a friend. She agreed to be photographed outside and was amused by these rather nosey questions
I liked her face. I liked the element of broodiness.

"I'm very proud of my sister, for all sorts of reasons. And I think my husband is very kind for putting up with all my misgivings and insecurities"

14 March 2009

Louise


"The bravest thing I ever did was delivering my best friend's baby. It's my job, but even so...it's very different when it's your best friend"

I very much enjoyed photographing and talking with Louise. She was curious about this project as she also likes to take photographs.

"A friend said recently that I needed to be kinder to myself. I was beating myself up about something, like you do. So I do try to be kinder. Don't always manage it though!"

13 March 2009

Chidi


"I work in a factory here, but the work isn't always there. It comes and goes"

Chidi was curious about this project but happy to take part. He was amused when I remarked that he had a great face - he's been told this many times.

"I was really a very quiet child..you know? My parents taught me to always be respectful"

12 March 2009

Ferda


"I think my name is Czech, but I am actually Turkish"

Ferda was chatting with friends on a bench, she kindly agreed to be photographed and also happily moved across the road to a less bright spot. Another thing I'm discovering is that if somebody is with their friends, it helps to move them slightly away - they tend to feel less self conscious when people they know aren't watching them.

I enjoyed photographing Ferda. She was very relaxed and straightforward.

"I wouldn't want to live forever. It would get boring for one thing!"

11 March 2009

Alan


"I made a film documentary in Moscow about Russian dissidents. In 1976"

We were talking about the bravest thing Alan had ever done. He put out his cigarette and told me this.

I had felt quite nervous taking this picture, as when I asked to photograph him minutes before he had simply said 'no you can't' rather abruptly, and walked off. I don't often get a no and it does take a moment or two to recover from feeling rather deflated and embarrassed.
As I turned back, thinking about heading back to the car, I saw him striding towards me. I averted my gaze, feeling slightly concerned that he was going to shout at me!
Infact he very kindly said 'sorry, I didn't mean to be so rude. Why do you want my photograph?'. I explained and he immediately said yes. I hadn't felt he had been rude, but was very touched by his returning.

10 March 2009

Diana


"I'm probably there now"

Diana said this when we were talking about what sort of age she considered to be the prime of life.
She was walking with a friend and I noticed her very bright unselfconscious smile from quite a distance away.
She laughed a lot during this (all three shots show a big smile), it was partly nervousness at agreeing to be photographed but it was also clear that she does laugh and smile a lot. It was genuine and I enjoyed capturing it.

I joked that yes, she was probably right and that it was all downhill from now - referring to the obvious fact that I was over a decade older than her and not nearly so vibrant. She suddenly felt slightly embarrassed - but saw the funny side.

Diana is originally from Greece. She came to Norwich when she began university seven years ago.

9 March 2009

James


"We've just joined the circus"

I spotted James at a bus stop with a female friend when I was driving down the street. They were moving around a lot. She was juggling. They looked happy, colourful and carefree. I drove into a side street to park my car, and ran back to the bus stop. A nightmare on the way as while preparing the settings on my camera, it refused to work and I had to struggle to get it to wake up (have to buy a new one soon!). Was sure that by the time I reached the stop they would be gone, as I saw two buses go past.
But there they were. And they were very cool about this puffed out red cheeked woman turning up and whooping"I can't believe you are still here!"

"Best decision I ever made was to join the circus. We really have just joined the circus. We're on our way now to our second tour with The Foolhardy Folk. I'd love to be a famous clown one day!"

8 March 2009

Lady


Don't feel I can call this post anything else. I was out shopping and discovered this lady.
I asked her if I could take her photograph and explained about this project. She was very surprised. With a healthy level of caution - she asked me more about it. She agreed to let me photograph her and after a little more talking - she wished me well with it all, but said she'd rather not have her name used. Another easy face to capture in one shot.

7 March 2009

David. Puppet Man


"people don't usually ask to take a picture"

He was surprised at me asking him directly. I was aware I could probably photograph him along with everyone else that just goes ahead and does so. But I ask everybody else, so figured really this should be no different. And at least this way he stopped bobbing about and I could get a more candid direct personal photograph.

Anyone from Norfolk is almost certainly familiar with the puppet man - he has become a cult figure.
For those not from these parts, he is a busker who stands in the same spot in the city centre. He has a small stereo playing cheesy old tunes. He holds a few puppets and just kind of jiggles them out. A simple routine.
People new to the area look worried and bewildered. Others are either fascinated or indifferent.
Anyway, seemed mad not to approach and ask for a photograph of his face. I deliberately didn't include the puppets as I wanted to capture JUST him.
He gave me this big grin. Just the one shot.
It was followed by quite a lengthy, often pretty surreal conversation. And this was interspersed with showing me photographs on his mobile phone.

"I think I most enjoyed life when I was about 19/20. When I was out having fun. Those are the best things I remember. I didn't really have all that much of a happy childhood. But those times were great"

6 March 2009

Victor


"I have a good memory of growing up in the country. I was evacuated to Devon during the war. Do you know what evacuated is?.....My older sister went to a different place. Eventually we returned to our family"

Victor was stood a while on the pavement, taking a moment before continuing to walk. He didn't hesitate to let me photograph him and talked freely. He asked questions and showed interest in this project. He liked it!

"I worked in newspapers all my life. All my adult life I did that.
It's most important, in your life, to find something you want to do. And then do it"

5 March 2009

Jill


"I remember sailing on a boat as a child to Malaya. To an uninhabited island. I was about 8. It was magical"

Jill was walking with two friends. She was rather shy at the thought of being photographed but was lovely enough to say yes anyway.

"I'm most proud of my boy. My son. My lovely Joe. And the art classes I run too"

4 March 2009

Rich


Rich is on his fishing boat here, with the sea behind him. I am standing above on the platform beside and he is smiling up at his two friends, who are teasing him mercilessly. They snuck off when I threatened to photograph them too - which is what made him grin.

"I work a very long day. It's hard work. 12-14 hour days. But I'm pleased with where I've got - I'm happy doing it"

3 March 2009

Luke


Luke was stood chatting to a friend. I explained about this project and he understood immediately and was totally happy to be photographed. He studies graphic design but is also a musician - guitar and vocals

"I'd really love to perform a large gig one day"

2 March 2009

Kev


"I don't breathe much"

Kev was sitting playing his flute, so I stopped further down the street to wait for him to take a break so that I could ask to photograph him. I waited a good 15/20 mins and he continued. I wandered off a while and then returned and waited more. Still he played.
Just as I was going to give up and move in (really didn't want to interrupt him), he stopped. Even then, as I nearly reached him, he was lifting the flute to continue.
He said I could photograph him. I said that I thought he'd never take a breath.
I didn't talk to him further as I saw he wished to continue, I simply made a donation, got his name and that one line.

1 March 2009

Man



Found this man walking alone through a carpark. He was walking slowly and dreamily. I asked to take his photograph and he simply nodded and stood still. He said nothing at all. I took two shots and he walked away as I asked if I could have his name, either didn't hear me or didn't want to tell me. He then said 'that'll cost you a fiver!' and laughed to himself as he continued to walk.