30 June 2009


"Am I handsome enough?"

Kishor asked this just before I snapped. I felt quite anxious approaching Kishor as he looked VERY serious and lost in thought.

But he smiled this very gentle smile immediately and it was fine. Too often I don't approach those who look very serious - I'm sure this is a mistake. Some people just do have very serious faces, but I think this makes their smiles all the more reassuring.

"I would love to go on a world tour"

29 June 2009


"I'd love to see more of the punk scene, I'd like to get to see more of the heart of it"

Niccii was sitting with some friends and was very cool and calm about being photographed. Very easy to photograph too. It all felt very relaxed and easy going.

"I'm retaking my GCSE's right now. I want to study Art. I'm into Political Art. Art that says stuff...."

"....I was in London during the G20 and was chased around London for 4 and a 1/2 hours by the police. Me and some others. It was a peaceful process. It was on the same day that man died"

28 June 2009

Keith (Mac)

"My name is Keith but everyone knows me as Mac"

Keith was walking with another man when I approached. When I asked to photograph him, he joked "Am I that handsome?". Did I mean him or his friend? I joked that I wanted him as his face was more wrinkled. His friend remarked "But I'M older....!"

"How old do you think I am? Go on, guess" asked Keith as I took my shot.
I nervously guessed 67 and was thankfully 5 years out on the flattering side.

His friend took pictures on his mobile phone of this whole process.

"The most important value my parents taught me was honesty I think. And the best decision I ever made was to buy my own property"

27 June 2009


"I'm scared of women. And the older they get, the scarier they get!"

John was very amused and astonished at me asking to photograph him - "why me?...I haven't shaved or anything today!"

"The best experience of my life was watching the births of my children"

"...I'm not frightened of dying itself, not really..yet one of the most terrifying moments of my life was when I was in the forces, national service, I was a medic, based in Malaya, and we actually came under fire. It was really terrifying. And I don't think people really realise, about the injuries that were suffered by the soldiers, some of the things I saw were just horrible"

26 June 2009


"There are so many things I still want to do"

Kahverry is a medical student at the moment. I was very grateful that she agreed to be photographed, as we were in quite a busy area, so lots of opportunity for other people to stare and wonder!

"I would like to go to the desert. I guess that sounds a bit odd! I'd love to go on camel rides..."

"..I grew up in Wales. I remember most the strong feeling of community, it felt free and safe"

25 June 2009


"I'd like to jump out of a plane.....with a parachute of course"

Mark literally had just a moment or two, he was finishing his lunch outside of his work. He was rather taken aback by it all, but took it all in his stride brilliantly

"A highlight for me was when I went to Canada. I went and stayed with a friend in Toronto. It was the middle of winter. Minus 40 degrees. It was great"

24 June 2009


"I would love to go to Florence one day"

Pras laughed a lot as I photographed him. It was sort of my fault, as I had remarked 'you looked a bit scared' after the first shot and that sort of helped him relax, but he found it hard to stop laughing.

"I was raised in Sri Lanka but I have been here about 8 years now. It's very different. I do like it. It's growing on me..."

"...I do a lot of extreme sports. I love sky diving.."

23 June 2009


"Soon I'm moving to Bahrain"

Jill mentioned this shortly after remarking "I'm boring.." ! I was amazed at this, I said it was such a big step to take.

"Well, nowhere is a million miles away nowadays is it? It's amazing where you can get from Norwich airport! I've got my sister there, she's been there years. I've been in my job for 27 years, so it'll be kind of retiring. And it'll feel odd. But exciting as well"

We talked about this plan some more and then I also asked Jill about her childhood

"...very different from the childhood most kids have now. I got into trouble for scrumping, got caught nicking apples. I don't think kids nowadays even do scrumping"

22 June 2009


"I'd love to go on an Africa Safari!"

I enjoyed chatting with Laila. She is a strong character. This comes across in her face. She also has a fantastic sense of humour.

"My three children are the most precious thing ever. I'm so proud of them" ...

"...A friend did a very kind thing for me once. I was having a bit of a bad time and she came up to me when I was at the school and handed me a little box of belgian chocolates... just because.
It meant so much"

21 June 2009


"Really I'm a bit of a coward....not really much of a risk taker"

I approached Rhea as she was sitting with her friend on a bench. She looked as though she had a strong personality, matched by strong features and contrast. Interestingly, she wasn't really looking anything like she does in this picture - she was moving very freely and laughing. When I asked to take her photograph she agreed and then began to pull these mischevious poses - pulling her hair forward, head down, eyes up. I liked it though, it makes a fun interesting shot

"I'm proud that I made it through high school, but we were just talking about how we wouldn't go back even if we were paid"

20 June 2009


"I'm proud of my three stepkids"

Bradley doesn't enjoy being photographed but was happy to support this project! We took the pictures very quickly, and then talked a short while in the sunshine

"The day that Norwich City got promoted and we had that big parade in the city...that was amazing. That's one of my favourite days ever..."

We talked about when Bradley was younger. He's one of six boys..

"I got into big trouble for riding motorbikes around fields near my home.....and there was the time I was messing about with a mate, lighting a fire, and we set fire to a few trees..."

19 June 2009


"Yeah, sure, why not? It's a bit embarrassing, but who cares?!"
Hafidha and I chatted for a good 5-10 mins around taking 2 shots. She was very interested in my project and fine to be photographed. We were in quite a busy area of the city, but it's interesting how reasonably unaware both can become once absorbed with the task in hand.

She gave me both these names -'I am a new muslim. Hafidha is my muslim name'.

Hafidha said more than anything else, she would love to go to Africa and as she walked away she was pondering on how determined she was to do this and said 'definitely one day!'

18 June 2009


"So much of the art has disappeared"

Colin was talking to me about his work, he designs buildings. We also talked about photography, he has had an interest in it for years and we talked about the phasing out of film photography - how clever digital is, but how much less beautiful the process seems. We talked about how many of us still have our equipment and chemicals sat in the loft!

"I've still got my old camera, but I can't buy the film for it anymore...this is the problem..."

"...I'd love to go to Italy, they've always had great design. The buildings...this is what has been lost. Design based manufacturing. It's all disappearing. It all comes back to money. The years I spent when I was younger at Art College, I went to the Royal College Of Art, were some of the best"

17 June 2009


"I remember playing in a waterfall as a child, near my home"

Alex was painting a wooden structure at Bewilderwood, an adventure park in Norfolk. All of the amazing treehouses there have been beautifully painted and illustrated and Alex did this. I was spending some time there, without my children, and spotted Alex as I was leaving. I peered through the wire fence that was protecting the painting area and asked her - she agreed to be photographed.

"I grew up in Hong Kong, didn't leave until I was 13. And it took years to get used to being here. Such a change. The wildlife and surroundings of Hong Kong are absolutely beautiful and it's what I remember most of all..."

"....I am a local artist. I sometimes exhibit. I paint landscapes, portraits, all sorts"

16 June 2009


"I am now the head of five generations"

Constance is 87. We sat on a bench and talked for a while about some of her life experiences, the good parts and some of the painful losses - the more difficult times. Constance is a very strong woman.

"I grew up in the country, here in Norfolk. In Ditchingham. My family owned a small-holding. I used to wash the eggs that came! Two good things I remember that happened to me when I was older. I was on the jury for a shotgun case, for two weeks! And I delivered a friend's baby. All by myself. I happened to be awake in the night, at 4am, with my small son, as he had toothache and the doorbell rang. A woman I hardly knew said she was crawling around the bushes just looking for a light, she needed help. I left my son with my husband and went and delivered her baby"

15 June 2009


"I'd love to be a dancer. I've never trained or done it properly, but I love it."

Chantelle was pushing her daughter down the street in her buggy and was initially most disconcerted by my request. But she agreed after I explained the project.

"One of the best things that happened when I was a child was my brother falling out of a tree into a bin. He was shouting at me from a tree, showing off, and he fell out, straight into a bin. It was brilliant"

14 June 2009


"I'd like to go camel trekking!"

Paul is a farrier. Also a blacksmith. He agreed to be photographed but was a little nervous once I picked up the camera, so I had to be quick again!

"I got into trouble as a child for loads of things, but my mate and I got in really big trouble when we were playing about outside and found that the gardener had left out the big ride-on lawnmower. So, we got on it and rode it around the neighbourhood. Got into big trouble for that"

13 June 2009


"I'm scared of storms. And maybugs!"

Mary was in her garden and agreed to take part in this project. She is a fine art valuer who runs her own business. She was easy to talk to and we got the shots very quickly.

"I'm scared of storms, the whole thing, the lightning, the noise. When we moved here to this house there was a huge storm and lightning struck the big telegraph pole just over there. The tv and video blew up....it was horrible. And Im scared of maybugs. Horrible furry things that bumble about. I had broken my collar bone once and was recovering, sat in bed in a neck brace and plaster. And a huge maybug flew in and was heading straight for me. Well, what do you do? You start flaying your arms about don't you? So I did, and it all got broken again, it was a mess, took ages to heal"

12 June 2009


"I'd quite like a year off actually. I think I'd go camping for a year"

Peter works as a bar manager. I spotted him through a pub doorway and wandered in to ask. He was fine about it and relaxed about the process.

"I'm a boring old fart really!" was his first remark as we chatted.

"I've worked in the pub trade for 25 years now....
...I was brought up in the country. That was just great. Norwich is my home now, but being brought up in the country was just great"

11 June 2009


"Why would you want a face like mine?"

Eric thought it was most odd, but agreed. If only because he'd just cycled quite a few miles and needed to stop a moment to recover!

"I've been to America four times. Not sure I'll get to go again, but I'd dearly love to"

Eric also talked to me about a photographic project he'd been involved in with his camera club - Sprowston Camera Club. So he had some sympathies for how hard it can be approaching strangers!

We talked a little about how it had been for him as a child. He has lived in Norfolk all his life

"Not only did I have more freedom, to go out and play, but I also made some of my own toys. Many of the children did. No computer games, nothing like that. We made more out of less"

10 June 2009


"We've been married 20 years. 20 years today!"

Sandra is married to this town's local butcher and was working in the store when I asked to take her photograph. She also hates being photographed. I am always especially grateful and grovelly when people that hate it say yes!

"I'd love to see Liberty before I die. The Statue Of Liberty' If I can just do that..."

"I love to watch old black and white movies. The old films. I'm a bit of a Dean Martin fan....!"

9 June 2009


"One of my best childhood memories is of playing in the snow"

Mel said she hates being photographed but kindly let me go ahead. I didn't find her difficult to photograph at all. Her youngest daughter,a toddler, was pottering all around us, interested in what was going on.

"I'm training in beauty therapy. It can be a struggle working it all around the children"

8 June 2009


"I went canoeing on Wednesday. I hated it. I'm never going again"

Shakira was working in a shop when I spotted her. It was pouring with rain, so looking on the streets outside wasn't the easiest option. She kindly agreed to let me take her photograph in the doorway.

"As well as working here, I do Shiatsu - which I love. And I really want to go to Italy one day"

7 June 2009


"I was in the Royal Military Police. And then the French Foreign Legion. That all went wrong...for lots of reasons. I'm now a committed Christian"

I was actually quite nervous approaching Gary as he sat in his black cab. It felt fine as soon as we talked. Not sure what I was nervous about! It was all rather chaotic and comical - taking a shot, trying to talk, intermittently I was required to shuffle foward some more as he moved along in the taxi rank area - other taxi drivers peering at me out of their windows.

"I'm training up to row across the Atlantic Oceon. From Lisbon to Antigua. That's 4200 miles. I'm doing it for Mulitple Sclerosis research. And it would be a world record journey to row"

"Becoming a Christian changed my life. I was never religious. At all. But many people would benefit from the basic message - taking care of each other"

Gary gave me a small poster about his rowing trip:-

6 June 2009


"I think I'd like to do more travelling one day"

Jack was with some friends in a churchyard. They were cooking food outside and preparing for a Brazilian night that was happening in the evening. Music was playing, they were all very friendly and totally okay with me wandering up to them with my camera

"I run a veggie food and film/music cafe. It's a big wooden and canvas dome I built with my dad and we join on two wooden yurts with it. I take it to festivals and stuff like that and people hire it. It's like a big chill out area. I'm taking it to Glastonbury this year for the first time"

I was quite amazed and impressed with his project. He had found something he loved and was doing well with it. I said I would be happy to link to his project here!

5 June 2009


"I have been running this shop for 21 years. 21 years this week! And considering what I thought I might do...lawyer?...teacher?...it's incredible really"

Naomi runs 'Inanna's Festival', a store that sells all things magical and spiritual. Naomi was happy to step into the doorway for a photograph and we chatted a little while inside the shop

"...I have so many fond childhood memories. One of the most vivid is of being a small child, collecting berries and stones to make magical potions"

"...running this store has been an amazing experience. Sharing in people's lives, interests and journeys. People have so often brought flowers, gifts, kind words"

4 June 2009


"I've just been walking about. Handing in my CV all over the place - trying to get a job"

I admit Robert's hair first caught my eye, but his face is interesting too, somehow couldn't imagine him without a dramatic hairstyle :-
"It does take ages to sort - even when I was at school I used to get into trouble for my hairstyles"

Robert is a hairdresser, finished college and is looking for work here - "I'd love to run my own salon one day"

"I've also just got back from two years living in Crete. Working outside nightclubs, getting people into the clubs"

3 June 2009


"I think I'd like to parachute from a plane. I'm scared of heights, so no idea how that would work. Someone would have to kick me out I suppose"

Chris was taking a break from his butchers job at a supermarket and agreed to be photographed. He has a great sense of humour. He felt a bit awkward with the whole thing, but got through it somehow!

"I am also quite into tattoos. I have a few. Have to keep them covered for work though. I like to design tattoos as well"

2 June 2009


"I'd really love to fly. Actually fly. Not in an aeroplane. Sometimes I think about that and imagine that someone somewhere can really do it, and then I feel jealous"

Sin-a (pronounced Sin-ar, as in Sinatra. It has an accent above the a, but my computer won't let me type this!) is studying here. I asked her to step into a side alley off of the main street to take her photograph. I realised that at times like this, being a woman helps. We were laughing about this, about how odd it all was...how if I was a man, no way would she have said yes to wandering down an alley! And how if she were a man, neither would I have asked!

"I feel afraid of my dad dying. I'm very close to both my parents, but he's that much older"

1 June 2009


"My family are all still in China. I miss them so much"

I found Zhang's eyes quite mesmerising. They are so rich - bright and dark at the same time. She was easy to photograph and to talk to. She is studying here - partway through an MA in Communications

"My family are very important. My parents taught me to always be happy with what I have. Especially when sometimes we have very little, perhaps just ourselves and our family. Those are the things that matter"