31 July 2009


"I'm not frightened of anything"

Wayne looked almost embarrased at this disclosure...

"It's true! He really isn't!" his friends agreed

Having just watched Wayne and his friends performing parkour and freerunning, I didn't doubt it either. Leaping over benches, flipping, walking up walls - it was wonderful to watch.

30 July 2009


"I went to a photoshoot once, it was a thing where I had to pose with imitation weapons. But I got arrested on the way. A woman had spotted them in my bag and called the police. The photographer said he had cleared it with the police, but he hadn't"

Luke was sitting with some friends. I had asked a girl in the group if I could take her picture and she said no - but volunteered Luke instead.

"I'd like to live In New Zealand. It is a bit British nowadays really, but I think the best bits of British - if you know what I mean"

29 July 2009


"I've got one minute"

...was David's reply. And he was very patient. It was a bit odd - as walking just behind him, amongst a number of people he was with, was one of my earlier faces. Since beginning this project and collecting an increasing number of faces, the world seems to be getting smaller and smaller

"My earliest memory was of trying to hang the cleaner - through the stair banisters. I was about 4 or 5 I think?"

I looked completely bewildered and obviously slightly disturbed by this. His daughter kind of shrugged and laughed - remarking 'he was a dark child..' !!

28 July 2009


"Really I would love to do what you are doing. Photographing...except I would like to photograph nature"

I remembered what Victor had said, in one of my earlier photographs - that you should just find something that you like to do - and then do it. I said to her that she should just pick up a camera and do it. One of her friends stood beside her agreed enthusiastically 'that's what I say too!' The same friend had said 'yes, you should! It sounds like fun!' when I asked to take Aneta's photograph. I was quite glad that her encouraging voice was there!

Aneta was quietly spoken and seemed calm.

"...so many things are important to me. But right now, mostly my girlfriend"

27 July 2009


"I am in a band. Pop rock. I'm a singer. But I'm now setting out on my own"

Mandi was waiting for a friend and agreed to be photographed. We chatted as I took a couple of shots. It was a busy time, lunchtime, people were everywhere and we both felt rather conspicious to begin with.

"I was once on morning television, on Richard and Judy! We were performing with another band"

26 July 2009


"I'm not telling you the bravest thing I ever did....!....but the best decision I ever made was to have a child"

Andrew was sitting peacefully on a bench - surrounded by lots of bustle and noise.

"I think I'd like to own my own land one day"

25 July 2009


"I remember pouring flour over the cat when I was little. It seemed like a good idea"

Lauren was hanging around with some friends, having fun. She felt a bit embarrassed about being photographed but agreed. She had looked very confident from a distance, but suddenly I saw a much quieter side once I picked my camera up!

"I liked school earlier on. Like primary school. But not high school so much..."

"...I am going to the Reading Festival soon. I'm really looking forward to that!"

24 July 2009


"Best thing that's ever happened for me is meeting my girlfriend"

Aki was walking with his girlfriend. After he agreed to be photographed, she stood and advised him how to wear his long hair - 'more at the front, yes like that!'

"I remember playing in the river in Japan. I grew up in the countryside there"

"...I get on with most people. I'm really very easy going"

23 July 2009


"I wasn't born anywhere. Not anywhere"

Anthony is eccentric. I had seen him before and must admit I had thought he might be homeless, but I'm not sure about that and didn't feel right to ask that. And I also had felt cautious about asking to photograph him as he has an unpredictable air about him and wasn't sure at all how he may react. As it happened, Rosamund also knew him and had called him over. He was completely happy to be photographed.

"the best time of my life was being friends with somebody that understood me"

22 July 2009


"yeah sure! I understand this sort of thing. Projects like this"

I found Michael in the same place I'd found Rosamunde. We had all chatted together. He had a great sense of humour and was incredibly easy to chat with.

"I remember as a kid...falling off of the monkey bars...I broke my arm. But the thing I remember most is the second or two after it happened. I'd hit the ground and everything went silent. I opened my eyes and there were like 5 or 6 podgy little kid faces staring at me in stunned disbelief"

Michael described this so vividly and perfectly and it made me laugh a lot.

"I'm working in the forum library at the moment. I'll probably do a lot more of this, but I want to continue to study and work around philosophy"

"....ooh! Can I do a shameless plug? This Saturday, at Take 5 Crypt. 8pm till 1am. Norwich Pride are doing a fundraiser. The Warhole Factory Rejects are doing a whole night of electro music. All sorts. People come dressed outrageously. If you are dressed in freaky fancy dress you get in cheaper!"

21 July 2009


"I think it's most important to simply be a good person"

I found Rosamunde in a local church, busy organising an event. She is the Curator at St Gregory's Centre for music, art, education and the community. She told me she loves her work so much! It was very useful to meet her, not only because she was great to photograph but because she knew so many people around there and called over two others and helped me photograph and speak to them too. The other two people's photographs will follow this one. It became a very sociable occasion.

We were talking about what's important and this was what Rosamunde had said - to be a good person....

"...By this I mean helping people to get the confidence to reach their potential. Building them up. Giving a chance. Caring"

20 July 2009


"The best moment of my life? Getting married of course!"

John, the husband of Jane (below), then joked that this could only ever be the right answer with his wife sat beside him, but actually there was a very strong and real connection between them

"we've been married 35 years now and it's been great. We love to travel. Europe mostly. We loved Vienna. And Stockholm. So many places. Actually we loved New York didn't we? An amazing place. An amazing experience. Our daughter studies drama - she'd love to one day go there to work"

John has a great sense of humour. I asked him what he is next looking forward to and he replied 'death' and got a small clout from Jane.

19 July 2009


"No, I'm not photogenic at all. But you can take his picture"

Jane was initially reluctant, so I had gone on to photograph John. Then she changed her mind and John helped persuade her. I stood and chatted to them both for quite a while afterwards.

"We are here in Norwich to see our daughter graduate from the UEA. She's done very well. We're enjoying Norfolk and definitely want to come again to see more"

"....I was a deputy head for many years. Not nowadays though. We've lived in Holland now for 37 years. Originally because of John's work"

"....my earliest memory was of my little sister being born. I was 4 years old and I remember her being put in my arms.."

18 July 2009


"Well, it's actually Maximillian, but I get called Max"

Max was sitting with some friends and bravely volunteered to take part in the project. I think it must be especially difficult to be photographed when sitting with your friends watching

"I don't know how to describe our music. I hate answering that. Kind of rock, post punk. It's alternative. I also work as a web developer in the daytime.."

"..I got into trouble as a kid quite a lot, usually for stuff like trespassing - being where I shouldn't be.."

"...we are going on tour. All around...to France. I'd love to tour further. Maybe America"

17 July 2009


"I'd like to go to space"

This is one thing that Boris would love to do. He was crouched down, leaning against an advertising board, smoking a cigarette.

"the worse job I ever had was probably working at Broadmoor. Having to listen to some of those people tell you what they had done, and they looked like they enjoyed telling you, smiling. That was hard, having to stay calm and all that..."

"...best thing ever was having kids. I'm proud of them. I look forward to walking my daughter down the aisle one day, though I don't even do very well yet at dealing with her having boyfriends!"

16 July 2009


"I hated school. Despised it. It taught me absolutely nothing at all"

I spotted David in a shop chatting to the owner. I waited outside for quite a while for him to stop talking and come out. It was worth the wait, as he was perfectly happy to be photographed and we chatted for quite a while

"I'm a jazz critic. I love jazz. I remember that many years ago, in a lunchbreak from my chef's job, I walked past a shop window and there was a poster about some jazz and I wondered about it. And that's where it all began. If I could go back to myself then, at that age, I'd tell myself I was right to wonder whether the job I had was right, that it was best to move on - it was stifling, no creativity, not the sort I needed. But advice doesn't work really, you only learn by living it through. I've had some great experiences doing this work, met some amazing people. The nights at Ronnie Scotts... And I used to be so painfully shy. So so timid. It was quite crippling"

15 July 2009


"Lolling about. That's what I like. Can't ever get enough lolling about"

Billy was sat near some motorbikes chatting to another man. He did try to suggest I photograph the other man, but I stood my ground and actually I don't think he minded all that much!

"I was a brickie for years. And lorry driving sometimes. I'm retired now. But I do miss it sometimes...."

"But I also like riding my bike. And lolling about"

14 July 2009


"I remember moving house, when I was very little....about 4 I think"

Emma was working to support her studies at the UEA - sitting behind a street ice cream cart at a quiet moment. Her face caught my eye....and then actually, she asked me 'what is it about a face that makes you choose it?'. It felt so hard to explain. It's not about beauty, though some of these faces are beautiful by many people's standards. It's about an impact. This is bigger and deeper than beauty. And what impacts on me may bore somebody else. But I find all faces interesting - up close. And if everybody I asked had said yes, I would have a blog that was even more diverse. Women particularly feel very self conscious, especially if they do not conform to standard ideas of beauty. I don't think I gave Emma any kind of answer like this, I didn't really know how to answer, but I have thought about it since

"....I watched my mum packing things for the move. And I remember that I got in a panic because I couldn't find my favourite teddy. And then it was found.."

"....I took 5 driving tests. And failed. And I kept going. And going. And on the 6th, I passed! It was brilliant!"

13 July 2009


"I'm lucky to be alive"

Calvin replied 'MY face?!' when I asked to photograph him. He was walking with his partner and beautiful 3 year old daughter. We talked a while, and I was very moved and astonished by what he'd been through over the last year

"I was attacked, stabbed in the leg. They tried to kill me. I landed in hospital and was in a coma for 3 weeks. Had operation, tracheotomy....was on life support. And my recovery now is mostly dealing with the impact, the shock. I'm not working right now. I was fine for a few months, but the shock of it hit me later.."

"...my daughter. Her birth was the highlight of my life. And she is still the highlight of my life"

12 July 2009


"I'm going to have an Alex In Wonderland Party for my birthday.."

Alex was busking. She was singing and playing guitar. It's unusual to see female buskers for one thing, it's even more unusual for them to also be great to listen to. Her style was quirky, original and interesting.

"I'm also really looking forward to going to the Reading Festival this year. I really wanted to go to Latitude but it didn't work out..."

"..when I was a kid I got into big trouble for saying I was going to run away, and then I went and hid for hours in the garden shed. My parents had called the police they were so worried.."

11 July 2009


"I don't like how the world is now"

Dennis looked very serious and lost in thought as he stood amongst the shops, leaning against a stone wall, watching the world go by. I hesitated to approach, but he didn't hesitate to agree and was lovely to chat with, he had a twinkle in his eye and a great sense of humour

"I used to work on Norwich Market all my working life. On the fruit stall. Now I come into the city everyday and just watch.......I want to see more police on the beat. Especially down Prince Of Wales Road, with all the clubs and all that trouble that gets caused. I used to go out when I was a lad down to a place here called The Blue Room. A good pub. There was never any trouble. Not ever. Thing is, if a policeman ever saw you do anything, you'd get a good warning. And then if they saw you do it again, you'd get a smack round the ear"

10 July 2009


"You can take my picture - I already know about your project!"

I was taken aback at this, usually I have to explain. But it turned out that Lydia had been sat with a man I had photographed some weeks back. And then I remembered her. It was an experience I'd tried to forget - the one and only occasion when somebody had said yes to being photographed and I wished they'd said no as soon as I picked up the camera. He became completely obnoxious and insulting and I had left, deleting his picture as I went! Lydia had witnessed all this as she had been sitting with the man as I arrived and I remembered that she too had been bewildered and embarrassed by how he had been

"he gave you a hard time. It was weird. I was chatting and he had seemed so kind. And then he did that"

It was an enjoyable coincidence to talk to Lydia as the event had kind of lingered a bit in my mind, and I suddenly felt rather like I was sounding off to her about it. It was good to have opportunity to talk about it with someone who'd been there! But actually, to have taken photographs of this many faces and to only have been insulted once is not bad going!

"tonight I am going out with my sister. We get on better nowadays than we used to. We are very different people, with different interests. But we get along well now"

9 July 2009


"I had an amazing trip to Cuba once. Havana was incredible"

I felt a bit of a stalker as I followed Steven around a corner as he went for a fag break. I had spotted him, in profile, smile at a colleague and spotted a bright face, a character.

"I worked for Nestle....in the old factory.. for 30 years...before it shut down. Life's been good. I got married, had three lovely children that are all grown up now. Got grandkids. That's great. Brilliant. Mind you, kids have a lot more now than I used to have..!"

8 July 2009


"I am retired. But I keep very busy. Lots of volunteering. Working with young people. Young people are fine, if they have a challenge"

I had wandered into a store. It wasn't busy and I heard the sound of an acoustic guitar being gently played. I assumed it was radio, and did a double take when I spotted Fred sat behind the shop counter with his guitar. He laughed when I said I thought it was the radio and remarked "Nah, too many bum notes for that!"
Fred agreed to be photographed and in our conversations afterwards he seemed positive, interested and kind hearted

"I play in a jazz band. I play the bass. I also work at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. I'm one of the team of Mardlers there. We work with school groups and the like"

7 July 2009


"The best decision I ever made was to keep my baby when I fell pregnant 12 years ago"

I found Jo in a seaside town health food shop, she pointed out her smiling daughter to me, who was helping out.

"..I come from London originally, but have been here 12 years now. I still stay in touch with London. I love working here - people sometimes say 'oh, how can you listen to people going on all day', but I love it. People surprise you, I was chatting to an old lady in here once, and she turned out to have had a wild time in the sixties, told me all sorts of wild stories. She had been looking for enlightenment and ended up in a horrid cult. But she just looked like an ordinary old lady!"

6 July 2009


"I grew up in Norfolk, lived here all my life, in the country"

Tony walked past me once and I thought he had a kind face, but didn't quite manage to ask him. Then, he came back past 5 minutes later and I took my chance.

"I remember first walking into a harvest field, when I was a child. I helped and learnt along the way"

"..I am retired now. And enjoying it. I worked in accountancy. I'd love to go to The Holy Land - Israel"

5 July 2009


"Yeah, you're just trying to do your thing. Just like I am"

Danny was busking. It was a bit of a weird moment. As I approached, a girl was asking him if he'd seen her phone - she'd dropped it. She was clutching a purple felt flower, just like the one I have on my camera strap. Then I looked on my strap and it was gone. Obviously had fallen off and she'd found it. I explained and she gave it to me. She added 'I was annoyed I'd dropped my phone, but finding that felt like a bit of a cheer-up'. I then so wanted to give her the flower as she walked away, but I really really love the flower too. I felt bad about that. I hope she found her phone. As it happened, it paved the way to having a chat with Danny who was watching this whole thing unfold. He was amused by it - "It doesn't matter. You should keep your flower. She'll be okay" he remarked

He was great to photograph and brilliantly co-operative. He said I could photograph him whenever I wanted, for an hour if I like!

"I'm a manic depressive. And a bit of a compulsive gambler really" (he smiled sheepishly at that part, while rolling a cigarette) - "music gets me through, doing this gets me through"

"...I had 3 really vivid moments in my life. You know, bits that settle in your head and kind of wham! without you really knowing why. One was just running up a hill with another girl when I was about 10. It was like time stood still for a bit. Another was drinking bacardi with a friend in a a park as a teenager. And another was when I was in a home as a kid, I went to Sunday School. I was staring for ages a nativity scene we'd all made. It got in my head somehow, you know? I was very young then"

"I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid of failing" He laughed then, a bit self consciously, and he said "that's weird, you were looking at me then like you knew that was coming". It was weird, because I don't think I did know.

4 July 2009


"I do understand projects like this. That's why I said yes"

Michelle is creative, I do find that the most creative people never hesitate to say yes to this project and I always feel grateful. She was waiting for her friend, who arrived in the middle of the process and thought it very funny.

"I'm into all sorts of Arts and Craft. And 60's retro. I'm doing my house up like that at the moment. And I have two children.."

"..I loved growing up and living in my dad's pub. It was a fun environment, a great experience"

3 July 2009


"I would really love to run my own cake shop one day"

Lucy was walking with friends and took vey kindly to being stopped by me. She was amused by the idea of being photographed but agreed in any case.

"I've graduated now. I'm proud that I got through uni. I'm really into illustrating"

2 July 2009


"I could tell you about a very surreal experience!"

Kassem was at a shopping centre and was very cool about the whole thing. He was with his girlfriend (Abi - below) and relieved not to be going into a shop for a little while. I had asked to photograph him, and he initially volunteered Abi. I'm glad he did as they were both great to photograph

"I was at a club in London. It was a thing where people were dressed as Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse - but in military uniform....That's weird enough..I know..But I was dancing on a big stage and there were like a 1,000 people all dressed up like this. And I was dancing away, looking through these little cut out eyes at it all, having a great time. But then don't know what happened, something tipped or fell, and I was suddenly flat on my back, fallen over, staring at the lights above"

1 July 2009


"I was always the quiet one at the back of the class. Though I did get into trouble for throwing a paper aeroplane at the teacher once.."

It was great fun to photograph Abi. I absolutely love it if people perform a little for the camera, and the moment I picked up the camera here - it worked. Suddenly, instead of standing around in a crowded hot outdoor shopping area, it feels like the set of a 1950's movie! I love candid street photography, but I also love creating the opportunity for people to look into the lens and know what's happening - I find the collaborative element interesting.

"I'm a perfumary consultant. I feel like I'm setting down plans for my life. I don't live here, I live in Camden, London. And I always wanted to live in London when I was a child"

"...I also always wanted to see Michael Jackson in concert. But that won't happen now!"