31st October 2023
This experimental shot of my sister-in-law Lisa practising her fire poi on the beach in Southend is part of the fire-themed issue 3 of the Culturally Curious zine. Published by Emma Gibbs De Oliveira of Brazilarte; pre-orders are available here.
29th November 2022
Biblioscapes / In Discussion
Last week I had a little chat with Euan Ross, about my 'Essexism' book. This is now available as part of his 'In Discussion' series of podcasts on his photobook-related website 'Biblioscapes'. There's a great archive of interviews with a wide range of photographers on there too.
24th August 2022
Southend / Basildon Echo
My 'Essexism' project / exhibition is featured as the centre-spread in today's edition of the Southend / Basildon Echo newspaper. Thank you to Kelly Buckley for the story.
23rd August 2022
Caught by the River
My 'The Crowstone' project is featured today on Caught By The River, the esteemed arts / nature / culture clash website.
17th August 2022
Leigh Art Trail
For one week in September (3rd-11th), I'll be displaying work from my 'The Crowstone' project at the lovely old waiting room on platform one of Leigh-on-Sea station. The work takes the form of a series of ten diptych posters, and is part of the Leigh Art Trail 2022.
If you'd like to see it but are not travelling, just go to the booking office and say you're visiting the exhibition.
Thank you to Metal for supporting the project, and to c2c for hosting it.
More on the Leigh Art Trail here.
19th July 2022
I am very pleased to announce that my Essexism portrait project will be exhibited at Twenty One in Southend-on-Sea, from 7th August until mid-September. Then later in the year, from 10th October to 5th November, it will also be on show at Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. Please pop along to either and support your local community and creative arts - entry free.
Twenty One is a community and creative café venue on Southend seafront (close to the pier). Working in partnership with Focal Point Gallery, the venue showcases art, music and performance, complemented with delicious food and drink, including coffee, cakes and stone-baked pizza. Unit 21, Pier Approach, Western Esplanade SS1 2EH.
Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is a vibrant regional theatre with a rich heritage, working in Essex and outer East London. It actively supports local and working class performers and artists. Billet Lane, Hornchurch RM11 1QT.
21st March 2022
My Essexism project is featured in issue 2 of Black River, an online journal founded and edited by Ameena Rojee. Read it here.
6th February 2022
On most Saturday mornings I take part in my local Parkrun - a 5km, free, weekly, community event held at locations around the country. Being injured this past month has given me a good opportunity to volunteer as official photographer. These are from a particularly foggy Southend Parkrun last month.
19th January 2022
Essex Feminist Forum
Some of my portraits are currently on display at the Beecroft Gallery in Southend, as part of Snapping the Stiletto’s ‘Essex Feminism Forum’. The exhibition highlights traditional Chinese costumes from different ethnic groups, with the portraits displayed alongside the costumes themselves. In collaboration with Simone Xue and the Colchester Chinese Culture Society (CCCS). On display until Sunday 23rd January.
More about the exhibition: Snapping the Stiletto connects with local groups to collect the histories of under-represented and inspirational women in Essex. They met with women from the CCCS to talk about their lives in China, the traditions they were brought up with, and their lives here in Essex. All of the women involved in this exhibition are from a different ethnic group - each chose to showcase their cultures by displaying their traditional costumes and sharing their stories.
3rd January 2022
I've recently updated my print store - 14 different high-quality photographic prints now available from £30. All are taken from past projects and show scenes from the Southend area. Check out the selection here and treat yourself!
25th November 2021
After two Covid-hit years working on the project, I've finally designed and produced an A5, 136-page publication featuring all 67 portraits from my Essexism series. Available now from my store, £11 plus postage. Proceeds will hopefully go towards prints for a small exhibition next year.
10th July 2021
New Town Portraits
Last month I undertook a five-week project in Basildon town centre, documenting 'real people' with a series of portraits. Almost 250 people were photographed, and later this month I'll be publishing a free newsprint publication featuring an edit of all the images. All participants were encouraged to collect their print for free at the end of the project.
The project was part of Open Lab, a programme of arts events produced by Basildon Creative People And Places, with support from Arts Council England, Basildon Council, Eastgate Basildon and others. One of the most satisfying parts of the project was the sense of community, meeting people and hearing their stories.
There's a selection of the resulting portraits here.
25th May 2021
Chinese Stories and Costumes
I've recently worked with the Colchester Chinese Cultural Society and Snapping the Stiletto, on a project called "Chinese Stories and Costumes". The resulting portraits are being shown in Colchester all this week, on display alongside traditional Chinese costumes at 4-5 Trinity Square, Colchester CO1 1JR.
Each of the Essex-based women photographed are from a different ethnic group. There are 56 ethnic minorities in China, each with its own unique culture.
13th May 2021
Estuary Associated Programme
I had been planning on pasting up some of these posters from my Crowstone project, as part of the Estuary 2021 festival Associated Programme. Some last minute red tape unfortunately put paid to it, however the organisers have kindly listed it as an online exhibition.
The festival runs from 22nd May to 13th June, on both the Kent and Essex sides of the Thames estuary - check out the full programme here.
5th April 2021
New Town Portraits / Open Lab
Very excited to be able to announce that I'm going to part of the Open Lab programme in Basildon, for five weeks from 21st May. The programme is being run by Basildon Creative People and Places (with funding from Arts Council England) with the aim of engaging and involving the local community in cultural activities in the borough. My project will be one of seven, each taking over a vacant unit across Basildon town centre for the six week period.
I'll be setting up a 'pop-up studio and gallery', photographing real 'Basildonians', documenting a moment in time and highlighting the rich diversity of the town and its residents and visitors.
Watch this space for more details!
21st March 2021
Map 6 / Inhabited Spaces
Many thanks to the photography collective MAP6 for including my 'Essex Chronicles' series as a guest feature in their 'Inhabited Spaces' theme. My project, about human interaction along the Thames estuary, was from a couple of years back now so it was great to re-visit it.
MAP6 is a group of 10 photographers working together to learn, experiment and make new work about the complex relationship between people and place.
19th December 2020
Just over a year ago I started a project documenting the Crowstone, a well-known local landmark, over the changing tides and seasons. Little did I know that COVID-19 would strike and my visits to the stone would become the destination for my daily walks during lockdown. Each time I try to see it from a new perspective. The work in progress can be seen here.
9th December 2020
Some good news this week relating to one of the themes of my 'Essexism' project... the term 'Essex Girl' has been dropped by the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, following a campaign by the Essex Girls Liberation Front. The BBC have featured my project again, with comment on the dropping of the dictionary definition from three of my participants, Sadie Hasler, Becky Scott and Syd Moore. More here.
Maddie Balcombe has also covered the story, with 'A Good Time to be an Essex Girl', on her blog, here.
9th October 2020
I've recently updated my design page to include some new work I did with Kinetika in Purfleet-on-Thames. The project included a rebrand, the design of nine exhibition displays, photo book and associated printed matter.
I'm available for all kinds of print design work - contact details are on the page. And of course I am also available for photographic commissions.
2nd September 2020
Delighted to see a feature about my 'Essexism' portrait project in this week's issue of Amateur Photographer magazine. Many thanks to Amy Davies for the interview.
Also last week I was interviewed by Andra Maciuca for an article which appeared in the Saffron Walden Reporter.
16th August 2020
MAP6 / Essex 2020
MAP6 is a collective of nine photographers working together to learn, experiment and make new work about the complex relationship between people and place.
Essex 2020 is a year-long, county-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). It brings together individuals and organisations to shine a light on the county’s enterprising past and inspire an even brighter future for science and creativity in Essex.
12th August 2020
Last week I was interviewed about my ongoing 'Essexism' project, by Claire Gevaux of Phoenix98FM's Arts Programme. Joining us were two of the participants in the project, actress Pippa Moss and academic Terri Simpkin. If you can bear my horrible nasally voice, you can listen here - the interview starts at about 54:40.
I was also interviewed recently by another of the project's participants, student Maddie Balcombe. She has written about it on her blog, 'Living My Best Life', here.
17th July 2020
Metal have made a short film with me, looking at the in-progress Crowstone project that they are supporting me with. You can view it on Metal TV.
3rd June 2020
Metal Remote Residency
Some more exciting news - I am one of six artists selected by Metal for a Remote Residency in the month of June. They will be supporting me with a new project, a study of The Crowstone, a well-known local landmark which stands off the coast at Chalkwell, Essex. I am documenting the stone, its interactivity with the public, and the changing tides, seasons and weather.
More about the June residencies here.
Metal is an arts organisation based in three UK locations - Southend, Peterborough and Liverpool. The Remote Residencies were created in response to the impact felt by many freelance artists and creative practitioners as a result of the Covid-19 global health crisis. They support artists in all 3 locations, and there's still time to apply for residencies for July and August.
27th February 2020
Arts Council England
I'm really excited to announce that I have been awarded some Arts Council England funding for my Essexism project. This will enable me to complete the project, which has been self-funded so far, and will help fund an exhibition and print publication towards the end of this year.
24th February 2020
Fleur and Arbor
My Essex Girls portrait project is featured on the wonderful Fleur and Arbor website this week - an online space that showcases creativity in all its forms. Many thanks to Jasmine for inviting me to show my work.
13th January 2020
I'm really excited to be showing some work-in-progress at Photo Scratch #25, at the Hotel Elephant Workspace in south east London on 27th January. The night is free to attend but booking is required, here, so please come along if you can and support this valuable initiative. The other photographers seeking feedback are Glauco Canalis, Taryn Ferguson, Felix Hall Close, Kevin Percival, Gin Rimmington Jones and Betty Zapata.
"A night for new ideas, Photo Scratch is an opportunity for documentary photographers to understand how their work is perceived and gain valuable insight into how to take their work further with the benefit of other people’s outside eye. For spectators this is an opportunity to preview projects, offer feedback, and engage in conversations about photography."
8th December 2019
Thrilled that my Essex Girls portrait project is today featured on the BBC News website, here. Many thanks to journalist Laurence Cawley for interviewing me, and of course to all the 'girls' who have participated in the project so far.
29th November 2019
Earlier this year I started working on a new portrait project which seeks to challenge the pejorative, stereotypical portrayal of 'Essex Girls' - a mixture of gender, geographical and class bias. As father to two young daughters, I wonder whether this stereotype will persist into their adulthood. I'm also really keen to show the diversity of Essex (age, abilities, ethnicity, location etc) so invite anyone interested to get in touch with me via email@example.com. The work-in-progress can be seen here.
16th September 2019
Design and art direction
This website has always been a platform for my personal photography. However, for the past 20 years my day job has been as art editor / magazine designer for Which? Computing, a UK subscription-only publication. Earlier this month my role was made redundant so I've taken the opportunity of adding some galleries showing my design work and art direction - the link is here. I am available now for immediate work in the London or Essex areas - full or part time, freelance, temporary or contract.
8th February 2019
Francesca Maffeo Gallery / Studio 284
Over the past couple of years we've been lucky enough to have the Francesca Maffeo Gallery / Studio 284 in the Southend area. Francesca hosts regular photographic exhibitions, talks, workshops and social events - in the past you'd have to venture up to the bright lights of London for that sort of thing. These images, shot on medium format film, are from a 'Film's Not Dead' workshop I took part in there a couple of weeks ago.
1st July 2019
I've been interviewed about my Essex Chronicles project for Publikum, a new website based locally to me in Southend. Many thanks to founder Jack for inviting me - always good to see new photography platforms.
30th November 2018
58th Essex Open
I have three prints from my 'Essex Chronicles' series on display at the 58th Essex Open, at the Beecroft Gallery in Southend, until 16th February 2019. All genres of art, many with a local focus, and selected this year by sculptor John Doubleday - 165 artworks on show from a submission of over 500. Please support your local museums and arts by paying a visit.
28th November 2018
Portrait Salon 2018
I’m very excited to be one of the 52 photographers chosen for the 2018 Portrait Salon. All portraits selected were shown last night at a projected exhibition at Peckham Levels in south London, and are now live on the website.
25th November 2018
The fabulous Ray Morgan has written some poems inspired by some of my local portraits, published together this week in the winter issue of the Trawler paper. Storyteller Robert Fowles also contributes. Grab a copy now from your local indie coffee shop, store, community centre, gallery etc in the Leigh-on-Sea area! Trawler is a free Made In Leigh publication put together by local creatives, with a focus on local issues and the arts.
26th September 2018
The Thames Estuary Library
I'm really excited to be part of this new online resource, a labour of love by curator Timo Keller. As he says, the library "aims to chart responses to the estuary as a landscape, and as a cultural and historical phenomenon – a repository of sorts".
Please have a look at the website, which covers photography, film, books, audio and other arts - all related to the Thames estuary.
23rd August 2018
Print On Paper
Print On Paper, as the name suggests, print a variety of newsprints, zines and posters, including my recent Essex Chronicles tabloid. They have kindly featured my work on their blog, so please take a look, here.
I've actually just sold out my initial print run of 50 copies, so have some more on the way!
22nd August 2018
Caught by the River
I'm delighted that the wonderful Caught by the River website has invited me to contribute my Essex Chronicles project to their blog. You can read about it here - and check out the rest of the site for lots of river-related creative writing, sounds and visuals.
18th August 2018
Photo Forum is an independent group that organises free photography talks and a chance for photographers to come together to discuss new work and ideas. Usually focused on storytelling and documentary, it's a fantastic resource for anyone with an interest in photography. I've been a regular over the past few years and have learnt so much, and discovered so many wonderful photographers. If you are ever in London on the second Tuesday of the month I would urge you to get down to the Printspace to hear one of the talks.
This week's event was a new format, with the talks "open to the floor" to six speakers, given 10 minutes each. This enabled me to show some of my work from my 'Essex Chronicles' project - such a great way to gather feedback and direction.
8th August 2018
Lovely video review of my Essex Chronicles publication on Camera, a new YouTube channel showcasing photobooks, zines and exhibitions.
20th July 2018
My Essex Chronicles series has been featured on the 'Inspiration' section of Creative Boom this week - CB is a online magazine that celebrates, inspires and supports the creative community, and definitely worth checking out.
14th July 2018
An edit of my Essex Chronicles project is now available as a tabloid newsprint publication, for £5 (plus £1.90 UK postage).
Featuring 39 images across 28 pages.
If you're interested in buying a copy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the store.
8th April 2018
Really happy to have my 'Essex Chronicles' dummy newsprint included in the Lens Think Yorkshire / Print Stuff collaboration, running from 6th to 27th April at Kiosk Project Space in York. They have created a reading room of photography publications - lots of photo books, zines, newsprints etc to pore over, so get down there if you can! Big thanks to Joanne Coates.
16th March 2018
Ley of the Land
I have a couple of prints at Ley Of The Land, an exhibition of seascapes and landscapes at Leigh-on-Sea Community Centre, until 6th April. Ley is an old Saxon term for Leigh and its surrounding areas; the exhibition is part of year long Leigh Art Trail residency and comprises various genres of art.
24th January 2018
Essex Chronicles newsprint
Recently I've been busy making a 28-page dummy newsprint publication, printed by Newspaper Club. I'm art editor of a magazine by profession so was able to design it myself. I only printed 10 copies but am very pleased with the results so am planning a longer print run in the near future.
17th December 2017
Over the past few years I've tried to concentrate on self-contained projects but when I started out, like a lot of people I gained experience and confidence from practising street photography. Sometimes these were standalone images although usually I tried to work towards pairs (or groups). I've not listed this in the main menu, but there's a gallery of approx 35 images here, mostly from between approx 2008 and 2013.
5th December 2017
Earlier this year I started a project about Roots Hall, home of my local football team, Southend United, since 1955. It's one of those old stadiums that's definitely fraying around the edges and is neatly tucked in amongst rows of houses and suburban streets. In the 1990s a move to a new out-of-town stadium was proposed and the plans have rumbled on ever since. It now seems likely that building work will finally begin in the next year or two, so I'm documenting the old ground (and the team's supporters) before it's bulldozed. There are good reasons for moving, not least financial ones and the need for better facilities such as disabled access; but to me it's part of the local community, with a real character of its own, and it will be sad to see it relocate to an identikit stadium surrounded by fields.
This is a work-in-progress that will probably continue for a season or two.
10th June 2017
Leigh Art Trail
All this week (10th-17th June) I’m exhibiting work from my Essex Chronicles project at the Book Inn / Cake Bar in Leigh-on-Sea, as part of the 20th anniversary of the Leigh Art Trail. Comprising over 80 artists at 52 venues across the town, it’s run by a non-profit community organisation showcasing the work of local Essex artists of all genres.
Venue details: Venue 43, The Book Inn, 49 Broadway West, SS9 2BX.
Bud To Bloom
One of my portraits is published in the spring issue of Trawler magazine, available now.
9th May 2017
The Story Portrait
I'm really happy to have been invited by Margaret Mitchell to feature on her Story Portrait website this week. The idea is that featured photographers pick their favourite portrait and tell the story behind it, and I've chosen this image from my ongoing Essex Chronicles series.
25th September 2016
Some of my portraits from this summer’s Village Green festival are published this week in the latest copy of community newspaper Trawler - you can pick up a free copy in cafés / libraries etc around the Leigh-on-Sea / Southend area. Trawler is a crowdsourced Made In Leigh publication put together by local creatives, with a focus on local issues and the arts.
9th September 2016
Earlier this year I started on a new series documenting the Essex estuary where I grew up. I hope it will be a long-term project and I intend to show how the coastline interacts with the local population, architecture, industry, leisure and nature that sits along it.
Traditional landscapes or seascapes are not really my thing, so I’m using my eye to come up with my own interpretation. My preferred way of working is to go out early in the mornings when it’s quieter and the light is softer.
22nd June 2016
I set up my free 'pop-up portrait studio' at the Village Green festival in Southend again a couple of weeks ago. This is the second year I've done it and I came away with a nice little gallery of portraits. It was a fun day and to top it all there was a great set by Billy Bragg in the evening.
17th April 2016
This week I have some images published in issue 2 of Trawler, a community-generated tabloid newsprint paper. It's produced by a collective of writers, designers, photographers and other creatives based in and around Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, and published by Made In Leigh.
My images are part of a collaboration with writer Paige Ockendon, for a story about Southend's Open Swimming Group who brave all weathers to swim in the Thames estuary. Paige has posted a great video of the swimmers here.
Trawler can be found in local cafés and businesses around the Southend area.
20th November 2015
I am excited to have a portrait (of my daughter) on display at this year's Portrait Salon. Now in its 5th year, Portrait Salon aims to showcase the best of the rejected images from the Taylor Wessing Prize, which is organised annually by the National Portrait Gallery.
If you are in between London 19th and 22nd November, please pop in and have a look! You can vote for your favourite 3 portraits on display, and there's also this very clever sticker book available so you can curate your own catalogue from all the portraits exhibited. It's at the Embassy Tea Gallery, Union Street SE1 0LN (near Southwark station).
29th June 2015
Pop-up Portrait Studio
A couple of weeks ago I set up a free portrait 'studio' at my local music and arts festival, Village Green, at Chalkwell Park in Southend, Essex. I'd never done anything like this before but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a long day but I picked up a lot of ideas for making it work better for me next time. There's a gallery of my favourite images within my Archive page.
30th November 2014
This week I'm featured on The Swap, an ongoing project curated by Stuart Pilkington. The idea is simply to team up with another photographer, and take portraits of each other - being as simple or as elaborate, as literal or as abstract as you like.
My 'swap' is Kirsty Mackay, a portrait and documentary photographer from Bristol. We didn't know each other but I approached her because I was a fan of her work - happily she was keen to participate and we met up in August. We agreed not to show each other our portraits until they went 'live' on the website. There's more background information here.
This is actually the second time I've contributed to the project. In late 2013 I 'swapped' with Richard Stern, whom I’d met a couple of times via Photo-Forum in London. As Richard is a street photographer I chose to portray him in his ‘natural environment’, on the street. For the return portrait, Richard photographed me in a camera store.
In the past I've also contributed to another of Stuart's projects, Book Film Painting. Over 100 photographers took part, and each submitted an image inspired by either a book, a film, or a painting. My submission was inspired by the book 'Sense and Sensibility', by Jane Austen. I contacted Sam and Sarah, self-confessed Austen fans from Rochester, Kent, after reading an article about Austen enthusiasts in one of the Sunday supplements, and they agreed to be photographed for the project.
7th November 2014
Some random street portraits, from an Owen Harvey workshop I participated in this week, organised by arts charity IdeasTap. We spent the morning on studio portraits and the afternoon on street portraits. I asked lots of strangers to pose - half said ‘yes’ and half said ‘no’, so it was an interesting exercise.
November 2022: Biblioscapes / In Discussion • August 2022: Southend / Basildon Echo • August 2022: Caught By The River • March 2022: Black River • January 2022: Essex Feminist Forum, Beecroft Gallery, Southend (exhibition) • May 2021: Estuary Associated Programme • March 2021: MAP6 • May / June 2020: New Town Portraits, Eastgate, Basildon (exhibition) • October 2020: This Is Southend • September 2020: Amateur Photographer magazine • August 2020: MAP6 • August 2020: Essex 2020 • August 2020: Phoenix98FM • August 2020: Living My Best Life • July 2020: Metal TV • February 2020: Fleur and Arbor • December 2019: BBC News • July 2019: Publikum • May 2019: Togspace • November 2018: Essex Open, Beecroft Gallery, Southend (exhibition) • October 2018: Then There Was Us • September 2018: The Thames Estuary Library • August 2018: Print On Paper • August 2018: Caught By The River • August 2018: Camera • July 2018: Wander By Mistake • July 2018: Creative Boom • March 2018: Ley of the Land, Leigh-on-Sea (exhibition) • March 2018: Fishing Quarter Gallery (Instagram) • March 2018: Halo Magazine (Instagram) • February 2018: Another Place • January 2018: British Journal of Photography • June 2017: Leigh Art Trail, Essex (exhibition) • May 2017: The Story Portrait • March 2017: Loupe Magazine (Instagram) • January 2017: Medium • November 2015: Portrait Salon, London (exhibition) • January 2015: Despite The Illusion • June 2014: The Printspace • April 2014: Photocopy Club, Berlin (exhibition) • March 2014: Londonist • July 2013: The Art of Creative Photography • November 2012: Londonist • May 2011: Westcliff Art Trail, Essex (exhibition) • June / July 2010: Harry’s Bar, Westcliff-on-Sea (exhibition) • May 2010: Westcliff Art Trail, Essex (exhibition) • July 2009: Sunny 16, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (exhibition)