Portrait Photography

Scenario Podcast #6 - The Brother

One of the hardest balancing acts (for me) as a photographer is dedicating time to both my commercial and personal work. The majority of the images I showcase are to promote my commercial work, in the hope of gaining more of it. I have a constant internal struggle about where and when is the 'right time' to put my personal projects 'out there'. This stems from a nervousness about whether my personal work is relevant or even of interest to anyone apart from myself and often just thinking about it takes me back to some awful 'constructive criticism' sessions at university.

Whilst in the midst of one of my many personal creative crisis', I had a call from the lovely Jess McDermott asking if I would like to feature in a new podcast series she was putting together. I decided to ignore my inner voice that always yells 'Don't Do It!' and said I would love to be involved. I cannot express how glad I am that I did. 

Scenario Podcast   tells the hidden stories behind the camera, and is a completely new and exciting way for anyone who has an interest to learn more about the process of photographic projects. The podcasts so far have featured photographers with amazing stories to tell, from Clare Hewitt's, 'The Penfriend' to Lewis Khan's, 'The Hospital'. I would list every single episode, instead I implore you to go and listen to them. 

Which brings me to my episode, 'The Brother'. For the last four years I have been documenting the transition of my younger brother Dev from female to male. The project started out for me as a way to gain a greater understanding of my sibling and over the years it has become so much more. Dev and I get together and I create a portrait of him, which we both choose and once I have finished retouching, I send him the image and he writes a response to it. 

When Jess sent me the recording, I absolutely loved it. I felt that she completely understood our sibling dynamic and I laughed hearing us talking to each other. I always feel that it is a double edged sword to produce something so personal, however I have always pushed this project because I see its ability to resonate with so many people. To hear the full episode visit :

https://scenariopodcast.com/the-brother/

For the first time, I am putting all the images I have created with my brother so far, please do comment and let me know what you think.

2018, Looking Forward & Back

I usually dread the start of the year. January can be a quiet time for freelancers, as the 9-5'ers struggle back to work through the cold mornings, leaving me to the cycle of self promotion, meetings and self loathing (laughter is permitted at this point). However 2018 has been off to a promising start, with various commisions coming in for portraits. I love being asked to photograph people, and as I predominantly shoot food and drinks it's always great to have a subject I can talk to! As I am unable to share any of this exciting new work yet, I have been looking back at a some of my favourite portraits I've shot over the last few years, ranging from personal work on my 'Brother' series, to the wonderful actor Daniel Kaluuya and a day in the life at London Shell Co.

01_DEVPORTRAIT_THREE _140

SCAN_1_6.jpg

020615_TIM_ANDREWS_178.jpg

DANIEL_WEBShot_02_122_GRACEGreg_Kolpakchi_Capture_202_BWJennifer Balcombe000_0005

Analogue / Acoustic

I met Gigi a few years ago at a particularly riotous birthday party of a mutual friend. I vaguely remember drinking a different shot for each letter of her name, but I couldn’t say much more than that as our friend is called Natalya. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and I find an email asking if I was free at all to take some pictures of her. Gigi has been creating songs for her current album The Projectionist to raise money for Love Support Unite in Malawi. Each week, a new song appears on Soundcloud and she asked if I would shoot some images as part of the project. There was clearly no way I could refuse, especially when Gigi told me she wanted to shoot film and possibly play with double exposures. That sealed the deal for me.

We spent a wonderful day wandering Hampstead Heath, putting the world to rights and taking portraits. I love shooting film, it's a completely different feeling to anything else. The noise of the shutter, winding on a shot and then waiting and hoping it all comes out as you see it in your head.

As it started to rain, I still had a few shots left in the Bronica, so I suggested we take refuge in my favourite pub, The Stag. I cheekily asked if we could use the upstairs room to finish our shoot, and was kindly obliged. I had almost forgotten how much I love taking portraits, and this shoot was a reminder to always say yes to something that interests me and to take time to play and experiment with the photographic process.