A player listens to a debrief at a Boy’s Football Development Programme run by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.
This is my brother-in-law Rayon and my niece Nylah. We were taking a trip to our local Asda on Old Kent Road. My niece and her father have a very rich bond, which is a joy to observe. While shopping, Nylah was on Rayon’s shoulders playing with his hair. I like the concentration on her face as her father smiles.
Alice Ella is a disabled and chronically ill singer, songwriter and disability advocate. Having been disabled for 20 years, her passion is to help increase awareness and understanding of invisible illnesses and disabilities, and to inspire others. She uses social media platforms to post empowering content, promote disabled body confidence and is a strong advocate of ambulatory wheelchair users.
Tessa is a newly qualified midwife. This photo was taken shortly after her final 12-hour shift as a student outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, where she met all criteria required for completing the practical element of her midwifery course.
2023 celebrates the 75th anniversary of the NHS, as well as the year I became a partner to a student midwife. This has given me a personal insight into how devoted and hard-working the student sector of the NHS is, particularly in terms of the lengthy shifts and unpaid work, as well as the continued pressure to submit their assignments. I wanted to capture the moment my partner finished her student journey and celebrate the incredible work she and all her co-workers do for the public.
Liverpool Women’s Hospital is the largest hospital of its type in Europe and receives approximately 50,000 patients every year, requiring a large, specialised and talented workforce. As part of this workforce, there are many students shadowing qualified midwives, providing an environment for learning and giving them the opportunity to put their theory into practice.
Throughout placement, students are required to work over 2,000 hours across their three years of study before they can qualify. These hours are not compensated through salary, but help in obtaining the pre-registration requirements for becoming a midwife; this includes the facilitation of 40 vaginal births.
Tessa is an incredibly passionate and talented student midwife and has had a huge impact already on people’s birthing experiences. She moved to Liverpool specifically for this course and was hoping her placement was at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, due to it being a demanding health centre, as it would teach her a huge amount about the profession.
I have worked with my friend Corynne on a number of
occasions and I always think of her as a real humour factory.
In this photograph she does her best to pull the happiest face
she knows following a day of fun shooting. I value Corynne
work ethic, which is one of fun, no matter what she is up to.
Safy is a second-year student at the University of Cambridge. This portrait is from an ongoing collaborative project with students from under-represented backgrounds at Oxbridge.
This is master florist Henck Röling preparing floral shields inspired by Cameroonian art for the annual Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens in London.
Britain’s first Black and blind female barrister.
Frankie Corio, star of Aftersun, written and directed by Charlotte Wells and co-starring Paul Mescal. After watching the movie I felt drawn to meeting Frankie and recording this moment in time. A raw feeling of talent and exposure, a humble background with brilliant, supportive and honest family. Frankie was energetic and chatty throughout the bitterly cold day on the outskirtsof her hometown. Scouting the area the day before in my hire car, I knew I wanted to capture the essence of Frankie’s home life and the familiarity of the raw suburbia surrounding Edinburgh. We danced to Spotify, ate chips and talked about school.
Nick Turner has cerebral palsy and was advised never to work on his own when he left college. Nick is a cobbler in the small market town of Kington and he recently celebrated 36 years in business – working alone.
Edith, 33, at home with her daughter Kay, 18. “Having a lifetime best friend in my daughter is an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. As a young teen mother having someone grow with you from birth, I’m proud of who we’ve both blossomed into.”
Kito, 18, is a recent graduate of The BRIT School and an aspiring trans model. She is a performer in the ballroom scene, competing under the name Kita007, and is moving to Bristol to join the city’s blossoming ballroom scene. She is photographed at her family home in Forest Gate, east London.
Tiegan helps support her nan and grandad in caring for her little brother Alfie. Alfie has a cleft palate and Pierre Robin syndrome. He showed me that one little thing can change your whole life.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Pulford, a remarkable individual who fosters community bonds through his passion for gardening. His commitment to nurturing both plants and relationships within his community is truly inspiring.
Our paths often cross at Brick Lane or Columbia Road Flower Market, where we seize the opportunity to engage in lively conversations. These chance encounters have become a cherished part of my visits to these locations.
On one such occasion, our conversation unfolded on Bethnal Green Road. Inspired by his story and the charisma he exuded, I felt compelled to ask if I could capture his portrait. To my delight, he welcomed the suggestion with a warm smile, allowing me to capture not just his image, but the essence of the community spirit he so diligently cultivates.
“My dad hasn’t seen his family for 15 years, it is hard for my parents. But when something is so special to you, you will never forget, that feeling is always there. When I was about five we moved from Eritrea to Sudan because the government was starting a conflict in Eritrea. There is still war although it is much calmer now. I moved here when I was nine. When you leave your country to move to another country, you think, ‘How will I live there? What is it going to be like in years to come? Am I going to be the same person?’ I have changed a little – like my hobbies. I love football, I support Liverpool, but in Sudan it was all school. A lot of things surprised me about this country. School is better here, you learn more. Back home in Eritrea, it is about learning the history and that is it, they don’t want you to think about anything else. Maths is my favourite subject and I want to be a medical professor. It has been my dream from a young age.”
Wrexham AFC player Aaron Hayden during a pitch invasion after the team beat Boreham Wood 3–1 and gained promotion to the Football League for the first time in 15 years. A Hollywood script written in Wrexham.
Ellis Trowbridge, featherweight boxer and Team GB hopeful for the 2024 Olympic Games, at his training gym in Surbiton.
This is from the series Of-Land. In 2022 and 2023, I immersed myself in an off-grid community in the Scottish Highlands. What began as a photography project transformed into a profound personal journey.
Living authentically among this community, I absorbed their sustainable practices, volunteering in their gardens and cultivating vegetables. The lines between their life and mine blurred, and my London existence faded.
Photography evolved from a medium to a vehicle for exploration and connection. Portraits emerged naturally, guided by my camera, an extension of myself. I lived in a self-built campervan, fully immersing myself in their daily lives and harmony with nature.
The resulting photographs capture the authenticity of this experience, conveying their resilience and interconnectedness. This project signifies my growth as an artist and an individual, delving into the depths of human connection.
I aspire to inspire others to explore their relationship with nature, community and self. Through my photography, I aim to ignite curiosity, empathy and understanding, bridging gaps between different worlds.
My time in the Scottish Highlands was not just a photographic expedition, but a transformative chapter in my life’s story, reminding me of the profound beauty in the way of life embraced by this off-grid community.
12-year-old Frankie during a football training session in a park in south London.
While photographing refugees in France, Belgium, Austria and Sweden in 2018, I noticed that a recurring theme among them was the gradual erosion of self, resulting from prolonged periods of living at the fringes of society. Similarly, many of them talk of being invisible both to the immigration bureaucracies and to the wider societies in the countries in which they were seeking asylum.
Particularly striking are the words of a young Afghan man, in his final year at school, who was seeking asylum in Sweden: “You can see me, but I don’t exist.” The young man was awaiting a response to his third and final appeal for permission to remain in the country and was expressing frustration at the way in which the asylum process had suspended him for years in a no-man’s land of enforced separation from Swedish society. Borrowing its title from the Afghan man’s words, this UK-based project aims to explore the dehumanisation experienced by people seeking refuge.
Often, refugees and asylum seekers in the UK endure extended periods of uncertainty while awaiting a response to their applications. Unable to work, they may endure poverty or destitution, poor physical and mental health,and even danger. If their application is rejected, they must come to terms with not only the wasted years, but also the frightening prospect of being forced to return to a country that they risked all to leave. Those who remain in the UK after their asylum application has been rejected face an uncertain and insecure future, entirely dependent on the support of family, friends and charitable organisations. In addition, the UK is becoming increasingly hostile to refugees. Since the introduction of new legislation, refugees who arrive in the UK using routes not sanctioned by the government will no longer be able to apply for asylum, but will instead be deported back to their country of origin or to Rwanda.
Take Care of Your Brother is a series of portraits of brothers in an outside space in London that means something to them. It aims to question what care and closeness look like between two brothers. Societally, the word care and sisterhood go together without question because it is enveloped by femininity, but care and brotherhood are rarely heard together. Words and images shape our society and I believe that in a time, where women and LGBTQIA+ rights are under threat across the world because of a patriarchal system, we could use a shift in narrative about masculinity. I want young boys to see images of two men showing closeness and softness towards each other without it being related to their sexuality, just comfort. I want these photoshoots to hold a space for them; the next hour is about them and their brotherhood, what do they think this relationship looks like? How do they want to show it?
This is a portrait of Abdul and Hakim in the park local to the flat they bought together, Brockwell Park in south London. They are the first two brothers I photographed and the ones that made me start this series. Abdul is my partner and we live with his brother, Hakim. My brothers left the house when I was seven years old so I did not get to see them a lot together day-to-day. Living with these two now was the first time I could see two brothers in their day-to-day life, how they interact with each other and how they show each other care and comfort.
I have seen Valerie various times in Dalston and I was always impressed by the effort she put into her outfits when going shopping, despite her being quite frail. On this occasion her jacket matched her sunglasses and she had sprayed glitter in her hair, combined with net gloves. She was very happy to be photographed. She told me that 24 years ago she moved from Zimbabwe to London and said, “I don’t like it here, but that’s the way it is”. She mentioned she had smoked for many, many years, almost all her life. She does not want to stop smoking because she enjoys it. “That’s all I do,” she said.
Naseema never considered herself a strong swimmer. After witnessing her daughter nearly drown on holiday, she realised she needed to overcome her phobia of water. Many years later she joined a women-run boating and sailing club and took a course at the Black Swimming Association and over time found her confidence in the water. She now swims in the sea at beaches around the country.
Meeting Precious was special, her smile and laugh were infectious. We connected instantly and spent the time chatting and laughing together. To me, this photograph is permeated with her warmth and joy.
At Anime Con, Ruby and Emma were shy but came alive in costume. Having spent months preparing, they were still unsure whether they felt good enough on the day. Friends supported each other in their shared interests, found ways to express themselves with the comfort of a mask and gained solace in like-minded individuals.
This portrait forms part of my project of the game of cricket across the country. The cricketing landscape has been shaped over the years by the diaspora from cricket-playing nations over the world who have brought their own passions, styles and traditions to the game. The aim is to move the narrative along from being solely the rural, leafy village green and to meet the players, spectators, volunteers, ground staff and everyone else who make the game what it is today.
Garth is my boyfriend and a person I love to photograph. And yes, this is a real phone.
I have been working on commission for Photofusion to document the redevelopment of Brixton Recreation Centre through a social commentary lens.
I met Erica as I was packing up after a day of shooting. Sat in front of the blue wall, which conceals the construction site of the new Photofusion, she wears one of her own designs.
I met Michael some years ago while out walking my dogs. An accidental friendship grew, despite his angry and mostly bleak outlook on life. When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I went to see him and his demeanour had transformed, expressing humour and gratitude for what he had. I asked if I could photograph him as he sat on his new NHS bed and looked out into the evening sunset. He was peaceful and resolved.
The amount of transformation my body has been through in the past few months is amazing, but it is also unbelievable how pregnancy has been transforming my mind.
This is my first and a very long-awaited pregnancy so, of course, treasuring it is a natural thing to do. But I can also sense the changes happening in my brain. It is incredibly interesting getting to know this new Kristina, taking notes of how she thinks or does things a bit differently than before.
Marshall died in a northern hospital after waiting for an ambulance for over four hours while on the floor of his home with a broken spine. In hospital he was taped to his bed in an attempt to stabilise his back. Dorothy died in a northern care home after months of her doctor refusing to drive one mile up the road to treat her. She was originally sent to the care home to free up a hospital bed. She never left.
In the heart of Birmingham there is a community centred on challenging the narrative around gender, race and religion. Run by head coach Binni, Muslim Girls Fence strives to teach traditional fencing at a grassroots level, helping local women to empower themselves through a sport normally reserved for the upper class. The work does not stop at fencing though – the group is there to help the women reflect on their own identities and inspire a larger conversation in the community.
Angelo is a boxer and martial arts trainer. During this shoot he was getting sprayed down with water in between his workout and found a more peaceful moment.
This image is of Rory, a young participant in the Up Helly Aa festival in the south mainland of Shetland. Up Helly Aa festivals represent the Viking New Year, a way of ushering in the lightness from the long, dark Shetland winter. Each community in Shetland puts on its own unique version of the festival, where the community comes together and appoints a Jarl, a man or women who leads a team of up to 80 people of all ages in burning a full-size Viking galley ship that the community has built. These festivals are integral to the communities of this far-flung archipelago of islands.
For a year, and during the pandemic (June 2020 to July 2021), I worked as an autism practitioner at Prior’s Court, a residential school for young people living with complex autism in Berkshire.
In March 2022, I revisited the school to embark on a personal project called Prior’s Insights. Informed by grassroot observations, caregivers and parents, the project initially aimed to highlight the diverse and individualised manifestations of the diagnosis of complex autism. With the project’s progression, however, came the realisation that I was exploring and reflecting on something much more personal to me; the relationship between myself
as a caregiver, and the young people I worked with on a one-to-one basis.
This image shows P taking a break from class, relaxing on a beanbag. P’s twin also attends Prior’s Court. In response to photographs of her sons, their mother writes: “One of the most lovely things about being the boys’ mum is that I get to see how extraordinarily fond their carers and teachers become of them. I just hope that the care, understanding and joyful acceptance that the boys receive as children at Prior’s Court continues as they become adults and enter into the world of adult social care. I also hope they continue to live together in a natural setting, with trees, animals and plenty of green, safe space. These are two simple hopes for two extremely lovely and vulnerable young people. They are hopes for a future which ought not to be so far from reach in our public-purse, budget-stretched day and age.”
Poppy is an acrobat.
Stormzy is not just any man. He is a man adored. Speaking up for the Black British. Giving opportunities of education to people who would have been pushed out. Stormzy is an artist who helps people read with merky books and allows new writers to be heard. He uses his platform to shine a light on others. At the end of his one show of the year, he spent time coming to everyone in the audience. As part of the privileged few able to follow, I captured what Stormzy represents: a man loved, cared for and appreciated.
Gracie, 17, wears a friendship band given to her by her big sister, after she returned from her world travels working as a singer on a cruise ship.
This was part of a multi-art form collaborative project celebrating womanhood, empowerment and woman’s connection to nature. I turned to dance to tell this story and in among the movement, photographed dancer Leonna Lynch rooted in the landscape.
Lily Allen, photographed at the Duke of York’s Theatre ahead of her final few weeks starring in The Pillowman – a transitional moment in her career, making the move from pop star to actor. Shot for The New York Times for a piece titled Lily Allen’s Second Act.
Boss Morris, an all-female Morris dancing group founded in 2015, is reshaping and exploring what old folk traditions like Morris dancing mean to the young people of today.
Nadia, with her small team, advocates and inspires women from ethnic minorities to become confident and independent. They offer a range of services and encourage the organisation to be led by the women they support. The portrait is part of my series
Hope. Despair. Miracles.
Every photograph hides a unique tale, and this rings especially true when capturing the vibrant individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.
I recently had the privilege of teaming up with the MS Society to document the Black Pride event at London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London. The day unfolded beautifully, blessed with glorious weather and the infectious energy, spirit and pure joy radiating from everyone who graced the event.
My aim was to encapsulate a diverse array of remarkable personalities at the gathering. The flamboyance, the kaleidoscope of colours and the myriad distinct styles captivated me. It seemed as if each attendee was dressed to express themselves uniquely. Dressed to frill!
Rather than publish their personal stories or names (names are known), I have deliberately chosen not to. My hope was to leave the interpretation up to you, the viewer. I invite you to draw your own conclusions about the intriguing individuals featured in my photographs.
Swimming in Marine Lake while looking at the sunset is such an experience, one I will never forget.
Research reveals a stark transformation: 1960s census data depicted a 75 per cent favourable perception of the travelling community, now replaced by a 75 per cent unfavourable stance in contemporary times. This shift prompts inquiry into what has precipitated this change in public opinion.
The prevailing media portrayal is unfairly biased against this community. Through my work, I aim to provide an alternative perspective, highlighting the positive aspects of this cultural group. Its heritage is intertwined with robust family principles, timeless customs and a vibrant creative ethos. The project will hopefully counterbalance the skewed perception and promote a more accurate understanding of this way of life and the people who are apart of it.
Amid government pressures and dwindling common land, it is crucial to illuminate this imperilled way of life. The present juncture requires focused documentation to safeguard and raise awareness about the threatened state of affairs, something I found is missing from the creative field.
Conversations with community members highlight the evident risk of the ancient nomadic tradition’s demise, a custom that can be traced back to the earliest days of humanity. The individuals upholding this legacy encounter mounting weariness due to relentless opposition and oppression. The continuity of this time-honoured practice, integral to human history, hangs in the balance as those who sustain it grapple with exhaustion and the adversity they confront. Born into this culture, where their sole
familiarity lies, the unjust burden of preserving their way of life feels profoundly unjust.
In this photo, Saul, 21, is home from university, attempting to navigate the shift into adulthood that comes with the early twenties. Returning home was a common feature for Saul during university, due to the pandemic and teacher strikes. Much of Saul’s education remained at home, in the bedroom, like many recent emerging graduates. Here, Saul navigates identity, job searching and university as someone diagnosed with autism. With increasing educational and workplace opportunities based within the home, this image raises the question of the impact on the formation of identity, work and social relationships for young people who may find themselves increasingly doing so behind closed doors.
Soniya and her family left Ukraine after the outbreak of war and now live on the Isle of Lewis.
In June 1863, two years after Lagos Island was ceded to the British Empire by King Dosunmu under the threat of bombardment, what would become the West African Frontier Force was formed. It was made up of 30 tribes men who were tasked with the responsibility of protecting the Empire’s interest inland, safeguarding the inhabitants of Lagos from kidnappers and putting an end to the slave trade.
Who would have imagined that these 30 trained soldiers would grow into a formidable fighting force 50 years later? One that would be called upon by the British Empire to fight in three different European wars, in which they came out triumphant.
Many of these brave Nigerian soldiers left their families and loved ones to heed the call of the Empire, which for many would have been their last trek, their last fight, their last expedition far away from their motherland never to return. For the sake of the Empire, but most importantly their family, communities and nation.
Their devotion to the Empire and the vivid tapestry of life they wove cannot be conveyed through words alone, it must be etched in the annals of history through their deeds. They were, without a doubt, our triumphant ancestors.
David is a beekeeper who looks after native English bees on a beautiful farm on top of a hill overlooking the countryside. He began keeping bees in 1974 and has continued to do this for most of his life. He produces honey which he takes to farm shops and small health food stores. He is very passionate about the importance of bees and their role in the ecosystem and environment.
This is from my ongoing personal project, I See You.
I was going through a tough time personally and started exploring different therapies, seeking professional help and enroling in self-improvement courses. It was during this period that I came up with an idea to merge healing and photography in a practical way. I focus on the lives of Asian immigrants in the UK because I grew up in Taiwan and that is my familiar culture and background. Many of us have moved far from our home countries, adopted English nicknames and adjusted to Western life, but we still carry the stress and challenges from our roots.
I put out a call, inviting strangers to pick a comfortable place, either theirs or mine, and share their stories with me. Afterwards, we would do some breathwork, and I would take portraits of them, even if they ended up in tears. At first, I thought it might sound strange and that no one would sign up. Who wants to spill their darkest or most painful stories to a stranger and then have their tearful face photographed? But surprisingly, I received an overwhelming response and the experience turned out to be profoundly meaningful.
During the breathwork, I encouraged participants to repeat a mantra, one that resonates especially within the Asian mentality: ‘I see you’. In a culture where we often conceal our vulnerability, put on a brave face and avoid burdening others with our worries, this exercise aimed to help them rediscover their self-worth: ‘I see you’. ‘I love you’. ‘I am enough’.
During the breathwork, most of them could not hold back their tears and they were grateful for finally having a chance to let out what they had bottled up for so long.
As a photographer, I often wonder what sets us apart from artificial intelligence. This project shows that our unique human quality is our ability to connect with one another. In our shared moments, we find the true depth of our humanity.
Arlo and Grandad watch as an escaped helium balloon flies off into the distance.
Harriet Croom, a professional sign-painter, worked more than 16 hours a day for over a week during the hottest part of the summer at the 2023 Glastonbury Festival but received little recognition.
Actor Ian McKellen in the wings during his performance as Mother Goose in the pantomime of the same name.
My son – playing a first-person shooter in VR. He plays silently, but sound can be heard faintly from the headset’s speaker. Squeaky transatlantic children, stoner teens, creepy grown-ups all curse/gibber/berate/abuse/cajole while murdering each other.
Captured Essence: A Glimpse into Destiny Adeyemi’s Multifaceted Soul.
In this compelling portrait, I present Destiny Adeyemi, a multi-talented individual whose charisma knows no bounds. Poet and occasional model, Destiny’s enigmatic presence graces this frame, revealing a glimpse of their captivating world. Collaborating with the skilled hands of makeup artist Phoebe Walkers and hairstylist Claire Moore, we embarked on a creative journey within the confines of my London studio.
Destiny’s portrait represents an unfiltered tableau, a tapestry woven from the threads of her diverse talents. The focal point is their hair – an intricate cascade that serves as a visual metaphor for the intertwining pathways of their artistic pursuits. The analogue medium, cherished for its ability to embrace the spectrum of colours and render skin tones with authenticity, lent its timeless charm to the scene. Bathed in natural daylight, the portrait exudes a classic allure, invoking a sense of nostalgia.
Deliberately composed, the photograph invites viewers to partake in a moment of serene contemplation. As if seated beside Destiny, one cannot help but be drawn into their world – a realm of strength and conviction that resonates beyond the image. This portrait, born from collaboration and creativity, encapsulates not only the subject’s essence, but also the essence of artistry itself.
In this portrait, Destiny Adeyemi’s essence is frozen in time, an honest portrayal of their talents, their strength, and the unspoken power of their spirit.
Exactly what the title says. Look. And look again. Every time you look, I am sure you will spot something new.
A portrait of the Arsenal and England footballer, on location for Fiverr, under the Westway in west London.
P is a sexual assault survivor and a women’s rights activist. She also has ADHD. In this moment of rare stillness, she is lost in her thoughts, ethereal and strong.
The WAD is a new morris dancing group based in Cornwall, which takes inspiration from popular music as well as ancient folklore and morris traditions. The balaclavas are inspired by Russian punk group, Pussy Riot. Photographed in Exeter for my long term project on English folk dance.
Nasima, Shireen and Safina are part of Ananna, a Manchester-based independent organisation empowering and supporting vulnerable women from ethnic minorities for over 30 years. The portrait is part of my series Hope. Despair. Miracles. (2019–2023), a project that offers recognition to grassroots and individuals making a real difference in Longsight, the working-class multi-ethnic neighbourhood where I live in south-east Manchester.
From the series Govanhill – a portrait of the place. Govanhill is a diverse and multicultural area in the Southside area of Glasgow.
Since becoming a parent in early 2022, my work has been exploring the themes of birth and motherhood through personal reflections. I turned to this subject because photographing my daughter became the only opportunity for a creative output during this time. However, the work soon transcended the immediate function of the family album revealing lesser-known sides of mothering. Rather than challenging the archetypal symbol of the mother, this work is a personal journey into a universal female experience of metamorphosis, evolution, and recovery.
My daughter Megan, from my Teulu (Welsh for family) series which focuses on a dark and troublesome period of our family life.
Eniola moved to Newcastle from Nigeria, just a couple of months before the shoot, to study.
Oduenyi (they/he) is an actor, poet and model who lives in south London. Oduenyi’s (top right) family is their friends, Dio, Intisar and Chi.
“My chosen family are a group of people I can fall back on. What sets us apart from the idea of traditional nuclear family is that we are all intentionally a part of each other’s lives. Blood does not tie us together. We navigate life with love and our intersecting experiences and outlook on the world.”
A Model Family sets out to explore and celebrate the modern model and what they call family. The UK, and especially London, is at the forefront of contemporary modelling. Thankfully breaking down the archetype of the 6ft tall, slim and good-looking model. We are now seeing and celebrating all humans, size, gender, race and ability. And it is where they come from, and the people they call family, that the project is about.
Family has always been a thread in my personal work, right from the beginning, from documenting my estate where I grew up to photographing my father; to photographing young fathers in London; to following a refugee forming a family and new life in the UK. As we emerge into a post-pandemic world, where familial bonds were pushed to the extreme through various lockdowns, I want to explore what family means to people and champion this simple, but often overlooked, bond.
On 25 September 2021, the UKD Orca dredger was brought in by PD Ports to undertake 6 per cent of its annual dredging quota at the mouth of the Tees Estuary and dispose of this dredged material in a spoil site located seven miles off the coast. The following day, those who work bait tyres in Greatham Creek reported dead and dying shore crabs in their tyres. Fishermen’s catches were decimated – many lobsters dying before being landed. Wash-ups began occurring along the coast. Thousands of crustaceans littered the shores in scenes never seen before. In early December, the North East Fishing Collective was formed, made up of nine commercial fishing and angling associations across the north-east. NEFC commissioned a marine pollution consultant, Tim Deere-Jones, to carry out an independent investigation. His report suggested that dredging had most likely disturbed chemicals and led to the mass mortalities, plus he identified one potential chemical: pyridine.
Since then, environmentalists and fishermen have continued to fight for answers – with Defra eventually launching an investigation. While the initial report said an algal bloom was the likely cause, further investigations found that a ‘novel pathogen’ was probably to blame. Independent marine and university experts, and the fishermen still believe dredging on the Tees unearthed historical toxins leading to the mass die-off – but this has been ruled out by the authorities. In the subsequent year, the fishermen have collected sediment samples from the Tees estuary and dump sites out at sea and raised further funds to commission independent scientists from regional universities to analyse them. The results are pending.
This is from the series Save Our Sea. Levi Terry is a part-time commercial lobster fisherman from Marske whose catch is still being affected. In July 2023, lobster catches were 50 per cent down and the crab fishery is decimated.
The aim of my project is to tell the stories of the people who work behind the scenes to keep Britain’s railways operating. Megan is one of them. She is a rail engineer and on this job, at Welwyn North Station, she was one of the few women working. It is a hyper macho environment and Megan breaks the stereotype of the kind of person who toils the unsocial hours doing hard labour. She is bossing her role and I am proud to have captured her mid-shift.
Vini is Brazilian, he’s a foreigner, like myself, and I think this has a lot to do with why we get along so well. We did not click when we first met, but after a few more encounters I started understanding some of the complexities that make up this man. He is effortlessly street smart and wears an armour of tattoos that keeps all but the most sincere approaches at bay. Yet under this, is a soul so compassionate and honourable that you might think he is putting on an act. I find the fact that he rides his fixie with no brakes to be a good metaphor; on the surface it seems like a reckless thing to do, but if you have the required skill set, there is no better way to ride.
I spotted Rodney the beagle and knew I wanted to photograph him. He was so in tune with his person, Peter, that they seemed to mirror each other.
Hannah is a recovering heroin addict. She first started using the drug at the age of 15 and has spent the last 20 years battling addiction. Now clean and in the process of rebuilding her life, Hannah has agreed to work with me on a project to create a visual story of her experience of addiction. The project title, Yesterday, and Today, and Forever, reflects the reality that she will always be a heroin addict; the struggle to remain clean is renewed each morning.
Lately, the undeniable connection between women and luxury brands has gained considerable recognition. When we talk about fashion and beauty, it is nearly impossible not to mention women’s hair, makeup, handbags and exquisitely luxurious shoes. Nevertheless, I chose to step outside the conventional and paint a picture that celebrates beauty embraced by simplicity. Nature itself stands as a striking reminder of how beauty can radiate through simplicity alone, unaffected by specific traits that define its appeal. Wherever you cast your gaze, the splendour of nature awaits, and I dare to imagine that women around the world should be celebrated in much the same way.
Eddie is a fishmonger at Wing Yip, a Chinese supermarket in Croydon. He said the experience of having his portrait taken was new to him and especially unusual given he was at work.
Our photoshoot with disabled models was not just about capturing aesthetically pleasing images; it was about capturing hearts, minds and narratives. By portraying the strength, resilience, and unique stories of disabled models, we took a step towards redefining societal norms and promoting a world where every individual feels seen, valued and empowered. Through these images, we hope to inspire change, create conversations and foster a more inclusive and accepting society for all.
Walid Saleh is a refugee from Sudan who lost his leg at the age of 14 when he was involved in an unprovoked gun attack.
It is an inspirational journey of determination – a young person in a new country, overcoming the language barrier, learning to walk again and embracing his disability.
Walid has a focus to qualify for the 100 metres at the Paralympic Games in Paris 2024. I observed and documented Walid in his training environment to illustrate his extraordinary heroism.
Shani Dhanda is an award-winning disability specialist, listed as one of the UK’s most influential disabled people. As a keynote speaker and practitioner for inclusion across business, government, non-profit and wider society, Shani helps organisations break barriers and integrate inclusion into their business frameworks. Shani’s style and approach are described as “a winning combination of authenticity and passion, helping to remove the awkwardness and fear of having confident conversations about disability within business and society”.
A South Asian pioneer that has broken and is breaking boundaries and stereotypes within and outside of the South Asian community through truly being her authentic self. Shani is wearing a lengha by Dina Kashap with jewellery from Anisha Parmar.
On a mercifully sunny day in England, I went to some gardens with a small theatre company and the actresses starring in their newest play: a lesbian love story that spanned across the ages. They were such fun to be with. We put on some music and they danced in the long grasses of the gardens. One of them was Kalifa, whose skin seemed to take on a beautiful golden glow in the sunlight. There was something about this moment in particular, dreamlike and hopeful, that I felt resembled what our bigger goal was as individuals, which was to tell a story, each in our own way, but sharing that story together. Plus is there anything more British than dancing in a field?
Maddy is the kind of human you cannot forget about once you have met them. We have only been friends for just over a year, but I truly cannot imagine life without her. Life without Maddy has no fun, no sunshine, no late-night car rides to McDonald’s screaming Wet Leg from the top of your lungs. I am blessed to be around her, dressed up in her corsets and cowboy boots.
Debbie is a breast cancer survivor and has gone through several surgeries and is going through a lot of ongoing treatment. This image was taken on the day of her fifth round of chemotherapy – her beautiful red hair has begun to fall out and these wisps of hair are left blowing in the wind.
This portrait of my dad with my mum’s clothes pinned to him is from my series Mum’s Possessions. I lost my mum to breast cancer and have kept hold of many of her belongings.
This young man was on his way to visit relatives in east London, where they gather every week. The portrait stirs a sense of nostalgia within me; it reminds me of my own experience when I was young. Even though we are strangers, the camera serves as a tool that forges connections between individuals.
This self-portrait is from my series Mum’s Possessions.The series is a form of art therapy for myself. I lost my mum to breast cancer when I was 15 and have kept hold of many of her belongings since her passing, including the smallest of mundane objects.
By using myself as the sitter, the act of creating becomes a cathartic and healing process. I am able to document my mum’s possessions while also creating a tangible link to her, a visual bridge that allows me to connect with her while also reflecting a sense of absence and longing.
Through my creative process, I am able to revisit memories, unravel emotions, find a sense of closure and understanding.
In this body of work, I strive to not only connect with my mum, but also to share my experience with others and spark conversations about grief. I want viewers to question the emotional connections that exist between bereft people and their loved ones’ possessions, inviting viewers to reflect on their own experiences of loss and remembrance.
I met Vernon on Tottenham High Road. We have remained friends ever since. A former professional boxer, Vernon was known as ‘The Entertainer’ for his showmanship and unorthodox fighting style. After visiting Jamaica in 2005, he was denied re-entry to Britain, his home since the age of six. As a result, Vernon became homeless in Jamaica for 13 years; destitute, alone and without access to necessary healthcare. Despite this, he continued to fight, eventually taking the British government to the High Court in a landmark case that achieved justice for himself and countless other victims of the Windrush scandal.
Taking a moment for a few drinks on the side of the beach fairground.
I met Lana sitting by the river. She often cycles to this place for the peace and quiet – as we spoke we could hear a cuckoo calling from the nearby wood. She told me she was contemplating her future and thinking about moving to London to study something creative.
I took this portrait on commission for Versus. This was my first time meeting Ian, who was incredibly warm and welcoming. I only had a few minutes, and we took around 20 images together. This portrait captures a moment of calm and reflection on a hectic, high-energy shoot.
The florist from Swanage Market in April.
Every year on the first of May, people of the Avalon plains gather to celebrate Beltane, the Gaelic observance of the arriving summer. A procession of green-dressed figures parade through the town, leading them to the hill where festivities and dancing begin. Here, I met Niallor with his beautiful towering headdress.
This work uncovers the surreal and continuous presence of grief, memory and trauma in the everyday. Causing hysteria to take form. Creating space to expose and understand the waves of grief that have already drowned me. Initial fears and panic have transformed into a floating sensation, a void.
This mortality has created in me a desire for definition, seeking the end to grief. Through this exploration and its reflections, I have come to understand that I will never feel dry again.
A fabulous lady fronting one of the seafood stalls on Scarborough’s seafront.
I have lived in Brixton for 15 years. I met this little boy at the court where I play some Sundays. Anyone can join the games; boys or girls, young and old, friends, strangers. He was there playing basketball in his socks
on a summer evening.
I shot this image of my mum in a brief moment of sun during a very dreary British summer. A talented gardener, she devotes most of her days to nurturing and cultivating.
Midgitte Bardot is the drag alter ego of Tammy Reynolds. They created Midgitte as an outlet for the discrimination they have endured for having dwarfism. This portrait shows them preparing backstage for a show at the Pleasance Theatre in London.
The tenant farmers of the Elan and Claerwen Valleys keep sheep on the open hill without fences, as their ancestors have done for generations. They gather sheep together with their neighbours, sometimes still on horseback, forming a close community and passing down a traditional way of life. Brexit, economic and environmental concerns, including biodiversity loss and the climate crisis, are creating uncertainty for the future upland farmer. The members of this community starting their working lives may face great changes.
John arrived in the UK in 1954 from Barbados in the Caribbean, part of the Windrush Generation who moved to the UK in the 1950s and 60s, hoping for a better life, but often facing persecution and racism. Despite this, they have made lives here and raised families, becoming part of the cultural fabric of the country.
Jacqueline is a crane operator based in London. Prior to this she worked in an agency tracking down individuals suspected of sexual offences against children. She hopes that her story would encourage women to apply for jobs in industries traditionally affiliated to men.
This portrait is of a couple with Down’s syndrome, taken at their home in Bristol. The image is part of our series Us (2020–2022), which documents love, acceptance and intimacy outside the social norms of age, gender, body image and disability, showcasing couples in their homes.
Jose is photographed as part of a beauty story. An attempt to further normalise progressive beauty standards and self-expression outside of gender norms.
Pictured is England netball player Funmi Fadoju at the England Netball training centre in Loughborough ahead of the World Cup in South Africa. She has quickly become one of the most popular players in the Superleague and videos of her leaping-salmon performances for London Pulse are regularly shared among the sport’s fanbase.
Anairin grew up in Tottenham, London, in a Jehovah’s Witness community. His upbringing as a queer person of colour was complex. He was told he did not belong in his community and schools. Others often called him names, like ‘batty boy’, and at times it went as far as him getting beaten up by guys who, in reality, had crushes on him.
When I see this picture that we created together, stemming from his ideas of safety and home, I can see the child within and how he felt the safest in his intimacy.
So much of the UK fishing industry is held up by foreign and migrant workers and I believe that the majority of the population do not know where their food comes from and the people behind the catch. I was lucky to spend some time with a crew of Ghanaians aboard the Stelissa, a gill-netter fishing out of Newlyn.
Muriel Tridinnick, who was a Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service) during the Second World War, sits on her bed at the Rokewood Court Care Home, where she lives.
Within my projects about motherhood I have a sub-series called Portrait of a Mother of a... where I photographed myself monthly, 20 plus times, when my daughter/s were a month older.
This is a self-portrait where I am breastfeeding my younger daughter, L, when she was 15 months old. I had a difficult breastfeeding journey with my first, B, and we stopped when she was around six months old, when she started to refuse to feed. With L, everything about it has been so much easier and I wanted to celebrate the ‘milestone’ of still breastfeeding her at 15 months as I sensed the end might be near and I could not have imagined when she was born that I would still be feeding her in 2023.
I do not show my daughters’ faces within my work, so this also works well to hide L’s face. I like that she is playing with my lips, as since a young age she has pulled my hair, put her toes within my hair or interacted with me in some additional way while breastfeeding. It also shows the reality of motherhood.
Mama and Jess at home. Photographing them together felt like therapy in some way. My sister and mum have had their differences in the past and in our culture feelings are not easily expressed with words, but through small gestures. Both of them are my heroes.
Taken underneath the Westway as part of a portrait project shooting people near the route of London’s elevated road. It was a cold evening and I had asked Edwin to remove his coat.
This image is part of my long-term project A Brighter Sun, documenting the remnants of the Caribbean exodus in east London while exploring and examining my own sense of belonging and estrangement in this city and country I have migrated to. I encountered Abraham while walking in Hackney Marshes. He was with a friend and his durag and big earring drew my attention. He spoke to me about his parents and, as I set up my camera, he looked up as a plane flew by. I noticed the big glimmer in his expressive eyes as dusk was setting in. In a second, I thought about how hopeful that image looked. It symbolised, at least in my head, the hopes and dreams of many generations that came after the Windrush ship docked in Tilbury in 1948.
Bill Nighy, photographed at the Ham Yard Hotel, Piccadilly, for the Los Angeles Times. Never meet your heroes, unless it’s Bill. Bill’s cool.
Sisterhood FC player Atiya, 24, in action during a Ladies’ Super Liga seven-a-side tournament against Brazuka WFC, at Archbishop’s Park football pitch in London.
Temps is James’ musical outlet and here he is photographed as the character Party Gator, all part of Temps. He is out on the street taking a call from Nish Kumar.
I made this portrait of Scarlett moments before she ascended to 15,000 feet to jump out of a plane in drag to raise money for the Princess Alice Hospice. “As a drag queen you almost have a need to feel the thrill because that’s what going on stage is; it’s a feeling of excitement, a buzz.” Scarlett saw first-hand the positive impact hospice care can have on the precious end stages of life, having lost her muma month before the jump.
Portrait of a couple at London Pride 2023.
Priyanka (she/they) plays with their stim toys when they feel sensory overload. Stim toys or fidget toys provide sensory stimulation and help regulate the nervous system of neurodivergent individuals. Priyanka always carries some of their collection of these toys. This portraiture is part of a documentary work focused on the lived experience of neurodivergence, especially the moment of repose. It attempts to illustrate the intricate interplay between neurodivergent individuals and their surroundings.
This was taken outside the Garrick Theatre in London, where Emma Corrin, in a moment of reflection, was playing the role of Orlando in a modern adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s monumental story. The character overlaps with Emma as they are both very fluid in their gender identity. Emma is an example to many young people of how you can have fun with your identity and be proud.
This image was taken on commission for Versus. Reiss visited his primary school on the Aylesbury Estate, where he grew up, to open their new football pitch.
Karen has been a counsellor most of her adult life, throughout this dealing with her own trauma, one such incident being the death of her ex-husband and the father of her children 18 months ago to suicide. “As a counsellor you do a lot of looking after other people, but I’ve learned that I have to love and be attentive to myself and that’s when I started feeling truly happy. There’s positives to getting older, there’s freedom, you become wise and intuitive. I feel free and content now, but it didn’t come overnight, it’s taken 60 years. Strong and at peace is what I feel now because I paid attention to myself.”
A lovely lady and her three canine companions attending the local market.
This project delves into the intricate interplay between different worlds, capturing the essence of a coming-of-age narrative. It is as much a reflection of my personal journey as it is a portrayal of the subjects involved. I discovered myself anew while residing in a quintessentially English suburb after years of being away.
Margaret Tyler is a royal collector who has dedicated her life to the Royal Family. I photographed Margaret a few months before the Queen’s passing.
This image is taken from a series about the birth of our daughter Juniper. I began making pictures from the initial contractions and followed it through to the arrival of Juniper a day and a half later.
My partner and I learned so much leading up to the birth. We were amazed how little of the birthing process is talked about, how little we learn in school or share between us. The main source of information we have is wildly inaccurate scenes in TV shows or movies. We found this strange considering it is one of the few experiences that unites us all.
I have not been able to fully articulate what this work is about yet as it is emotionally very complex.
This photograph is a self-portrait with my daughter, from my series Fugue. Fugue draws on mothering and loss as central themes.
Mrs Aldred in blue, with directions to the bluebell flower fields on a spring day.
Dallon and Fraser, both transgender men, share an unbreakable relationship and a love of arts and crafts. Being queer has posed many challenges for them, at times including serious concerns for their safety. They told me that they often feel the need to constrict themselves to the eyes of the world, but when alone, love each other unashamedly.
Leonora, an ecologist in the field.
In a historically marginalised part of Stoke-on-Trent, Joseph and his neighbours have embarked on a 100-year plan to defend their land and the wider ecology. A series of actions collectively made to improve the neighbourhood for the community and the planet.
This image is part of a wider personal project that challenges and investigates the culture that surrounds adolescent trauma. The work burrows deep inside the life of Xanthe (23 years old), whose experience, much like the photographer’s own, is riddled with disordered patterns that arise as a result of unresolved traumas.
I wish to commemorate the sore wounds of individual experience. The photographic space is used by myself as a means to communicate an intimate companionship and solidarity that is completely transparent.
This is a documentation of a dear friend of 14 years, taken over a two-month period in the north of England. This work began as an investigation into recovery, but became a document of friendship, loneliness and shared experience. It exposed the everlasting effects that early disordered eating has in adulthood – it is an attempt to visualise the silent pain of others in a stance against loneliness and isolation.
Cris and his family are asylum seekers from Nicaragua. They have been settled in Ashington for just over a year. I met them through the weekly drop-in at our local church hosted by Northumberland County of Sanctuary (NCOS). They say one of the toughest things about living in Ashington is the language barrier; not only do they need to learn English, but they are also competing with a very broad, fast-spoken local dialect.
Frustrated by the biased opinions of the media towards those seeking asylum in the UK, I journeyed back to my hometown of Ashington to tell a different side of the story. For three months, I lived out of my car, enjoying the generosity of new and old friends, documenting our time together. I spent much of this time with NCOS – a charity set up to welcome refugees and asylum seekers who were being sent to north-east England to live. The resulting project, Hjem, paints a poetic picture, not only of those seeking asylum, but also of the hospitality and kindness of the communities welcoming them with open arms.
Every summer, NCOS runs a programme of events and trips around Northumberland and the north-east. The months I worked on this project were very nostalgic of my school summer holidays, swimming in the sea, the rivers, running around castles, coastline and countryside. All while learning of one another’s cultures and customs.
Hjem (pronounced Yem) means home in our local dialect and is actually Danish; this Nordic word has stuck to our language, likely since the time of the Vikings.
Hjem is an exchange of care and culture, capturing the importance of community and the love we are all capable of.
Alev loves libraries, animation, gaming, cats, ramen – the list goes on. She also has an obsession with coffee and says she cannot live without it. This portrait is part of a larger series where I photograph people showcasing their personalities while wearing a small tag detailing their mental health condition because, much like the tag, medical labels are so small compared to the bigger picture of someone’s life. Alev may have borderline personality disorder, but she is certainly not her diagnosis.
At Hackney Downs Park, I encountered a group of boys playing basketball. Among them, I was struck by the glowing hair of one of the boys in the golden hour sunset.
“Being outside is everything to me really. If I couldn’t be outside I wouldn’t have any point to me” – Meryl Clarke
This is from the series Hardy and Free, a work about women and their relationship to landscape in response to the quote by Emily Brontë, commissioned by the Brontë Parsonage Museum and The Brontë Society.
“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free; and laughing at injuries, not maddening under them! Why am I so changed?”– Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Lark, an hour after her birth at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist
Photographing Jo Brand, I felt that deep wisdom is hidden
behind her smile and focus, and vulnerability is a sign
of humanity, beauty and strength. I believe that real
vulnerability creates true connection.
I saw this girl at Tunes on the Sands Festival. I framed the shot and waited for her to notice me before capturing her portrait. I enjoy making pictures this way as it often means you get an almost neutral expression as they take notice.
I have never felt the presence and character of one person in their surroundings as much as I did when I first visited the home of the Reverend Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon. Every item, book on a shelf or picture on a wall seemed to carry a piece of her identity. She is warm, welcoming and full of stories. This portrait shows a brief moment between very cool anecdotes.
Lilei, DT and Ling captured during the Women’s World Cup 2023 final at a screening in London. I thought their energy really represented the calm, positive, kind and exciting vibes of the day. Friends and families gathered at the screening with picnic blankets and it was a special and refreshing way to watch and experience football.
As I bought tickets for my son and his pals to ride the Waltzer at Taylor’s Funfair, in The Meadows, I told the woman selling the tickets, whose name is Bonnie, that I thought she looked amazing. And with a twinkle in her eye, her reply was, “It’s showbiz”.
Kayla lives in rural Scotland. I met her while teaching photography and film-making to a group of young people who were keen to expand their skills in digital media.
Girls from Suriname on the first day of Notting Hill Carnival 2023.
A football fan celebrates the England team’s journey to the final of the Euros.
A portrait of the man who saved my life. This is Professor David Russell-Jones, who is head of endocrinology at the Royal Surrey Hospital. On 19 December 2020 I was taken into hospital with a blood glucose reading of 27.4mmol. I arrived at A&E during the second Covid-19 lockdown, to a seemingly post-apocalyptic hospital. Much of this day is a blur due to my confused state of ketoacidosis, but I vividly remember being one of only two people in A&E that day. After numerous tests I was told ‘The Prof’ was on duty that day and he would come and see me. After looking at my bloods, urine and HbA1c, he diagnosed me with type 1 diabetes. He prescribed me with two different types of insulin injections and a nurse injected me, an injection I now administer four times a day (one long-lasting on a morning, plus three short-term – one at each mealtime). It was hard to walk or even open my eyes that day and I was later told I was only hours away from slipping into a coma, one which The Prof could not guarantee I would ever have woken from.
After two years of trying to make this happen, I was finally able to take his portrait on a sunny winter’s day at his office and thank him in person for saving my life. It is thanks to this incredible man that I am able to tell this story, and it is by far the most humbling experience I have ever encountered with my camera.
Halima and Haleemah are two young Muslim students, aged 17 and 18, who recently moved from Nigeria to the UK to study law and maths. Both expressed how much they are appreciating their new-found independence, but at the detrimental cost of loneliness from not having their families close by. At least they have each other.
Phil Duggan is a former coal miner, who worked at the Merthyr colliery all of his adult working life. He developed coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), commonly known as ‘black lung disease’, which occurs when coal dust is inhaled over a long period of time. Despite this, he is proud of where he comes from and the landscape that has shaped his path in life. Originally photographed for The Observer Magazine for a feature on the environmental implications of a nearby open-cast coal mine, Phil and other residents have campaigned against the mine for over 20 years. Phil said, “I love this town, it embodies everything about Wales and the UK and I want the next generation to grow up in a clean environment and not endure the suffering that I have.”
The Mildmay Club (originally called the Mildmay Radical Club and Institute) was established in Newington Green in 1888 and has been a community treasure ever since. Over the past few months, it has been recording interviews with long-standing members about their memories of the club – bringing to life its extraordinary history for an audio recording they are calling Mildmay Stories.
When I heard of the oral histories project, I asked if I would be able to take photographs of the members featured in the project. Community institutions such as the Mildmay are disappearing and their histories are disappearing along with them. I believe it is important to document and archive the stories so they are not forgotten to time.
Drag king and comedian Pat Riarchy shot in Bethnal Green before their gig.
From the series Construct, which was created with over 50 people experiencing homelessness in Birmingham, commissioned by Grain Projects. In the first year, the artist spent time getting to know the staff and individuals associated with SIFA Fireside, a charity that supports homeless people in leading healthier and happier lives, by working in the kitchen and serving meals. He then invited people to take cameras away to capture their experiences, meeting with participants regularly to discuss their images and to record conversations. During the Covid pandemic and associated lockdowns, workshops and conversations were continued online. Luvera also invited participants to learn how to use digital medium format equipment, to create an assisted self-portrait. To make an assisted self-portrait, the artist meets regularly with the participant in locations that are significant to them. The final images for use in exhibition and publication are selected by the participant.
Jess, a dedicated midwife, faced her own pregnancy complication, leading to an emergency C-section at just 32 weeks gestation amid the pandemic, bringing Red into the world. This poignant moment was captured as part of my A Moment in Time project, which aimed to document the resilience of NHS frontliners during the Covid-19 crisis.
A woman wearing traditional Kerala wedding attire in Campbell Park.
I started documenting the ‘Last Travellers’ in the GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Travellers) community last year, with the aim of archiving those living on the road who stick to their nomadic lifestyle, and the traditional traveller lifestyle, despite the fact that the government constantly harasses them with regulations, to force travellers to settle down.
Patrick Sr emigrated from his home country Trinidad in Trinidad & Tobago over 50 years ago. He built a community in his barber shop with his son, Patrick Jr. They welcome Caribbean men like themselves and his positive global reach is seen by the currencies on the wall.
I met Rocky at North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival, a volunteer- run festival held on the Orcadian island of North Ronaldsay, which centres around the island’s historic Sheep Dyke. The drystone dyke is a wall that encircles the entire four-mile long island to protect its flock of native seaweed-eating sheep, an important link to Orkney’s past. Volunteers from around the world come to help rebuild the wall during the Sheep Festival, as well as to join in the celebrations of the island’s distinct culture and traditions through music, art and education. Rocky came with his mum, but was too young to do much wall-building so instead went looking for bones and skulls on the beach. We ended up incorporating Rocky’s many finds into the wall as decoration, and he made himself a crown and a sceptre as ruler of what he titled
“the death zone”.
A New Malden resident on a day trip at MoD Boscombe Down, watching the Republic of Korea Air Force Black Eagles.
My 99-year-old Great-aunt Betty resides in Devon after a career as a nurse during the war in the East End of London. I asked her how she has lived this long and in such good health and she replied, “It’s because of the three Ws – work hard, walk everywhere and drink plenty of water.”
Jason is a lifelong Hibernian FC fan who grew up in Leith. For a period of his life, he lived with his gran in the iconic Cables Wynd House, better known as the Leith Banana Flats that were made famous by Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting. Jason is standing on his gran’s landing with his favourite Hibs jumper and scarf.
From the series There is No Grief Without Love. Mark lost his son in a motorbike accident and he found it hard to grieve: “It’s not just being a man, some people just don’t know how to grieve. I’ve never grieved for anybody in the past. I had bottled all the grief for three years and it was eating away inside. You need to be able to talk to people who are in the same situation as you, dealing with the same emotions and so I went to RoadPeace for help and advice.”
Taken from my self-publication June 2022, a series of visual diaries for each month of the year.
Disabled people are the largest minority group in the world with an estimated 1.6 billion people across the globe living with disabilities, and yet the representation in the media is problematic and inadequate. This is from the series Unseen and confronts the ableism that permeates our society, flipping the script on what disability ‘looks like’ by intentionally including those with invisible disabilities and placing them at the centre of their own narrative. Inspired by classical statues, this series celebrates disabled bodies as worthy of art instead of pity. As a disabled photographer, I know what it is like to feel unseen in this world, so this is a very personal project.
Moonrakers and Sunseekers is an overnight 300km audax that takes place in November each year. Riders leave Bristol at 10pm and make their way south to Bournemouth then Poole Harbour, where they stop off at Lilliput Sea Scouts control for basic food, rest and to have their brevet card stamped. Between the hours of 2am and 7am, I photographed a selection of riders coming through.
“In 2016, I had major heart surgery, saving my life; 18 months later I rode a 200km audax and cried when I got to the end. The fear of losing cycling was terrible,” says Liam Fitzpatrick.
I lost my father during Covid and my mother, pictured here, lost her husband of over 60 years. I have spent time with her every day over the last three years and she is often melancholic, lost in her thoughts. She talks of her childhood, which was horrific on many levels, but she brought up five children and has always been a positive influence, despite her need for solace and reflection.
“Mary, God rest her soul.”
This series of portraits represents the spiritual countenance of Chinese immigrants in the UK. In a scattered land, they seek their own identity – a journey where fragments of Chinese culture become an ‘otherness’ within the context of the UK, yet also become a ‘hometown’ for these individuals as ‘others’. It is like some flowers growing randomly along the shore. What interests me is how the generation of Chinese immigrants from the politically turbulent and aspirational 1970s and 80s, under the gaze of
Western society, found the power and tension of individual survival while being perceived as ‘Chinese’.
James Clancy and his brother John co-own The Laurieston Bar in Glasgow. I was spending a day in the city doing portraits and street photography and ended up in The Laurieston in the evening. James let me come behind the bar to take some photographs and this is him coming up from the cellar.
A young lad covered in a young lad’s grazes and bruises and an injured wrist was carrying his tired dog up the steep hill from Durdle Door beach to the car park. I asked him if the dog was OK. “He’s alright, jus’ tired, he’s no much bother,” said the kid in a Scottish accent.
In July 2022, my wife, after dealing with mild alopecia for most of her adulthood, discovered that her hair was falling out in clumps. This was by far the most difficult period we have ever had in our marriage and over the last year my wife has come to terms with her situation and, in my view, become so much more powerful. On a sunny day at home in summer 2023, I wandered into the garden and saw her in this serene position, her fair skin perfectly contrasting with the dark background of the garden in the midday sun. To me, it exudes a peace, which has taken some time to achieve.
My wife Chantel had been diagnosed with cancer while pregnant. This photo was taken while waiting to have a biopsy. There were so many questions we both had.
Five Ukrainian women (left to right: Olena, Paulina, Valentyna, Tanya and Valeria) on Dartmoor, Devon, after their first summer in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.
An image taken from the ongoing series Bàbá, Father : a collection of portraits of Black fathers.
Photographed at her home in Sussex, Livi lost her eye as a teenager after being diagnosed with retinoblastoma. She now uses her platform to spread the message of body positivity.
This is my friend Maya, who is a performing arts student at Chickenshed Youth Theatre. She is also a passionate dancer and model. Having worked for esteemed clients such as Nike and CBBC, her remarkable achievements stand as a testament to her unwavering dedication and undeniable talent.
This is my friend Chan, who I asked to be one of the models for a shoot idea I had that addresses having to choose between becoming an artist or a nine-to-fiver in a time where the cost of living keeps rising.
Every Tuesday evening, I can hear the bells ringing from St Bartholomew Church Tower, about half a mile or so down the road from my house in Westhoughton. I will sometimes put the kettle on, sit on the back doorstep, and just listen. I often wondered about the bellringers: who were they? And why do they ring? I decided to find out.
This is a portrait of Nathan, one of the bellringers from my social documentary and portrait series Why We Ring, which not only documents the process of bellringing, but also shares the stories of the current tower custodians. Through this project I have tried to challenge perceptions about bellringing in Britain, who and what it involves. Nathan was introduced to bellringing by his grandad, who is also in the series. I spent Tuesday and Sunday sessions with the bellringers and was given permission to climb the steep series of ladders from the ringing floor, which take you higher up into the tower and eventually onto the roof: an honour usually reserved for the tower captain.
Through this project I have met a friendly bunch of people who love what they do and are keenly passing their skills on to future generations. I have learned that bellringing attracts people of all ages, backgrounds, faiths and none. Here in Westhoughton, the tower at St Bartholomew brings people with different backgrounds together to ring, all for different reasons.
A captured moment of my son Arlo, who has a life-long genetic syndrome called Prader-Willi. Although it affects many parts of his daily life, he never lets it hold him back and is always powering forward with total confidence – never failing to surprise.
You will usually find my grandfather wearing one of two hats.
One is the Pakol (pictured), a traditional cap worn by men from all over the Indian subcontinent, a visual marker of the place he once called home before coming to Britain in the 1970s.
The other is a Karakul, deep black in colour, a symbol of devotion to a spiritual dynasty based in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, of which he is a fiercely loyal follower.
To me, these two hats neatly encompass the two sides of his personality I have come to know over the years. One is that of the kind and loving grandfather, the man who left home at age 16 to put down roots in a strange place. He is an entrepreneur who made good on the opportunities this country offered him, and still goes above and beyond to provide comfort and security for his family.
The other is the stern head of the tribe, the stringent stickler for the rules. This man has come to realise that the sole purpose of this life is to prepare for what comes next, and does his best to remind others of this fatal truth at every opportunity.
Two hats, two sides of the same coin.
I enjoy the juxtaposition of couples embracing one another
in rivals’ shirts. Picasso created a series of works that looked
as if two individuals were kissing one another. I recreated
these creative portraits by combining themes of football,
romance and art.
It was another school strike day, Kaidon was at the community centre with his family for breakfast. I wondered what he made of the strikes? What does he know about the cost-of-living crisis? How will it affect his life? This image is from the Stockport ExtraOrdinary project, exploring what community looks like today, commissioned by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
Daphne is the current European Triathlon Champion for her age group, 80–84. She has inspired fellow athletes in a variety of disciplines since first participating in triathlons in her forties. I photographed her as part of my project highlighting the strength and determination of women in sport, who are often sexualised, objectified and discriminated against. Sport is for everyone.
This is from the series England’s United Nations of Football. Pictured at Saint Gabriel’s College, London, are (left to right) Benedith Gyamfi Duah, 13 (Ghana), Peace-Hillary Nsangou,
12 (Cameroon) and Yeray Sanchez, 14 (England), ready to support their teams at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
From the series Raising Doron. Here I sit in the heat of June 2023 being sprayed with bubbles by my son.
The #NoMoreLyes campaign, which calls for an end to toxic products being sold to Black women, is spearheaded by UK feminist campaign group Level Up. It has a successful track record in winning gender justice campaigns, including introducing the UK’s first media guidelines on reporting domestic abuse deaths, and successfully removing diet pill and plastic surgery adverts targeted at young women.
This photograph was taken on (or very close to) the site where Stephen Lawrence was murdered. During the shoot we experienced a micro aggression from a member of the public signifying the reality of something Denzel Washington said in connection with racism, but which applies to gender inequality too: “Don’t confuse movement with progress.” Isaac (Guvna B) handled the situation with integrity and wisdom, responding not with a verbal attack, but an encouragement to the individual to keep learning.
This picture is a testament to the brighter side of the queer experience, celebrating the power that emanates from caring for our families, both biological and found. Queer people deserve to love and to be loved.
I met Saf while making a personal project on boxing across the landscape of Britain. Saf overcame a debilitating illness and rose up to fight in the ring. Her aspiration is to represent Pakistan at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
Prominent figure in the British art scene, Grayson Perry was recently knighted for services to the arts, topping his long list of accolades. He has been an inspiration to many, including the students at University of the Arts London, where he poses here at their graduation.
A portrait of a local, joining his peers for a drink at the local pub, The Golden Lion. It was shot for a project documenting the characters and environment of a traditional pub.
I discovered triplets Frankie, Billie and Ashlee via Instagram and found they lived just down the road from me. I contacted their mum and I spent the morning with them wandering around Brockley, south-east London, together.
I find myself fascinated with what lies within the complexities of human identity, especially when you are a twin or triplet sibling. In this photograph, I had the privilege of capturing the essence of teenage triplets, each unique in their own right, yet undeniably connected by the unbreakable bond of shared experiences.
Over the summer, I met a man named Youth. Confident with a kind demeanour, Youth was a musician. Despite our backgrounds, we found a shared love for art and culture. We spoke at length about the essence of being an artist and an individual in today’s society. Speaking with someone so articulate and open allowed me to understand who he was and therefore create incredibly intimate photos.
Don Letts for BBC Radio 6 Music.
Aziz’s story touched me deeply and I really wanted to meet him to take portraits. He left his Syrian homeland at 20 years old, making a perilous journey across Europe to eventually be granted asylum in Germany. Despite having no previous experience, and unable to speak the language, within months he began his love affair with acting and a few years later found himself starring in international productions. I met him while he was in the UK promoting his role in the British-French TV series Liaison.
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