Last year, I worked alongside Spitfire Audio to capture Lara Somogyi’s live session at Spitfire Audio HQ, in London. The combo of harp and loop pedal was mesmerising - such a fun photography shoot. See the full collection above + watch the live session here.
Over the moon to announce that my photograph was selected as the category winner for People & Nature in this years Wild London photography competition. The image has been on exhibit for 6 weeks in the Engine House, Walthamstow Wetlands!
Another year passes and my website is slowing updating - who knew it took so long? It’s a good sign though as I’ve been busy working for a whole variety of new clients, including; Greenpeace, Stir, METHOD, On:Song, Spitfire Audio and Unearthed.
This week, my first piece of travel writing has been featured on ROAM Magazine. ROAM publish stories, photography and guides from around the world, focusing on the cultures and people who make each trip. This year I set myself the challenge to develop my writing skills to sit alongside my photography, and try and get a feature. I was over the moon when they selected my piece ’The Secret Isle of Skomer’. It is a magical place. I’d love to know what you think.
Where does the time go?! In January I set myself the big job of updating my website…it’s now almost June and I still haven’t completed the update! However, I can’t complain as it’s great to be busy. So far this year I’ve worked on multiple edits, produced a film for the World Health Assembly and traveled to Nepal to create a film for WaterAid.
In the meantime, you can see what I’m up to on my Instagram. I’m loving doing the Insta Stories!
Recently, I worked with Vanilla Bear Films to produce a film called ‘Michael’s Story’.
Michael was like any other 21 year old, until one unfortunate moment changed the course of his life. But what could’ve been a devastating and isolating accident…wasn’t. And with the love and support of his friends and family, and the innovation of technology, Michael lives a full and happy life. This is his story.
It was one of the first times working with the Vanilla Bear guys - and what a brilliant team to work with. I love their approach to storytelling and I think that shines through in this production. See some BTS photos below & watch the making of here.
I came in as Producer and Photographer (…and as a step in actor, but I didn’t make the cut!) on this project. I loved location scouting for the shoot and taking portraits of Michael. He was such an excellent human and super to work with. I was completely amazed by the Tobii Dynavox technology and how it can transform everyday life and bring independence.
Check out Vanilla Bear’s great blog with more details on the inspiration, storytelling and fun interactive techy colour grade examples - vanillabearfilms.com/portfolio/michaels-story
For more about Tobii Dynavox and the work they do – www.tobiidynavox.co.uk
A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of taking photos at the launch night of The Gate’s new restaurant on Seymour Place, London. Find out about this marvellous vegetarian restaurant here: http://thegaterestaurants.com/seymour-place
Highlight: vegan meringue. Not sure how they did it, but it was extremely yum!
Recent adventures to Teufelsberg, Berlin.
Teufelsberg, former NSA listening station, is now home to some of the most amazing graffiti. To get there, we walked through a forest, up a massive hill, to be greeted by some huge iron gates. It is eerily quiet but incredible to walk around to see the incredible art and old building structure. Going inside the top tower/dome was incredible and the sound
reverb was insane - it was fun to sing inside it and hear the echoes! You must go!
At the beginning of the week, Across the Tracks was screened at Canary Wharf in London. It was a brilliant chance to show the 20 minute version of the film in this location on the Big Screens.
For all the latest on the project, features & screenings:
Over the last few months I’ve been working on a production with WaterAid called ‘Across the Tracks’. We have created a short documentary, an extended version film, as well as a long form multimedia piece, which gives more depth to the story and information behind the Clean India campaign.
The Clean India campaign launched around this time last year by the Indian Prime Minister Modi. This has an ambitious target of a toilet for every household by 2019. 2.5 million toilets have been built. However, more than 100 million more must be constructed by 2019 to meet the target – that’s 70,000 toilets every day. This film explores how something as simple as a toilet can help transform lives by following the story of one ambitious mother in Uttar Pradesh.
Radha Verma, determined to protect her daughter after she narrowly escapes a physical attack, builds one of the first toilets in Rakhi Mandi slum, home to 3,500 people in one of India’s largest cities – Kanpur.
I was very lucky to work with an amazing crew on this production.
Drone operator: Nikhil Thakkar
Translators: Saumya Iwn & Alka Pande
Composer: Benji Merrison
My role whilst in production was second camera and photographer. I shot mostly with the Canon 5D Mark 3, Chris shot with the C100 and we swapped over at times. It was a brilliant experience to learn and develop my skills at shooting in difficult urban environments and to assist Catherine and Chris during the filming days. There are obviously some challenges when filming in these types of conditions such as noise, the heat, the kit struggling and overheating in the mid-day sun. Working in a busy location was also interesting, especially when Nikhil, our drone operator, got his equipment out - there was a lot of crowd control involved! In post production, I assisted on a few initial edits and cut a few portraits, then Chris came in with fresh eyes and edited the film beautifully. Putting together our multimedia piece was a really brilliant part of the project. It was excellent to be able to combine writing, photography and film to tell the story in more depth through the Shorthand platform.
Rakhi Mandi is an illegal slum in Kanpur and home to around 3,500 people. In such a colourful and busy environment, there was always something you wanted to film or photograph. In the initial first few days, we just wanted to get to know the slum, the people and hear their stories. One of my favourite parts of the shoot was spending time with people, collecting stories and taking their photograph. Unfortunately, we couldn’t include everyone’s stories in the final film.
One of the most amazing ladies I met was Ram Bitoli.
Ram, unsure of her age, moved to Rakhi Mandi with her husband and children when her youngest son was very small. She lost her sight 9 years ago, quite suddenly. One day out of the blue, her sight was unusual and the sun turned red. She couldn’t get any medicine, and since then her sight has completely deteriorated. From that point, going to the toilet has been a huge problem. Every time she would have to go to the toilet, one of her family members or neighbours would have to take her to somewhere near the railway line. If there wasn’t time, they would just take Ram outside the home, in the open space where everyone could see her, and make her go there. Her husband, Nanhe Lal, died 2 years ago. She speaks of him very fondly, he would help her clean, do the cooking and look after her. They had an amazing marriage and she misses him very much, “I often cry for my husband.”
Today, her son, Sanju Kumar, roughly 22 years old, is helping to construction her toilet. He told me how he gave up a brilliant job opportunity in the city to look after his mother, and how much he loves her. Ram describes her children as her ‘lifeline and comfort” and ‘golden children’. She says, “Once this toilet is built, all my pain will be gone!”. Ram would often not eat during the day, to prevent her from needing the toilet. She ended our time together by saying “the future is bright!”
I feel blessed to have met her and had the opportunity to take her photo.
Happy International Women’s Day!
In October last year, I was blessed to meet Chetna & Sangeeta in Rahki Mandi slum. Sangeeta Srivastava and Chetna Tiwari are community facilitators working for WaterAid’s partner organisation, Shramik Bharti, in Kanpur, India.
“We treat people like they are our family, and slowly become a part of their own families. We show them love. Maybe that’s why they listen to us now.”
Chetna Tiwari / Community facilitator, Shramik Bharti
They have been nicknamed the ‘Toilet Ladies’. These amazing women have worked hard to build relationships with families in this slum. Their mission is to encourage people to build toilets, creating a safer and healthier environment.
It was amazing to be shortlisted in Hunger TV / Rankin Film Productions / DocHead’s film competition with ACROSS THE TRACKS. You can see the 10 minute film we made in India last October, on their website now. Our film was produced & directed by the talented Catherine Feltham! I met the most amazing people & worked with the best team on this project.
The film focuses on Radha Verma, a woman determined to protect her daughter after she narrowly escapes a physical attack, building one of the first toilets in Rakhi Mandi slum, home to 3,500 people. Radha’s story shows that change is possible despite the obstacles placed in her way by her urban environment._Across The Tracks_ highlights the issues of the Clean India campaign, which seeks to reach it’s target of providing a toilet for every household by 2019. _Across the Tracks_ demonstrates how the goals of WaterAid can help transform lives.
The final shortlisted films were screened at DocHead’s event on Thursday night. There were some incredible films played & loads of wonderful people to talk to. In the end the winners were PORTERS by James Dougan, Dan Ridgeon & Max Cutting. A well deserved winner! The short documentary tells the stories of the unnoticed & unappreciated members of Britain’s National Health Service. It made me laugh out loud but also really emotional. Watch the trailer here. The filmmakers have won a £5000 production grant. I cannot wait to see what they create next!
How is it nearly March?!
I’m still in January. I thought I would start this year afresh, new city, new…website! This is my new portfolio to showcase my film & photography work. I love to capture people, places & colours.
Before, I was often blogging updates here, however now, I will be writing reviews, inspirations & updates on this blog linked to my website all in the same place.
Ps. I am going to sign the end of every blog with a photo of one of my favourite humans I meet along the way…