As part of their 'Time is Precious' brand awareness campaign Kit and Ace (and myself) hit the streets of London asking strangers one random personal questions. Part of a dinner table card game called Real Talk, the purpose of the game is to create more social interaction.
As a photographer and a follower of fashion, trends and tailoring I have spent time capturing some of the many characters that make up the Soho tailoring industry. Like the Soho landscape, its tailoring industry has changed dramatically; evolving and reshaping with the structural and social developments taking place.
A former student of the London College of Fashion my love for the clothing industry was a major factor in choosing this personal portrait/documentary project. Since my time living and working in Soho more than twenty years ago, the area has changed considerably. The subject’s captured reiterate this in their tales that stretch back over thirty-five years.
My images pay homage to an industry that is in decline and constant change. Some tailors in the past twelve months have had to move to pastures new due to rent and rate increases and others cease to exist. I have captured over twenty-five tailors in their workshops and/or retail spaces.
Participants range from the younger generation making their mark in the industry through to established tailors who have plied their trade in Soho for decades. Well known tailors like Chris Kerr and family, located on Berwick street, as well as Mark Powell feature in the project. Lesser well-known - but equally important - tailors feature prominently within my body of work.
I feel privileged to have been given access into these workshops and the lives of the many tailors involved. My work is a visual representation of the artisans that have been a main stay within the area and play a major part in the sartorial industry.
For this project I used an analogue 35mm Leica camera. The old format I believe compliments the nature of the spaces captured and the tailors themselves. All the images are natural and show participants as I encounter them in their workspace. My aim was to portray the artistry in tailoring and their character in its natural form, creating images that are real and engaging.
Personal Project: Home from Home (35MM)
Home from Home is a personal, collaborative project that celebrates the cultural diversity of London and the individuality of its residents.
I shot a series of twenty one portraits of people who originate from all over the world and are now based in the capital. Countries include China, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, USA, Estonia and Germany to name a few.
One roll of 35mm colour Fuji film was used for each subject in a setting they had chosen as the place that most reminds them of their home country. Hackney Marshes, Hyde Park, Peckham and Notting Hill are some of the chosen locations.
I then asked them the same five questions: What brought you to this country? What keeps you here? Why did you choose this location to shoot? If you could have one thing from home, what would it be? Can you see yourself going back?
The culture we belong to and country we are from define and shape us as people. The surroundings and loved ones left behind leave an indelible mark on our subconscious. The aim of my project is to tap into these areas of interest and create a visual representation I hope people find intriguing.