I’m loving these brief encounters with people in Chesterfield. I was photographing a shop owner when this chap came by. He made some comment about me taking his photo and how he needed to straighten his hair or something. Usually when they say “make sure you get my best side!” I reply with “Aye go on then bend over !” and hopefully they laugh. A sense of humour often helps I find. Having lived in Chesterfield all my life I like to think I know what I can get away with. This chap had a sparkle in his eyes. He made a point of telling me he was from Matlock about eight miles West of Chesterfield. Folk often tell you exactly where they’re from even if it’s just eight miles away. I made to take his image to which he said he was only joking, “No I’m serious I want to” and I got this. I thought he had character and personality.
More recently I’ve been making opportunities to make what I’m calling ‘street portraits’. Images of people I’m encountering and having brief conversations with while out and about. More often than not these will be folk from my home town of Chesterfield. I explain what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, some get it and some are a little perplexed. That’s ok, I can cope with that. I’ve lived in Chesterfield all my life apart from an eighteen month stint when I was practically living in London for work purposes. Documenting my home town is an obvious thing to do, as a wannabe social documentary photographer why wouldn’t I. I see Chesterfield in many ways as a microcosm of England with all it’s current problems. It’s a very parochial town. A white working class enclave. There are drug problems, homelessness and a continuing line of the unemployed and unemployable. There aren’t many blacks and there aren’t many Muslims although there are places of worship for both these sections of the community.
Over the coming weeks I’m going to be talking a lot more about Chesterfield. I hope you approve.
In the meantime check out Ryan Hardman whose documenting Plymouth and doing some really good stuff.
Misteltoe and Wine and more Wine and Sprouts ! Plenty of Sprouts ! followed by Baileys and Mince Pies
It’s that time of year again when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and Saviour … Hallelujah … Amen. If I lived in Israel I’d open up a cheese shop and call it Cheeses of Nazareth ! History boffins reckon that our present indulgence of Christmas, all that feasting, drinking and over doing it was started by that great Victorian writer Charles Dickens. Well he had a lot to do with it apparently. Prince Albert German husband of Queen Victoria who was mad as a box of frogs introduced the Christmas Tree and there you have it. Bring on the Morecombe and Wise 1972 Christmas Special and lets all see if we can fart the National Anthem together ?
After 2000 years and we’ve still not sorted the world out I reckon Jesus has probably given up on us all and him and God have probably gone off playing golf or something. How else can we explain Donald Trump and Brexit ?
You’ll be pleased to know my midlife health check revealed I’m “practically perfect” the words of the nurse not mine own. I had my cholesterol level, body mass index, pulse and blood pressure checked and I’m all tickety boo, good for another year at least.
I promised my Big Issue Seller friend I’d buy a copy of The Big Issue off him before Christmas and so I did. For the price of £3.00 I got a Big Issue and him to pose for a nice Christmas photo next to this Christmas market stall outside Wilko’s. It’s not a bad issue either with a nice little interview with Jody Comer who dazzled us with her acting brilliance as a pyscopathic hit woman in Killing Eve this year. If you’ve not seen it then do make sure you check it out and be ready for Series 2 next year.