Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Eyes wide shut

Yesterday saw the launch of the RNIB's new campaign which calls on all of us to contemplate the question, 'What would you lose from your life if you lost your sight?'. In the UK each day one hundred people are told they will lose their sight, only eight of whom can be given support. The RNIB want to increase awareness of the situation and need a great deal more funding to help many more people in coping with such devastating news.

Despite the sombre subject matter, the shoot was a great pleasure to do. All the subjects are real people (i.e. not models or actors) who gave up their time for a very worthy cause. Special thanks to the rugby players from Hampstead RFC who happily put up with hours of mud splattering and press ups.

As a portrait photographer I am conditioned to concentrating on eye contact in my subjects. Removing the eyes from the equation presented a new and fascinating challenge. It says a lot of the subjects that they could still communicate so well without seeing.

Working with agency St Lukes and the committed team at RNIB made this a dream job for an old snapper. To find out more about the campaign and to get involved please click here.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Beth the Boxer

Butter wouldn't melt in Beth Chalmers' mouth. Her honeyed Home Counties voice has guaranteed her a career in radio and in voicing audio books. Her acting credits include Midsummer Murders and a range of comedies. She is every inch the broadcast professional not to mention a fun girl to be around.
After work, however, things are a little bit different. A few years ago Beth took up boxing to keep fit. Spotted by trainer Pieter Vodden, Beth was encouraged to move from punching bags to people. It turned out she was rather good. Beth recently fought her first competitive fight in London's studio Valbonne. As a witness I can testify she is a terrifying opponent. She lost the fight by a mere point.
My brief, for the Readers' Digest, was to show the two sides of Beth, as it were. I'm a big fan of both!