It’s been a minute since I shared a post about my achievements or how life is going for me through these weird times. So I felt the time is right to do just that today 🙂

On smashing goals and exhibiting my photography

I have a little notebook where I write down ideas, plans and goals whenever something comes to mind. Lots of these ideas stay right there, in the book, never executed. That’s the nature of creativity.

Some goals I hit without even checking them off, some change or get replaced with new ones and some stay etched in my mind, assuming they’re too big to ever come true.

One of those goals was to have my photos exhibited. And a bigger version was to have my own exhibition. These two things sound similar but are actually vastly different.

In 2019, I was invited to showcase 3 images in a big international street photography exhibition in Paris. That was amazing – but now, with some distance, it wasn’t much more than a vanity experience to stroke my ego and strain my bank account. I had to pay for the prints to be displayed and wouldn’t even get to take them home after the show. But it also meant I could visit Paris for a few days and see my work amidst that of countless other talented street photographers. In the end, it was an incredible experience and a big push to believe in my own work. If I’d be asked now to be part of this, I’d probably do it again.

Fast forward to early 2021. Worthing Theatres and Museums started working on an exhibition to reopen with, after being shut since March 2020. The exhibition was to be called “In their shoes” and they needed a photographer to bring their vision to life.

That photographer was me.

This was my big goal: An exhibition with my photos and mine only. One where I could showcase how I portray people, faces and stories. This is what I do, creating authentic portraits.

Throughout the month of March, Worthing Museum Engagement Officer Vicki Wells, sound artist Adam Moffatt-Seaman and I visited 14 individuals and groups and listened to their stories.

It was an intense month for me. After being barely able to work for over a year, I got thrown right back into it. I’m not going to lie, it was tough and I dealt with overwhelm and impostor syndrome. But having this amazing team around me and the vision of the final result – my portraits hanging in a big bright room for others to see – helped me to push through.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos I took alongside the actual portraits.

If we’ve ever met, you probably know that I absolutely love documenting the behind-the-scenes chaos and all the little moments in between the big ones. This is where real life happens…

“In their shoes” tells the stories of the Worthing community during the pandemic. It’s a combination of portraits, narration and soundscape, accompanied by pairs of shoes of those whose voices we hear, to help tell the individual stories. It’s an emotional exhibition, letting visitors dive into the experiences of 14 individuals and groups.

End of May, Worthing Museum opened its doors with “In their shoes” being one of the first special exhibitions within. Obviously, I had to check it out and standing in this room, surrounded by my work and the voices and sounds of the stories I got to listen to throughout the production, was intense and beautiful.

The exhibition shows a ballerina student who had to try and study at home via zoom, a Pantomime Dame who hadn’t been able to put on their make up in over a year, a vulnerable person who was stuck indoors, a tap dancer (my Lee) who longed to stand on a stage and delight his audience, an ITU nursing team, a refuse team, a teacher, school kids, a chef and more.

The team behind the project picked an incredible variety of characters and professions to show how this pandemic touched all of us in their own way.

I can’t share any of the official portraits WTM chose for the displays but here are a few of my personal favourites that didn’t make the cut.

After 2020 being so tough on all of us, seeing venues and events slowly creeping back into our lives is just the best feeling – and a sign of hope. And the fact that 2021 started with a project like this for me, makes me excited for the rest of this year and the time when we can leave this experience behind us.

The WTM Marketing team created a teaser for the project and for once I decided to say “yes” to an opportunity to be seen and heard. So have a look and a listen to how this exhibition came to life.

If you are local to Worthing or are planning a trip to the Sussex seaside, I can only recommend this exhibition. It’s on until the end of August. Worthing Museum is currently open on Thursdays and Saturdays. Learn more on the WTM website.

And on another note, my little notebook still gets filled with ideas and plans on a regular basis. Let’s see which one I get to share with you next time.

If you want to hear more about my adventures in running this business and working on my goals and projects, come follow me on Instagram. I’m most active there and share a lot more behind-the-scenes as well as random thoughts. Let’s have a conversation there!