This new life in the USA

This new life in the USA

I never wanted to be a photographer   It wasn’t a life ambition, not the career I dreamed of at school.  Back in those days I dreamed of being happy, not getting such a hard time, perhaps living a life which had smiles in it.  In fact the only career aspiration I had was to be the next ‘Kate Adie,‘ if you are too young to know who she is feel free to log off now!  Or perhaps a Hollywood actress, there’s still time I might give it a try. Spin back the clock for almost a decade & I started on this path to be a photographer.  I’d already been in Sales & Marketing, having left school and home by 16 I needed a job not a career but had been pretty good at it.  Trained as a florist, started an events company and produced three children..plus a few other sidelines in between..a true ‘female’ Del Boy.  A ‘Jack of All Trades’, & Master of none?  But actually, maybe, I disagree, I mastered the art of moving in the direction that life took me, seeing an opportunity, recognising the skills needed and putting myself out there. Taking pictures came from nowhere..I love advertising and the imagery, posed myself on the odd occasion but held photographers in high regard and didn’t believe that I could be one..with three young children I needed to sell my demanding events & floristry business and found myself needing something more to do. I took myself off to college to study photography, I was 33 years old. A decade ago. Did I become a Master of this one thing?  My photography...
Day 50 50/50/50 Bob

Day 50 50/50/50 Bob

Well how did that happen?  50 days have been and gone.  It only highlights to me how time flies.  How long I have been out of the UK.  All the people I care about that I need to speak to since I left and how little time we all have to enjoy each other. My next subject epitomises for me the ‘Brooklyn/New Yorker’.  The two may say they are very different but for the rest of the world, pretty much the same.  I saw Bob for the first time when he served me in Publix.  It struck me in that moment, regardless of how good he was at his job, that he looked entirely out of place in his position.  I got that perhaps this was a temporary, perhaps semi retired role for him and not to put it down at all but imagine a heavy weight boxer in a florists and it strikes you a little out of the ordinary. I am stereotyping I know, forgive me I’m of that generation.  I also knew immediately that Bob had been a Police Officer, just a hunch. My daughter was with me and we both knew he would be an ideal candidate for the project but as he was busy working so I couldn’t talk to him that day. Today I considered I needed to go all out, where should I go, who should I look for.  Then I realised that went against everything I felt about this project and I should just look for that every day ordinary but special person and I’ll know when I see them. I got in my car...
Day 48 50/50/50 Alex

Day 48 50/50/50 Alex

It’s my beautiful girls birthday today, so fitting that she should be my subject.  My daughter is growing into a beautiful young woman and it is bitter sweet.  Sometimes I look at her and it is breathtaking how lovely she is and that scares me too as I want her to stay my crazy little girl.  The one who loves ‘Piggy’ her beloved stuffed toy, princesses and unicorns and all things shiny. Alex is a creative, so much more than me.  She lives in a world of rainbows and fairytales.  Spends her days singing, dancing and dreaming, which as her Mum also drives me mad!  Focus isn’t her thing but I do try to tell myself that its her personality and although I lose the plot sometimes because she is disorganised and unprepared, I don’t want her to change because she really is perfect as she is. Name: Alex Occupation: Student 1.Where were you born and raised? Winchester, Hampshire. ‘I have lived in Windlesham most of my life.’ ‘I live with my Mum, my Dad and my two brothers. It’s been a good childhood. It’s good because I have great family and they always support me in what I do.  They make sure I do exciting things in my life even it it doesn’t benefit them.’ 2.Tell me a childhood memory. ‘I remember always singing with Charlotte and some other girls at Windlesham Infant school, High School musical.  I was always Sharpay because I was blonde and my friend Charlotte was always Gabriella ’cause she had brown hair.  We used to sing duets and we would hang from the play...
Day 47 50/50/50 Roger

Day 47 50/50/50 Roger

My next subject is retired, an Englishman living in Orlando, spending his days on the Chain of Lakes taking people on tours and showing them the wonderful wildlife and fabulous properties the area has to offer.  Not a bad existence and judging by his relaxed demeanour, fabulous tan and general look of contentment he is enjoying all the benefits.  Roger, his name quite fitting for a his current role in life, has a kind face and a personable disposition, pleasant to be around and a great storyteller.  There are lots of stories to be told when talking about the families that live in the grand mansions that reside in all their splendour on the lake banks of Windermere. He has had many a famous face on his boat and clearly he enjoys the company.  It’s good to hear an Englishman talking, the gruff voice from Burnley still strong despite his many years living here. Name: Roger Occupation: Retired but Runs Orlando Lake Tours.  Previously ran a Promotions Company for National Newspapers 1.Where were you born and raised? Burnley, Lancashire in the UK.  Raised there and lived there for 35 years. Moved to Yorkshire & Isle of Man. ‘I was an only child, just me and my parents and I can never understand brothers and sisters.  I could never understand how my friends who had brothers and sisters were always fighting.’ ‘Very working class, we had a corner shop on a terraced street.  My Mum ran the shop and before that she worked in a mill.  We were a good solid family.’ 2. Tell me a childhood memory. ‘Probably in 1953 we were the...
Day 46 50/50/50 Courtney

Day 46 50/50/50 Courtney

My next subject can only be described as exquisite. We met when I arrived here at a mutual friends art gallery.  The three of us bonded over art, creativity, fine wine and a few story telling tears. A woman of fine taste, immaculately presented, softly spoken, generous and of very good humour.  Her life is colourful and creative, her home an absolute treasure trove of the finest art collection.  This lady is so elegant one might feel intimidated, she makes a dull room look instantly beautiful.  I personally just enjoy her presence for the person she is and wonder at the sight of her, she herself is her own work of art. I do believe she has been on a journey to reach the serenity that presents itself to us today.  Her quiet persona and wonderful presentation have grown with her own confidence and belief in herself.  I imagine a 20 year old Courtney, perhaps not so self assured and maybe still trying to discover her own distinctive style. Name: Courtney Occupation: Fashion designer 1.Where were you born and raised? Saigon, Vietnam – Raised in California, USA ‘We are very close, I grew up in a family of 11 kids.  I had an older half brother and the rest were girls’ ‘My Mother, I found out that her first Husband wasn’t able to have children, she made up for that with my Father.  She came from a big family too.  There were three boys and seven girls.  She was the third oldest.  She always loved a big family, my Mother was the type of person that loves to cook for...
Day 45 50/50/50 Woody

Day 45 50/50/50 Woody

Today had to have been the best approach and introduction so far in my project. I see a very stylish, very elderly gentleman walking towards me, I smile, he smiles. ‘You are a very beautiful woman!’  he said.  ‘Ha!’ I said ‘and you sir are not so bad yourself!’ ‘Would you like to come and sit and talk to me for a bit?’  I said. I don’t think he was expecting that.  After our exchange and me promising him I absolutely wasn’t going to try and sell him something we sat down for the most fascinating conversation.  This man has lived a life, a tough one. Name: Woody (Elwood) Occupation: Orange County Convention Centre – Event Services Before that for Honda Motor Cycles. He had a bike in the 70’s. ‘During the 70’s I lived a crazy wild life, sometimes I think about it and I think it was a wasted decade but its not really but I really enjoyed myself and it was totally real.’ 1.Where were you born and raised? South Carolina by the coast. ‘I was born in no where, it has no name to it.  It was a little ‘ole shack in the woods.  My father, he was a bootlegger. He had a Whiskey steel out there. My Mother took me to this place, it was an old shack and then she took me down to a little stream there by it and she showed me that was where she used to wash me, we didn’t have any running water.’  ‘So that was the beginning of my life and then about the age of 1o we...