In the year 2000 I gave birth to my millenium baby. He certainly was, and still is, a joy, but that occurrence had quite an impact on what I could do with my work as a photographer.
It’s hard not be influenced by the people you spend most time with or the places you frequent. As I was with my baby more than anyone, and he had to go wherever I went, I started to wonder what things looked like from his perspective. The idea of a series of pictures called Life from a Pram was born.
Just last week at a meeting of my local London Independent Photography group someone mentioned a photographer called Marketa Luskacova, who happens to have work on display right now at Tate Britain She is originally from the Czech Republic, but moved to England in the early 1970’s. In a Guardian article by Sarah Phillips in August 2012 she was quoted as saying “Czechs strongly believe in the benefits of fresh air for babies, so I would push his pram around, photographing all the way”. She shot a series of photographs of street musicians with her son in tow. My kind of girl!
I printed up a selection of pictures, and remember traipsing to an industrial estate in Bounds Green to a framers, who are now in the West End, and probably charging five times what I paid back then!
I held the show in the Tollgate Cafe, which was a lovely place, in the little road that is wedged between the monstrosity of a one-way system near Archway Tube. If you’re local, you’ll know exactly where I mean! I don’t even remember if I had a private view, but I think I may have had some kind of soiree because I recall meeting people there. Can’t say it was a sell-out, but it was fun and got me on the road of exhibiting.
I worked within social photography for several years following, and sold images at Craft Fairs and Markets. It was around eight years ago that I started exhibiting more regularly. Now I show work frequently, both in the UK and internationally, normally in a group capacity. My biggest solo show, Downtime was held in Autumn 2016 as part of Photo Month East London. I was thrilled to hear it is still inspiring people: a family friend who is studying media and film-making at Brit School asked for a chat with me recently, regarding some of the interesting people I may have met through being a portrait photographer. I put him in touch with one of my subjects, and he has produced a short documentary, including an interview with the president of the Commonwealth Games. Small world!