I get asked questions about this project. People need comfort. Here are answers to a few of the queries that regularly get asked.
“I’M NOT VERY PHOTOGENIC.”
That comes up a lot. Most people say that, most people are understandably self conscious. I always strive to show people in a positive light. A portrait can be taken down from the site at any time should you feel uncomfortable with it being displayed.
“I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING TO SAY.”
Next most popular line. We meet, we talk, I listen. Part of my role is to find that small nugget of insight that will resonate with others. In most cases people say something without even realising. It doesn’t have to be about justice, it can be about your viewpoint on anything.
“DO I HAVE TO SHOW MY FACE?”
No. It helps but it is not necessary and I kind of like the creative challenge of no face. Someone who is sensitive about their line of work, such as human rights, could simply put their hands over their face. That is a statement in itself.
“WHERE DO YOU TAKE THE PORTRAITS?”
Anywhere that works but usually in an office, a cafe or on the street. I think it is more compelling to feature people in their natural surroundings rather than a studio.
“HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?”
A few minutes or longer depending on how chatty we get or how busy you are.
“COULD YOU SET UP AT AN EVENT WE ARE PLANNING?”
Yes and these work well for me as I can get lots of content. I have done pop-up photo booths (here are some samples) at other events. I don’t charge a fee but a donation to one of my favourite charities would be really generous. I can also share at an event some of the stories and experiences I have had with this Project in a talk. As the project is funded by me sometimes I may not be able to afford to travel long distances, (I am based in the Midlands, UK).
“DO YOU CHARGE A FEE?”
No, everything I do is funded out of my own pocket. I do this because I want to create a document of work and be challenged creatively.