Authors Photography

Festival Faces Project – Stratford Literary Festival Portraits

It has been a great privilege to be involved with Stratford Literary Festival since 2015, since then I have taken portraits of almost everyone who has appeared at the Spring and Winter Festivals.

The Festival was started in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength, providing two events per year as well as delivering wonderful work with children and exceptional work with a prisoners literacy programme, for many it is an opportunity to get a signed copy of a new book by their favourite author. For many it is the opportunity to see national and international stars and personalities and hear the anecdotes that gives them an insight into a world that few experience. Many Authors are at the start of their careers, hopefully the exposure at such festivals shall ensure they enjoy improved sales and an enhanced profile and enjoy a long fruitful career as authors.

I am lucky that I get to spend some time with all of the authors and guest speakers and I appreciate the time they give me so I can take their portrait.

A portrait is what I try and capture, but what is a portrait?

A portrait is an image that goes beyond just been a picture. It is subjective but a viewer should be aware of the difference between a picture and a portrait, at least I hope they do.

I want to capture something about the visual commuication of the subject, when as they are in-front of my camera they are truly engaged in the process.

The subject has an idea of what they want to look like in a  photograph and the photographer wants to capture an image that suits their own agenda, the result maybe a compromise, ideally both the subject and the photographer are happy with the result. However many of my most successful portraits are not the favourites of the subject.

The subjects either they want to produce an image that is well received and is celebrated, or as I hopefully try to do is capture a ‘truth’ an image that shows an insight to the subject.

So the series of portraits hopefully shall be a historic record of those who appeared at the festival and that most shall be happy with their portrait?

The Portrait project has now got a dedicated website and it is the long term goal to establish an archive of portraits to be held at a suitable Stratford location and also to join my existing archive at Birmingham Central Library where the second largest archive of UK photography is held ( The V&A been number one).

To find out more about the Stratford Literary Festival – Stratford Literary Festival

To see the whole Festival Faces Project  Festival Faces