Photography

Pride in London 2019

“PROTECT TRANS LIVES”

“PROTECT TRANS LIVES”

“MARCHING FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T”

“MARCHING FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T”

Last weekend, I attended Pride in London for the second year in a row. After disruption from an anti-trans group, who forced their way to the front of the march last year, Pride in London showed their solidarity to the trans community in 2019. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and non-binary folx, led the parade championing banners, that read “#LWithTheT”, “#BWithTheT” and “GWithTheT”, to express their support.

They were followed by various organisations, sponsors and businesses, all donning rainbows, waving flags, and generally smiling their faces off. There’s something special about Pride in London, and being amongst that wave of love, that makes the world feel okay for a few hours. Here are a collection of my best pictures from the day, for anyone who was unable to make it.

Pride in London 2019 - Flag Bearer
Pride in London 2019 - Flag Bearer
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Amazon
Pride in London 2019 - Amazon
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Channel 4
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - UK Black Pride, Mermaids and Stonewall
Pride in London 2019 - UK Black Pride, Mermaids and Stonewall
Pride in London 2019 - UK Black Pride, Mermaids and Stonewall
Pride in London 2019 - UK Black Pride, Mermaids and Stonewall
Pride in London 2019 - UK Black Pride, Mermaids and Stonewall
Pride in London 2019 - UK Black Pride, Mermaids and Stonewall
Pride in London 2019 - UK Black Pride, Mermaids and Stonewall
Pride in London 2019 - Mermaids
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Opening Doors
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Opening Doors
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Opening Doors
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Macmillan Cancer Support
Pride in London 2019 - Macmillan Cancer Support
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Edwardian Hotels
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Metropolitan Police
Pride in London 2019 - Metropolitan Police
Pride in London 2019 - Metropolitan Police
Pride in London 2019 - Metropolitan Police
Pride in London 2019 - London Fire Brigade
Pride in London 2019 - St John's Ambulance Service
Pride in London 2019 - St John's Ambulance Service
Pride in London 2019 - St John's Ambulance Service
Pride in London 2019 - St John's Ambulance Service
Pride in London 2019 - Museum Pride
Pride in London 2019 - Museum Pride
Pride in London 2019 - Museum Pride
Pride in London 2019 - Museum Pride
Pride in London 2019 - Museum Pride
Pride in London 2019 - Museum Pride
Pride in London 2019 - London Friend
Pride in London 2019 - London Friend
Pride in London 2019 - London Friend
Pride in London 2019 - London Friend
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Rainbow Pagans
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Rainbow Pagans
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Guys and St Thomas Hospital
Pride in London 2019 - Guys and St Thomas Hospital
Pride in London 2019 - Guys and St Thomas Hospital
Pride in London 2019 - LBSU
Pride in London 2019 - LBSU
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019 - Queer Britain x Levis
Pride in London 2019 - Queer Britain x Levis
Pride in London 2019 - Queer Britain x Levis
Pride in London 2019 - Birkbeck SU
Pride in London 2019 - Feeld
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019
Pride in London 2019

If you are interested in using any of these photos, please seek permission first and get in touch!

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Experiments in Self Portraiture: Space and Focus

Sian
Sian

This set had no real theme until I reviewed the images. When shooting I used the same method, one I feel I may have exhausted by now, as I had previously; setting the camera down on the ground and pointing it up towards me, and clicked away.

Besides the hand-in-front-of-the-camera style pose I’d seen a handful of times (heh) on Pinterest, that I wanted to try my hand at (heh), I had zero plans for this shoot… Instead I set about experimenting. Mixing up the focal lengths, sometimes I would hold the camera so close to my face that the auto-focus couldn’t quite register me, and, at other times, I’d move far enough away that I could fit my upper body and a hint of my knee in shot.

Many years ago, when I started taking photos, I would have deemed those where the subject was mainly out of focus fit for the cutting room floor. Now, especially as I become more creative, I see focus as simply another tool in a photographer’s arsenal. It leads the eye to a specific spot, and poses questions. Specifically ‘What does focusing on a specific spot, instead of the whole subject, say?’ or ‘Why do you think the photographer chose to focus the image on the area they did?’ and ‘What could it mean?’

Sian
Sian
Sian
Sian

I found the closer shots understandably more intimate, yet almost intrusive. Whereas the shots from a distance to have some sort of a disconnect. When I am close to the camera, filling the frame, it feels as though I am encroaching on the spectator’s space, whereas the further away I am, it feels like the viewer of the image is entering my personal space. Almost like they have stumbled across me. I find the differing sense of power behind these really interesting.

I also really like how contemplative they feel. I read Call Me By My Name as part of Bee’s wonderful book club earlier this year, and think the nature of the book has fed into these images. For me they encompass summer holiday, daydreaming, picnic by the water vibes. If the combination of these photographs were the opening shot of a movie, I can see the camera panning to reveal a beach, holiday home, or a coastline in a quiet seaside town - swiftly followed by a montage of me reading books, skimming stones, and rehashing teenage dramas.

Sian
Sian

This set has become an accidental study in space and focus. It’s made me realise how much I love both cluttered photos and shots where the subject is surrounded by a lot of blankness. I’m excited to continue to see how these can be toyed around with, to create meaning and unique imagery.

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Progress Journal: Time to Be Brave

Portrait by  Ami Ford

Portrait by Ami Ford

If you have been keeping up with my Progress Journals, or have followed me online for a short amount of time, you will know that I’ve been bustling away on my photography work alongside a full time job as an editor in video production. Initially I had decided to stick with these plans until the end of the year, in order to save more money and build up my experience. Then I thought maybe I could resign from my job to finish around August-time. But last week all of that completely changed.

I tried to continue keeping up appearances, but I wasn’t in a good place. I felt sick with overwhelm and I couldn’t concentrate. I’d cry most days. Sleep wasn’t a thing that was happening. Anxiousness was a constant tightness in my chest, a headache that ran around the sides of my head, and a dropping sensation in my stomach; the same kind you experience during turbulence on planes, rollercoaster rides, or even on a swing if there's a drop in pressure.

I have been attempting to manage varying levels of discomfort, uncertainty and unhappiness for the last two years or so. This was due to near-consistent worry, pressure, and lack of control in and over my life, as well as a huge unsureness over who I am. Despite working really hard in therapy to tackle these things, I was ignorant to how depression and anxiety were slowly creeping back into my life in a big way. I was irrationally trying to rationalise my pain, forcing myself into spaces I didn’t fit, and compressing myself down so much I was merely existing. I may have been trying to keep my mind preoccupied, but how I felt began to fight its way out of my system physically. It was as though my body was screaming “If you’re not going to do something about this, I’m taking the decision out of your hands”.

Portraits by  Ami Ford

Portraits by Ami Ford

Sian

You may think I would have realised that I was dealing with long-term stress at this point… But, it was only something that hit me after a Google search. And, if you’re a user of The World Wide Web, you will know that typing any symptom into a search engine will only lead to one conclusion; swift, impending death. Usually, I’d take any online diagnosis with a pinch of salt, but noticing the worry line etched into my 25-year-old forehead, my inability to switch off, and realising the last time I felt truly relaxed was sometime last year, made the likelihood of sustaining a heart condition not so far fetched.

The reasons that had kept me bound - the security of a full time job and wages, and not knowing what would happen if I went self-employed - came from a place of fear. I was scared to take a leap. I was scared to fail… But the thought that my life would be over before I had the chance to do all of the things I have dreamed of, made me feel a fear that does not compare in any way. Even typing this made make me feel sick in my throat.

So, I handed in my notice, and, as of July 2019, I will be ready to pursue all the things I’ve never fully had the chance to until now. I get butterflies when I think about it. Nervous ones, but also giddy optimistic ones I haven’t felt since childhood; something I never quite expected.

Despite my best intentions, I hold my hands up and say that I couldn’t keep up with the plan I set myself in last month’s Progress Journal… and you can probably understand why. I’ve been busy feeling a lot of feelings, but also being brave, and the time to be brave is only just beginning. Wish me luck!

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