Born and raised in London’s east end, I went to school with kids whose parents came from all over the world, it was an incredible mix of cultures. My own parents had settled in London when they were children, dad from Trinidad in the West Indies, my mum from Guyana in South America, so I thrived in such a diverse environment.
After school, I went to university gaining a BA Hons degrees in Cultural Studies, which in turn led to my fascination with people’s unique stories, where they came from, how it had shaped them and where they may be headed.
About that same time, I’d started to develop a keen interest in photography, so it seemed obvious that this would work as a fine medium to try to capture, in a singular moment, some aspect, some fragment of these peoples lives.
Unfortunately, as it does, real life and having a “proper” job got in the way, but I was fortunate to land a role as assistant to renowned rock artist photographer Jill Furmanovsky.
Through working with Jill, I discovered PYMCA - (Photographic, Youth, Music, Culture Archive), an agency dedicated to visually capturing and documenting every imaginable aspect of global youth culture. I became the Agent/rep for PYMCA’s leading photographers, arranging exhibitions and bringing artists together with clients.
After 3 years PYMCA morphed into POW - Pictures on Walls, representing graphic designers and graffiti artists like Jamie Hewlett, Mode2 and Banksy. Along with owner Steve Lazarides, my role was to get the artists names out through events and exhibitions …
3 years later, I moved to Portland, Oregon on the West Coast of the US. I got married had two kids and settled into being “at home”, chasing after the three of them….
Not finding this completely fulfilling, I saw this time as an opportunity to rekindle my love of photography, learn more about digital photography and post processing with Photoshop and Lightroom. I returned to what I loved doing: documenting people doing what they loved doing, telling their stories in the most unfiltered, honest way I possibly could. This grew into my first website, Pictures of People, or popphoto.pics
Then, after 12 years being comfortably settled in Oregon, up popped a very unexpected opportunity for the family to live for three years in Sri Lanka ! Not without some apprehension, we decided we would be mad to pass up this chance to live and learn in a completely different culture.
While in Sri Lanka I began taking snaps of people I met on the streets. This was fun, but I wanted to dig a little deeper, so started contacting local non profits, offering to take photos to help promote and publicize their causes.
In November 2018, I went to India and took photographs for the Sambhali Trust NGO.
Sambhali’s mission is to empower girls and women in English and maths education whilst teaching the marketable trade skill of sewing. This experience truly was a game changer for me. I now knew what my focus in photography would be.
What makes you passionate about helping the organization?
I am passionate about shooting for non profits especially those geared towards providing a path of growth for children and young women. The Programs at Avatar provides education and training for children and girls all the way up to graduate school. This is an incredible opportunity for any child. I am enthusiastic about education and empowering children especially girls in India where an education can suddenly come to an end at the age of 15 because she has to be married and stay at home.
How do you believe your photography can make a difference?
I love visual story telling. I believe my images will benefit Avasar and drive new audiences to their programs. I hope my photographs will show the students at work and move the onlooker to want to get involved. I want the audience to really see how successfully the programs are working.
What message would you like to send to your supporters?
My message for support is simple. The Avasar Foundation says that ’Ability is nothing without opportunity.’ Support, is key in keeping these programs alive.