Saturday, 29 December 2012

Andrew and Six Percent

Andrew has very kindly agreed to write a foreward for Six Percent and it was great working with him yesterday and watching him leaf through the draft of the book.

I met him over a year ago when Downs Syndrome Scotland asked me to shoot their 2012 calendar on sporting themes.  Those who saw it may remember Andrew on the rings. I'll never forget it as I'd never seen gymnastics up close and I kept saying again, again as I balanced on top of a vaulting horse to get the right angle. Tired and aching he showed patience above and beyond.

Tomorrow I vist Katie and her folks and work begins on that replacement chapter.

All on track for publication and news will follow soon about the gallery.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Aspirational image of Lee

As we all batten the hatches against this terrible weather and prepare for Christmas and the new year ahead I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged my work during this last year.  The reaction to "6% Down Syndrome: My photographs their words' has been astonishing.  We are close to securing space within a high profile gallery for an exhibition and launch and so 2013 looks to be every bit as exciting as this one, maybe more.

Thanks go especially to Down Syndrome Scotland who have been an amazing partner  

Their CEO Pandora Summerfield has been supportive of the project from the outset and has always been there encouraging me.

Neil Burns at George James Ltd for paying for the design

Hayley Goleniowska who has opened her heart in a way that everyone can relate to through her incredible blog and who has been patient in keeping the big secret and then explosive in getting the news out.

And Umair Akhtar of UA Graphics the designer, who you won't know is affected by Aspergers Syndrome. He has been professional, committed, flexible and patient beyond what I was entitled to expect and I'm saying all this because he needs to do more work in January (just joking Umair). You are a brilliant example and  a star Umair.

Last but not least all of the families of who have let me into their lives and shared their innermost thoughts.

And so here is Lee, as promised, taken during a coaching session arranged at Murrayfield by Downs Syndrome Scotland. He realised 3 seconds later that I was standing there and the moment was gone.

When I look at this I see ambition and aspiration and I hope it has the same impact on you.

Have a wonderful Christmas and an astonishing FY13.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Hey buddy back off ....

Let me start by saying that I don't want parents to read this and think twice about letting their kids be photographed :-)

I was shooting the DSS sports themed calendar at Murrayfield, Edinburgh and at the end of the session the coach gifted the rugby balls used to all those who took part.  This wee fella picked up his new trophy and gripped it intently.  There was no way he was letting it go.  I couldn't resist this shot which was spontaneous and not posed in any way.


Now you've looked at the photograph look again at his face as thats what makes the picture for me.  The look is one of 'back off buddy I don't want you to take my photograph'. I still pressed the shutter but it really made me think.  Release form signed and dad says, sure go ahead, but I'd forgotten that he was an individual in his own right.

Another lesson

Next time another shot from the same session and aspirational image of Lee...

Sunday, 16 December 2012

6% news #1

Firstly thanks to everyone for the incredible reaction to 6%.

In response to requests for updates I plan to issue numbered updates, like this one, on a regular basis, and as the launch date approaches I'll be tweeting captions from the book. I'll also be including other images on the blog which will not be included in the book.  They were excluded on the basis that they don't add to the story but I thought you might like to see them.

Tomorrow is a big day as I'm visiting two galleries In Edinburgh with Heather from DSS to discuss a location for the launch and then month long exhibition.  DSS are buying a number of the images with the intention to tour them around Scotland.  The first gallery is an up and coming and unique space which received huge critical acclaim during last years Edinburgh Festival. They have seen the work already and I was heartened to hear the curator Paul say 'This is important work which must be seen'.  and so they want to exhibit 6% and although its a huge space they are almost fully booked out for the dates we need.  They have one space which they have offered which may or may not be suitable and so tomorrow is all about checking it out.

I've had a number of enquiries from people wanting to reserve copies including internationally and will be back in touch as soon as I've finalised distribution arrangements.  The first print run is expected to sell out and so rest assured if you emailed me I will get back to you to confirm we will hold a copy for you.  I'm thinking we may draw up a unique book plate which will be inserted in copies of this first print run.  Thank you everybody for registering your interest as this helps planning. I'm expecting some pre-orders soon from distributors and that may then take up almost all of the production run.

I'll be posting regularly going forward and I want to thank you all again for the warmth of your response and for the amazing support.

The image below was an early one during the projects inception.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Feeling stoked....

I'm feeling a combination of stoked and emotional this evening as I've just seen the blog that Hayley Goleniowska has posted about 6%.  As the project went on I became more and more worried about doing my subjects justice and striking a balance.  I didn't want this to be a sugar coated version of events but real. It had to be credible and so when I sent the pdf to Hayley I spent an anxious few days waiting for her feedback.  I'm sitting here now blown away by what she said because as a Mum of a child with Down Syndrome she knows.  And that means so much to me.

The reaction so far has been warm, immense and overpowering and while its to be hoped we can find a publisher who will work with us to take this on for publication March 21st we have the option to self publish.

I'm travelling to two galleries in Edinburgh on Monday to discuss a launch and exhibition - more sleepless nights ahead.

Thanks Hayley

Link to Hayleys' blog about 6%