Joao Ventura Pâtissier – Great Yarmouth – spoken in his own words.

From the 2019 Portraiture Series.
Joao Ventura Pâtissier – Great Yarmouth – spoken in his own words.
 
“I am from Lisbon originally; it is such a beautiful city. I have always worked in bakeries, that is 35 years as a master baker, whilst I have been the boss for 30 of those years.
I came to Great Yarmouth 10 years ago, I had the opportunity from the Portuguese community here, to starting baking in the town. Many of the cakes I bake were bought in, so when I started baking the people simply loved what I was doing. It was as if they were back in Lisbon.
 
When I first came to the town I worked as an employee, which was ok, but soon I setup my own business and I am glad to say that I am the boss again, which suits me.
Our business is so good at the moment. Of course, it is a lot of hard work, but we are prepared to do that, we came from Portugal to start a new life and that comes from hard work and determination.
You arrive in a country without fear, anything is possible.
Being a baker is a tough job, I work all night, normally starting around midnight and finish baking in the morning. I then stay in the patisserie serving coffee and cake until around 5pm.
 
People come for coffee and then cakes, the English love the cakes as well, which is great.
At the end of the day, I must please the English with my baking, as I need to live with them.
Our bestseller is the Pastel de nata, I make 500 of these a day here, but of course I make many other cakes.”
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Cancer Research UK Shoot

Another Pre-Covid19 shoot – this time in the clinical labs of Cancer Research, documenting some of the fabulous work they do, along with some modern, bright portraiture and group shots

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A Portrait of Lily.

A Portrait of Lily. Spoken in her own words in 2019.
Lily Boulton – At the Car boot Pitch

“I was an evacuee, put on a farm for 3 years near East Markham, it was a big house in the county,
they were lovely, but all I wanted was to be with mum and dad at home.

I used to do the milking, getting the cows out of the sheds and into the fields. I was a town girl, it was a completely different life for me.
When I returned to Great Yarmouth, I started dancing. I used to dance regularly on the Wellington Pier, big shows. I was always dancing. We were called the Five Steppins.
Oh the fun we had, it was tremendous.
After the dancing I became a proprietor of a guesthouse. A lovely guesthouse in the town. It was always alive with people, lovely people. Eventually I turned it into a care home.
I might be 91, but I drive anywhere. I did do the advance driving course, I just love driving.

These days I regularly do car boot sales, it makes me happy and makes others happy. Everyone knows each other and they all help me setup. It’s a real community”

#portrait #norfolk #portraiture #carboot #sales

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Final Covid19 Response Images

The final small set of images from my time with Age UK Camden documenting their Covid19 response.

A real pleasure to work with such a passionate, motivated & really great bunch of people, who have given a lot to their community.

#commuinty #covid19 #response #camden #london #ageukcamden #charity

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Community Response in London

Around two months ago, I spent a couple of days with the inspirational & hardworking staff of Age UK Camden – documenting their proactive, community response to the #Covid19 crisis.

I’ve previously posted a couple of portraits, here is a collection of some of the other images shot whilst in Camden, during the difficult period in May 2020.

#AGEUKCAMDEN #London #Response #pandemic #documentary

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Our Labrador

I’m not normally one to share pictures of ‘family’ but I simply couldn’t resist posting this beautiful photo of the boy – shot last weekend, in the late evening light.

#Labrador #pet #dogpicture

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Simon – The charismatic owner of Risi Bici

Simon – The charismatic owner of Risi Bici

Part of my on going portrait project
“I grew up in Stamford in Lincolnshire with my grandparents Margarita & Petro. They were from the south of Italy, borrowing money to come to England following the Battle of Monte Cassino which saw their region reduced to rubble and cost the lives of an estimated 75000.
Despite my age I had a 1950’s upbringing with chickens, home grown vegetables and wooden outhouses which were converted into a distillery in which there were 100’s of litres of red wine fermenting.
Different nationalities bring their cultures and it seemed my destiny to either become a builder, chef, ice cream man, cobbler or barber. I’d like to add I wanted to be a pop star at this point not an ice cream man. It’s hard to describe the level of importance that food plays in an Italian household but I suppose this belief shaped my 20 year career in Italian delis in the U.K. The long story short is Norfolk offered me an opportunity via time spent in London & Norway studying to teach music and media. As time went by I built up a commercial recording studio here which I ran successfully for 10 years.
In 2012 I moved to Great Yarmouth where I live to this day. As the years rolled by I began to reassess my upbringing which inevitably brought me back to Italian food. There is a link between food and memory and through my cooking. My grandparents lives are remembered and celebrated”
#Norfolk #risibici #cafe #greatyarmouth #norfolk #food #portraiture #portrait #italian #healthy #livestories
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Inspirational Story for #Suffolkday

As #Suffolkday is around the corner, I wanted to share an inspirational portrait and an incredible story from someone I met in 2019 and photographed as part of the Water, Mills and Marshes: the Broads Landscape Partnership funded portraiture project.

Ivan Humble
Ex English Defence League Regional Organiser

“I’ve been a Lowestoft lad all my life. I had the usual upbringing, to be fair it was pretty good compared to most on my estate.

I suffered with Mental health issues and had a craving to be normal. I started smoking cannabis, which helped in a way, but then I was spending a lot of time indoors, reading stuff, browsing the internet and stuff like that. I guess it all really changed in 2009.
Our troops had a homecoming parade in Luton and I remember seeing the abuse the troops were getting from some of the Luton residents. It was a real concern for me and I felt disgruntled.

I put a paragraph on Facebook, ranting about what had happened. Within minutes, someone got in contact and it felt like someone was interested in me and we talked for hours. He mentioned about a street protest and to be honest, you got to remember my life was shit at the time. It was a tough time. Suddenly I felt part of something. Within four months we went to a protest and it kicked off, people started to notice me and I was becoming something. I was becoming something in the EDL, it was like a football awayday. I felt like a man again.
I guess things began to change a little after a demo in Peterborough. We caused a lot of problems.
A couple of weeks later, the mosque we harassed invited us (regional EDL) back for a cup of tea and cake. I couldn’t get my head around it. But that stuck with me for a year or so.
Life changed when I was in Norwich a year later. Two Muslim women passed me; they were at a religious meeting in the forum, so I followed them. I was angry, knocking on the windows. A man came out, an awkward silence followed, I had adopted a stance, ready in case something happened. I then said I’m EDL.. he moved towards me and hugged me, saying he had wanted to meet with the EDL for some time.
Over time we started talking weekly, monthly and gradually life began to change. It took a long time and was a slow process, but was really productive. I started talking to a former Jihadist in Ipswich and we understood each other. I learnt a lot from him and a bond was formed.
I now work with intervention charities and put something back into the community. Labels are dangerous, I’ve learnt that”

#suffolk #lowestoft #mentalhealth #lifechanging #access #portraiture

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A Portrait of Paul

Another one of the important front line key workers of Age UK Camden – Shot at the beginning of May while the Covid19 pandemic was in ‘full swing’

Spending hours each day on the phone, organising meal deliveries, food parcels and support for the residents of Camden.
Truly astonishing and hugely valued work.

AgeUK Camden – Covid19 Response 2020

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Salima & Musimlwia at their Norwich home

Last year I met Salima & Musimlwia at their Norwich home, enjoying a wonderful chat, with some great coffee and a moving story.

I was fortunate enough to hear their story and photograph them, as part of the #portrait project with Water, Mills and Marshes: the Broads Landscape Partnership

Spoken in their own words.

“All we need in DRC is Peace”

“We have been in the UK for 10 years, a long time, but our English is still a little broken.
My Family is from DRC Congo. With the politics they do some bad things, some terrible things. They are not in reality”
“We come from Bukavu, near Kivu Lake, between Rwanda and Congo. We have many lakes and forests. We came to the UK to escape the War with Rwanda and Uganda. I will never return. I still have Family in Congo, in Africa we have big families, not like the UK.
I miss the Congo, but we need the peace of England. I don’t need anything, I just need health and peace. In the Congo our people have everything we need, just like here, but they just need protection, without this we cannot do anything. There is danger that this protection will never come because of the minerals.
Living in Norwich compared to other Cities I have lived, like Sheffield, it is very clear, I can breathe good air, it is safe. English people are different to African people. People have to know you to talk to you. It is very difficult to learn the English language as people do not contact you. I have 4 children, all children were born in England, it was only my wife and I that came over from Congo”

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