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

About Julian Claxton

My passion for photography is supported by experiences gained on exciting travel adventures and through working for fantastic photographers. In 2006, I made the exciting step of realising my dream of becoming a freelance photographer. Since this pivotal moment, I have held numerous exhibitions, been featured nationally & internationally in print and won numerous awards, including being a finalist in the National Geographic Photographic competition in 2013 with one of my documentary images from the Sudan. From an early age I began to enjoy taking pictures of my daily life, basking in the thrill of sending the film to the printers and eagerly awaiting the pocket sized prints. My first foray into the world developing and printing strangely began at school when I was asked to produce a descriptive photo for the school newspaper. A front page shot later and I was destined to start the long arduous journey of becoming a photographer. In between exciting travel adventures and working for fantastic photographers, I graduated from college and at a crossroads in my journey to becoming a pro photographer, I embarked on a career working as a medical photographer. Learning new skills and dabbling in video production as well as progressing design skills, I yearned for the challenge and freedom of becoming a freelance. I have been fortunate enough to work on some amazing assignments which have included shooting a documentary assignment with an air ambulance, gaining full access to a British Pro cycling team during an international UCI tour, cycling to Rwanda and creating a photographic documentary of my journey. The experiences continue to grow, meeting wonderful people to photograph and telling the story of their journey. The list of events and striking moments that have played out through my viewfinder continue to grow and provide me with ever increasing snapshots of life to capture. One of the highlights of my career thus far has been staying in rural Uganda, teaching photography to the kids from the region, in a project I set up in late 2014, entitled ‘Give a child a camera’. The basis of the project is to supply 35mm cameras and film to the rural schools in this region of East Africa, teaching the children how to shoot photographs. After a week of taking photos of their life, an exhibition is held at the school and the children leave with their very own album, camera and film. One of the images I shot at Eden school in rural Uganda, during morning chapel won the 2015 Travel Media Tourism and Photography award. A great honour and one that I wouldn’t have picked up had it not been for the wonderful children of East Africa. For further information please visit
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