Another portrait from the Pandemic portraits. Spoken in his own words, Tom | Fast Food Cycle Courier
“I Got laid off work during the pandemic, but soon found myself working as a JUSTEAT cycle courier. Throughout the pandemic it’s been a sociable job and great way to keep my training miles up. It’s not like when I sit at one pace on the road bike, this is almost like intervals, sprinting between traffic lights, roundabouts and the like. I’ve had a fair few near misses, especially in town, but on the whole it’s a pretty good way to earn money and keep fit.
The one big difference during lockdown has been the distance people order food from. Before lockdowns you would occasionally get a delivery round the corner, but honestly, during the pandemic, at times I’ve not even bothered jumping on the bike, it’s been like a hundred steps from the fast-food restaurant to the delivery drop. Crazy”
It’s been a few months since the majority of my work has thankfully returned to normal and it was a pleasure a couple of months ago to attend the new ABG offices in central Norwich and meet the staff face to face – yes really.
Smiling, talking and being productive in a wonderful new bright interior.
It’s wonderful to see how business has adapted to new challenges, embraced the use of online platforms and working from home, but equally it’s so lovely to have and see that human interaction for both myself and the people I photograph.
From the early 2021 Covid Portrait series. Shot socially distanced, using a single strobe & black backdrop.
Jan, Care Support Worker.
“I work in an 80 bed dementia home in Norfolk.
We do what we can for our residents to make their life as happy and homely as possible. It’s been so difficult during lockdown, thankfully visiting is allowed again, but during the height of lockdown, no one was allowed in and psychologically it was really tough for everyone, the residents, their families and indeed us, the carers. The residents only had us, so we were their family and it was a privilege to be such a crucial element of their lives during Covid-19.
I constantly worry about the residents, we were tested regularly (and continue to be) and from a personal point of view, I didn’t do anything, came to work, home and back again, we just had to keep everyone safe and well and look after each other.
People don’t really realise how difficult it is to be a carer, especially during a worldwide pandemic, maybe in time things will change”
Last month I worked on a series of images for a promotion on apprenticeships in Norfolk. Popping along to Osiris IT in Norwich, I shot a great series with the owner and some of the team, who have been successful in the apprenticeship programs and can the value in such schemes.
Lisa – Photographed in early 2021 as part of my lockdown portraits – a series of portraiture of people working throughout the Covid19 pandemic in East Suffolk.
Shot using one small strobe in often cramped spaces (think living rooms, corridors, cupboards or offices!) during the second national lockdown in England
Building & maintenance, Orbis Energy, Lowestoft
“I’m a lone worker and love it. In fact, I call this my building.
I’ve been blessed to come into work during lockdown. The tenants are lovely and I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve been fortunate enough to keep working throughout, helping to keep this fabulous building in the condition it should be.
I sing at night, I pop the headphones on and it’s my little piece of heaven. I love country music, that’s what I was bought up on, but rock and roll is what I mainly listen too. I can be in my own little world and love nothing more than getting on with work while listening to my music”
After a long day in the saddle the previous day (147 miles in 47 degree heat!) eating meat, pitta bread, jam and drinking water from the Nile (there was nowhere else to drink for much of the journey!) I spent the night in Nubia House in the lovely town of Dongola (Arabic: دنقلا, romanized: Dunqulā)
After a few hours sleep, I allowed sometime to visit a couple of local sights. Catching bicycle taxi and then a small ferry, I headed to the Island near Dongola. A real oasis, away from life and a calming place to spend a few hours.
Boarding the ferry I was the novelty – they don’t get many blond haired westerners here!
Wandering around, enjoying being off the bike, I shot a few images and chatted to many of the locals. One young Sudanese chap caught my attention. Abdul Baatin was a local trader and farmer on the Island. Using a mixture of nods, broken English and basic Arabic we made conversation for a while. I shot some portraiture of Abdul, but the image that caught my mind and emphasised the feeling of peace, tranquillity and a beautifully basic life was this capture of Abdul drinking from a clay pot on the banks of the Nile.