The last year I’ve been collaborating on an editorial photography project with The Heritage Lottery Fund. The nationwide project ‘Changing Lives‘ is a publicity campaign. It tells the stories of people who’s lives have been changed for the better through involvement in HLF funded projects. Stories told across multiple platforms in a range of formats, with the aim of telling one story a week over 12 months.
Editorial photography project to illustrate Matthew Waters’ story
One of my project commissions this Autumn was to photograph Matthew. He was working as a pensions advisor when he spotted an opportunity that would set him up for a career much closer to his heart.
Scrolling through the internet and applying for everything museums-related. Matthew came across an opportunity to work on the archives of Peter Brook, Britain’s greatest living theatre director. Peter Brook also directed films including the 1963 classic “Lord of the Flies”.
Thanks in part to an HLF grant, the Victoria and Albert Museum had acquired Brook’s chaotic archive of personal papers. This includes correspondence with Vivien Leigh, Ted Hughes and Laurence Olivier, diaries, drafts of scripts and rehearsal notes from the past six decades.
It proved to be a life-changing experience for Matthew and gave him much-needed direction.
My editorial photography brief was to illustrate him in his working environment. Photographing him engaging with the heritage from the archives.
Blythe House where the photography assignment took place made an interesting location with all the corridors and shelves of archives. Locating one that was organised and had colourful files made for an interesting backdrop. Then all it took was some organisation and lighting set-up. I included in the shot some theatre archives he had been researching on Peter Brook.
Although lighting was essential for the portraits of Matthew giving the image some depth, my favourite image came at the end. The natural light coming into the archiving area from the window behind the subject created a wonderful silhouette of Matthew surrounded by the archival files.