The Project and Exhibition
I look at lockdown now as a tale of two halves. The first was filled with gardening, making cooking videos on Instagram and binge-watching Netflix shows. The second half has been almost entirely devoted to this project.
My wife Jade suggested the initial idea to do doorstep portraits. She could see I needed a kick up the backside, to do something constructive. Without that first push the exhibition that you see today would not exist.
The idea at first was just to take photos of families on their doorsteps, to let them document a fragment of their lockdown for posterity and also to raise some money for our beloved NHS.
Not long after my initial posts on local community pages, I received a message from Lesley Samms, a local councillor who has a lot of experience in taking photographs and curating exhibitions. She enhanced the initial idea by suggesting I include key workers, volunteers and local businesses, who were all keeping the Battle community going during lockdown.
Her help and guidance have been so key to making this a success. From mid-May until now, I photographed over 150 people, with different jobs, different ages and completely different lifestyles. I have loved meeting them all and collecting their stories - which has been such a huge element of this exhibition and actually took more time and effort than taking the photos!
I decided to give everyone the same questionnaire, then display their answers to the public. It was then that a third influential lady entered the fray, Alison Solemani. In 2019 I had the pleasure of photographing Alison’s wedding to husband Akiva and we have remained friends ever since.
She offered her help and, as a retired journalist and communications specialist, her knowledge has been vital. She took the raw questionnaires and adapted them into engaging stories. It was on a Zoom call between Alison, Lesley and myself that it was pointed out what fantastic female role models I have - a fact that is not lost on me!
I do hope you enjoy this exhibition and take away something from it.
DB Photography Sussex - www.dbphotographysussex.com
I have had my photography business for 12 years now. Day to day I photograph newborns, cake smashes and family sessions at my studio in St Leonards. We also run very popular ‘mini’ sessions, Christmas being our highlight. More than 100 families came in last December and we also welcomed our second child just before Christmas, so it was a busy month for us!
Most weekends I shoot weddings and on average I have around 45 per year. I normally work in and around Sussex but some weddings take me further afield, sometimes abroad.
When the news hit us and we went into lockdown in March, my whole year’s work went with it. All but around five weddings re-arranged to 2021. We went from having one of our busiest years planned to absolutely nothing. It was a bit of a shock!
We have now opened up the studio and I am doing newborn lifestyle sessions at people’s homes, as well as location shoots. I am so thankful for our customers and regular clients checking in on us, booking in sessions and planning shoots for the future. It has really kept us going!