Photography – In Focus Anniversary Feature

It’s impossible to know how things will evolve when you start a project like this but here we are, a year to the day since launching, with Breaking Glass celebrating its first birthday already. The magazine has grown in a way that could never have been anticipated and much of that is down to our excellent contributors who all add something unique. Content has always had a strong leaning towards music and photography and our In Focus features introduce photographers from all genres and backgrounds. For this special anniversary piece, we’re delighted to catch up with five of the photographers who were involved in the early stages and helped us to get on our feet. Read on to find out what they’ve been up to since…  

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Tim Beavis

Since last catching up with Breaking Glass I’ve sought to continue to build my portfolio and develop my versatility as a photographer. Most pertinently would be my development into wedding photography, as this August saw me capturing the wedding of a close friend which led on to more bookings.

Whilst weddings was a goal I had stated in my feature last year that I wished to tackle, another personal goal was reached this year by booking my first couple of studio shoots. This was a huge step forward in my journey as it forced me to study and understand studio lighting and capture shots with a very different discipline to how I’d previously worked. Nonetheless I was incredibly pleased with the product of these and my shoot with Jay Rico was one of particular note.

Another particular highlight for me this year was being approached by Coffee Lab (a franchise of coffee houses operating across the south) for framed prints of my work to cover the walls of their Bargate, Southampton store. This led future clients to me as the prints worked as perfect exposure for my business. It also encouraged me to overhaul and relaunch my website (link below) and include a print store within the site that I’m currently developing.

Within the year I’ve also upgraded my kit, working with a Sony a7ii in combination with either my Sony 70-20mm or my Helios 44-2 58mm F.2 rather than the Canon 60D – 50mm combo that I had previously owned. This has led me to develop my portraiture skills by actively working with a range of focal lengths that work for the portrait I wish to capture. As of this week I have also purchased a Canon A1 along with a 50mm lens in order to explore the 35mm format and deepen my understanding and approach to photography.

I always like to make sure with any shoot I capture that I’m learning something new or I’m experimenting in ways that keep it fun and fresh and whilst I hit last year’s challenge of breaking into wedding photography, I’m really intrigued to see where my understanding of 35mm film takes me.

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Tim Beavis October 2018

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Nigel King

Since being featured in Breaking Glass last November I’ve continued to try and cover as many types of events as possible in addition to live music. In December I went to see Stewart Coates of W Coates and Son, Nottingham’s last rope and twine maker, in his shop. Stewart is the last of his family to run the business which has been in existence since 1840. I had a lovely chat with him about the family history.

Other events I’ve covered in the last year include the National Clarion Track Cycling Championships at the Velodrome in Derby, the Nottingham St Patrick’s Day Parade, Nottingham ‘Sikhs In The Square’ Vaisakhi Celebrations, the Cricket World Cup and the ‘Millions Missing’ M.E. Awareness day. More recently in Nottingham I went to the annual ‘South Asian Heritage Festival’ which was a colourful mixture of music, dance and art. I’ve also managed a bit of landscape photography in the Isle of Man. 

I still spend most photographic time on live music photography though. Highlights this year have been the Splendour Festival which again had a great mixture of local bands and big headliners like The Specials and Manic Street Preachers. Other musical highlights have included the Beat The Streets, Dot To Dot and Indietracks Festivals and, back in April, The Zutons at Rock City, led by Dave McCabe.

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Nigel King November 2018

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Derek Rickman

I’ve been engrossed with wild landscapes and the transient nature of thoughts since my last article ‘Visual Poetry in the Modern Age’. It’s a concept that’s been slowly forming in my mind since I first experienced the Lake District in 2015 and it’s all leading to a new Photo/Journal project. I’m returning to Cumbria this autumn with my brothers (my ninth visit) for additional photos and content for it. A hiking trip to Wales is also imminent and I’m much looking forward to exploring the Neolithic burial chambers of the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

I’ve learnt a lot about myself as a writer this year. I travelled to Croatia in June with a plethora of ideas yet returned with barely nothing in my notebook except ‘Seagull at Bonnet Point’. As Keats so ably put it “Poetry must come naturally or not at all”. However, I’m hoping to enroll in creative writing courses next spring to sharpen my skills. I received a wonderful gift from a close friend (a book on Buddhism) which has brought clarity and fresh insight to my thinking and helped me to write more intuitively.

Music continues to be a passion and I’m deeply immersed in electronica and indie. Daniel Avery’s Song for Alpha album has been influential (especially Slow Fade) and I’m much enamoured with Art School Girlfriend’s languid soundscapes. I’ve not made it to any festivals but I’ve seen Foals, Yak and Drenge. Indie veterans Foals (dare I say it) impressed me with their hunger and Yak’s Bellyache must surely rank as one of the tracks of the year. It’s great that Breaking Glass continues to champion bands like IDLES, The Murder Capital and Working Men’s Club, long may it continue. Warmest congratulations to Siobhan and the team on the magazine’s first anniversary. 

Instagram    In Focus with Derek Rickman December 2018

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Juanita McKenzie

Since my feature in February 2019 there has been quite a lot going on and some significant changes happening but, throughout it all, photography has remained the constant. With every day that has passed, I’ve come to realise more and more that I feel most alive and creative when I have camera in hand and I’m out exploring my environment. Once again, change has served as a catalyst and has pushed me to deepen my photographic practice and to explore creative options I might not have considered previously.

Because of my emerging interest in documentary and street photography, I attended the St Paul’s Carnival 2019 and participated in a competition via Instagram. This was an opportunity to submit my best photographs from the event for a chance to be involved in a Carnival Pop-Up exhibition. The exhibition was hosted by the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, and in partnership with the Martin Parr Foundation. I was so excited to find out that some of my images were selected and displayed in the Pop-Up exhibition; see below for one of them.

Spectators at St Paul’s Carnival, Bristol – June 2019

I also made a decision this year to study my MA Photography and started the course in June. This has been challenging in a positive way, making me look deeper at my relationship with my photography and the context in which I locate my photographic practice. It has also got me thinking from the perspective of projects and has helped me focus my photography. I’m currently working on projects exploring the urban environment and our human relationship with it. My MA projects can be viewed here.

Candleriggs Square, Glasgow – July 2019

Website    Instagram    In Focus with Juanita McKenzie February 2019

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Joe McKillop

Happy anniversary! Since the last time Breaking Glass showed some of my shots, I have been trying different things like long exposures, slow shutter speeds and night time shots too.

I have also sold a few prints to different people around the world – that’s a good feeling that people would like to buy my work so I am still plugging away at photography. Thanks everyone for showing interest in my work.

Instagram    In Focus with Joe McKillop April 2019

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All words and photos are the copyright of the photographer named. Huge thanks to Tim, Nigel, Derek, Juanita and Joe for sharing their updates; we look forward to following their work moving forward. There are links to all our In Focus features on the Gallery page.

If you’re a photographer at any level and would be interested in sharing your projects through the magazine, send us a message with a link to your work via the Contact page.

1st October 2019