Tonight Emmeline’s Pantry Celebrate a Year of Growth.
This work is called “Hidden Faces” - one day the women in these images will be proud, visible and they will not need my photographs to speak for them. They will have their own voices.
My social conscience tells me to be kind and authentic so a few times a year I give a charity a days work for free. Once I needed help too. Some grass roots charities need this, paying for luxuries is difficult for them until they are more established. But- are bespoke photographs a luxury? Charities care about marketing their brand and telling their story and I believe that stock images are not good enough, too generic. The story of a business should be personal. This is a story of value.
A picture is worth a thousand words - what do the images here say to you? Emmerline’s Pantry helps the most vulnerable women in society, those who have escaped domestic violence or human trafficking. Some have been shackled and 27 organisations in Manchester use the pantry to help these women build a new life. They have grown from helping 40 women a month to 40 a week. If you feed a mother and give her hope she can care for her child. I too am a mother and survivor of abuse. I am now an award winning photographer who has exhibited at the Getty London and just had a nine week solo show. I know that I did not achieve this alone and I needed people to believe in me.
I Spent a marvellous morning with Karen Wilson who runs the charity. We had to protect the women by not showing their faces. I actually really loved thinking on my feet that day. I shot in an unexpected room due to a sewage leak and loved capturing these women and their children. The edit that afternoon was a tearful one for me though, I had seen such bravery and hope in that room and was aware of the context of the charity’s work. I find these shoots are humbling work and maybe that is the point: to see how far I have come and to help a charity to tell its story so they can stay open and grow.