June was a HUGE month, both on a personal level and on a professional level. I hosted my first ever solo exhibition - and programmed two events to coincide with it - and it was AWESOME! So many people came in to see it, lots of whom had never heard of Bristol Trans Portraits before. I've started to reach an entirely new demographic - not just through random concert go-ers at St George's wandering over to see the exhibition, but also through a lovely feature in West Country Life Magazine during mid-June.
The whole month was really exciting, and while the exhibition came down last week, it's left me full of enthusiasm for Bristol Trans Portraits. I'm now planning a huge set of photoshoots for the end of July/start of August - I'm hoping for around ten new participants in total. That's quite a lot of people, and it's going to lead to a very new way of structuring the project. There's actually a very big announcement coming soon, but in the meantime I'll be continuing with the monthly features until mid-August.
I wanted to share a few of the upcoming photos of my new participant, Alex Garden (they/them). These shots were actually taken way back in May, because I wanted to ensure I could feature as many participants in the exhibition as possible. When we took these photos, Alex had just moved into a new house - the first they've owned, rather than rented. So I thought it might be nice to start out by taking some photos in the house, and luckily there were some really gorgeous shapes in there to work with!
I particularly love this shot of them sitting in their front window, surrounded by plants and their unfinished music studio. I also love the photo below, where they paused mid-walk to feel the sunshine against their face. The whole photoshoot was such a lovely experience - working with Alex was so chilled out and fun, and I love how colourful many of these images turned out!
Alex also wrote a lot for the project, including detailed anecdotes about their experiences and perspective as a non-binary person. I always like to give participants a platform to talk about their experiences, and it's such a delight when someone decides to really roll with it, just like Alex did. Here's a small excerpt that I thought was pretty damn gorgeous:
"Trans joy is recognising that transness can come from a place of comfort, delight & pride as opposed to the dark, lonely & dysphoric place which is too often portrayed in the mainstream. It can present as playful, artistic & sometimes humorous. For me it’s all about accessing the inner child and empowering people through conversation, education and play."
I'll be sharing these (and more!) photos of Alex on the Bristol Trans Portraits instagram and facebook feeds over the next month, so give the project a follow if you haven't already. Beyond that, I'm hoping to make new portraits a regular feature here on my blog, so look out for more new portraits next month!
For anyone new to my work, Bristol Trans Portraits is a community photo project which uses portrait photography to bring visibility and representation to the transgender community. Run on an entirely voluntary basis, I hold free photo days for trans and non-binary people based in Bristol. The project aims to reach out and start a conversation with those who have perhaps never met a transgender person before, while providing an empowering experience for all who take part. For more information, head to www.bristoltransportraits.co.uk