Fifty Portraits

at 50mm, of 50 people like me


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Portrait No 31- Alexis, Artisan Glass Engraver

Other than having a vague idea of someone’s business to know that they fit the bill for the project I don’t look too deeply into what they actually do, not out of laziness or ignorance but because I much prefer to talk to people and hear about their business first hand and the passion always shines through !

So when I went to meet Alexis I knew that he was a glass engraver but nothing more. In my ignorance I assumed that his work would involve engraving messages on commemorative glassware, Happy 21st etc. but its so much more than that ! His engravings are often miniature works of art, such incredibly detailed images engraved freehand into glass and often purely from his own imagination.

Alexis was made redundant from his career as a dental technician in 2013 and he combined the skills from that career with his passion for art and all things creative and his love of walking to launch his own business “Walking On Glass”. He can often be found at craft fairs around the North West and if you ever see him make sure you have a look at his work, you will definitely be impressed !

You can follow Alexis on Twitter as @GlassForWalkers and his website can be found here.

(All images ©J Broughton Photography www.jbroughton.co.uk.)

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Portrait No 30 – Ben, Film Maker

I was really quite amazed when I went to meet Ben at the studio of Sitcom Soldiers, Ben is part of a team of six who make up Sitcom Soldiers and they work from a fantastic studio in Bolton. The studio is within a large industrial unit and when they moved in last year they taught themselves all sorts of new skills and made it a really great space. What really amazed me though what happens at the Sitcom Soldiers studios, from the outside of the building it looks like any other industrial unit and yet bands come from all over the world to film music videos here !

Ben is also in a band, The Arcadia Verses, and it was his love of music that lead him to film making. He was inspired after meeting a Hollywood film maker when he was travelling in America with a group of friends in a band and when he returned started making videos for friends. The film making grew and eventually led to the formation of Sitcom Soldiers in 2002.

You can find the Sitcom Soldiers website here and they are on Twitter as @sitcomsoldiers.

(All images ©J Broughton Photography www.jbroughton.co.uk.)


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Portrait No 29 – Sue, Garden designer & tutor

I was really pleased to have an outdoor location for this latest portrait, virtually all my client photography is outdoors and its where I love to be but it’s ages since one of the Fifty was outside. I met Sue at Brinscall Hall, near Chorley, its a beautiful old house where Sue teaches one of her gardening classes but it’s also an important step in Sue’s journey from hobby to self employed.

As a keen gardener Sue attended a Open Garden event at Brinscall Hall several years ago, she loved the place so much that she volunteered to help in the gardens and as her passion grew she went on to study gardening at college. She eventually left behind employment as a university administrator to teach gardening and now offers short courses as well as a garden design service.

You can find Sue’s website here and she is also on Twitter as @SueJeffries5.

(All images ©J Broughton Photography www.jbroughton.co.uk.)


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Portrait No 28 – Dan, Writer

Dan is the second writer I’ve met for Fifty Portraits and there couldn’t be more of a contrast between him and Simon who is Portrait No 17. Simon works in the way I always imagined a writer to work, in a room completely surrounded by books and although he works on a computer he also uses a notebook and pen to jot down ideas. By way of a contrast Dan currently works on a laptop, either at the kitchen table or on the sofa (although this will change when his office space is ready) and there wasn’t a book, pen or notepad in sight !

I got to meet Dan at what seems like a really exciting point in his new career with lots of exciting things about to happen. Dan has been writing for a long time purely for pleasure but late last year decided to take the brave step of leaving employment and launching his own business as a freelance copywriter. Dan had previously written a screenplay, purely for pleasure, and after having shown it to a number of people and made a few revisions he is now busy working with a producer and will hopefully see his words turned into a film before too long.

Dan’s business is called StoryInk Creative and you can find his website here and you can follow him on Twitter as @dan_hanks.

(All images ©J Broughton Photography www.jbroughton.co.uk.)


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Portrait No 27 – Ian, Video colourist & online editor

I never really imagined when I started this project that it would be  about so much more than just taking pictures of people, I often mention that I’ve met so many interesting people (27 of them to be precise!) but I’ve also learned so much from chatting to everyone and hearing about their business and their skills.

Although Ian had told me in a message what he did I had to confess when I arrived that I was still a bit clueless other than it being connected in some way with TV programmes. So he gave me a fascinating demonstration that had lots of interesting parallels to photo editing and also answered a question that I’d wondered about for some time – you know sometimes you can watch a drama on TV and it just stands out as having beautiful rich tones and deep colours, well that’s what a colourist does and now I’ve seen (and photographed) one in action.

Ian’s love of video started at age 14, videoing friends on skateboards and family holidays and it’s been a hobby ever since. As digital technology arrived he also started to experiment with editing and eventually he ended up working at Granada TV. He now has his own company, Impossible Ideas, specialising in online editing and colour grading for TV, advertising and music and corporate videos. His website is www.impossibleideas.co.uk and he is also an avid tweeter, you can find him as @ianeditz on Twitter.

(All images ©J Broughton Photography www.jbroughton.co.uk.)


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Portrait No 26 – Chris, Chocolatier

Last week I got to visit Chris who has started her business as a chocolatier in her lovely cosy cottage kitchen in Horwich. I’d previously met Chris at a creative networking lunch when I got to sample chilli chocolate for the first time and I have to say it was delicious !

Although Chris has a background in nursing she has always had a creative flair and has enjoyed jewellery making in the past. A chance visit to a chocolatier whilst on holiday in Ireland inspired her so much, after being bought chocolate making courses as gifts she finally took the plunge and launched her business late last year.


Chris’s business is called Rivington Chocolates, you can find her website here and if you like her Facebook Page you can keep up with which fairs she will be attending & selling her delicious handmade chocolates.

(All images ©J Broughton Photography www.jbroughton.co.uk.)


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Portrait No 25 – John (Gilly), Radio presenter

Well, 25 ! Feels like quite a milestone to be half way through, and in just a little over twelve months too. Certainly hasn’t been the struggle to find volunteers that I thought it may be before I started.

Not only was 25 a milestone it was also photographed in unusual circumstances, just before I was interviewed on the afternoon show on BBC Radio Lancashire with John Gillmore (aka Gilly) but more about that to follow in a separate post. Gilly had discovered Fifty Portraits on Twitter and after inviting me onto his show to chat about my business as well as the project he also revealed that he fitted the bill and volunteered to be involved.

Most of the people in the project so far have discovered their passion after a career in something else, Gilly is a little different however since he decided at age 11 that he wanted to be a radio presenter ! He still needed that career in something else though before he was able to convert his passion into a career. In Gilly’s case it took several years working in a bank whilst volunteering as a hospital radio presenter before he was able to abandon a “real” job and break into radio.



Gilly is a massive social media fan and you can follow him on Twitter as @Gillylancs.

(All images ©J Broughton Photography www.jbroughton.co.uk.)