Fifty Portraits

at 50mm, of 50 people like me


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Portrait Number 35 – Chris, The Blind Woodturner

I actually photographed Chris way back in December, at the time I was a little unsure whether I was going to move this site to a different platform so I shared a post about Chris on my main site Definitely Dreaming while I decided what was happening with this one.

A very busy first half of the year followed so not only did I not get around to photographing anyone else I also didn’t move Chris to the right website. But better late than never!

When someone starts a conversation with “I couldn’t find a really well made vampire stake so I decided to teach myself wood turning” you know they are going to be interesting, and when that person is also blind they become incredibly inspiring.

Chris has been blind for over eight years and around four years ago he decided he needed to learn woodturning (to make that vampire stake!). He listened to hours and hours of YouTube videos until he was convinced he knew what he was doing and then bought himself a lathe and started turning wood.

He’s had a number of practical challenges to overcome but he has become an exceptionally skilled wood turner and with the help of his partner Nicola he now has a website and sells his products at craft fairs and in the local tea rooms.

Chris also has his own YouTube channel with a growing following, which is no surprise since he’s a natural in front of the camera and an engaging speaker.

You can find Chris online and see his work on his website here and on YouTube here.

Make sure you checkout his work, I’m sure you will as inspired as I am!!

(All images ©Janet Broughton  www.definitelydreaming.com.)

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Portrait No 32 – Jacqueline, Holistic Healer and Spiritual Artist

As you will already know this project is all about people that have turned a hobby or passion into a career. For Jacqueline her business is much more than a passion, its a spiritual journey that she feels is only at the beginning. She’s very open to where that journey may lead her and she brims with passion and enthusiasm when she talks about the varied but interlinked strands of her business.

As well being a recently qualified Reiki Master Jacqueline offers various forms of holistic therapy, including aromatherapy and crystal healing, from her studio in a lovely old building in Rossendale and is soon to be offering meditation classes. As if all that doesn’t keep her busy enough she is also a talented spiritual artist. As well as paintings she showed me some beautiful works in textile.

Although Jacqueline’s business seems to consist of quite diverse strands they are all underpinned and connected by her strong spiritual beliefs and I can’t wait to see where her journey will take her !

Jacqueline’s business is Semple Angelic – her website can be found here and she can be found on Twitter as @Sempleangelic.

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


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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.)