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 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.)


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Portrait No 22 – Ayshea, online retailer

Ayshea is one of many people in the project that have left behind a good career because they didn’t find it rewarding and wanted a better work/life balance. Ayshea has a young son and they loved playing dress up and having fancy dress parties but she was constantly frustrated by the lack of good quality dressing up clothing that was readily available. So last year Ayshea took the plunge, left employment and used her marketing skills to set up her own online retail company supplying high quality children’s dressing up outfits. She now works from home and is brimming with passion & enthusiasm for her product and having seen them I can understand why – her Triceratops costume is just amazing !!

Ayshea’s business can be found online at www.timetodressup.co.uk and there’s a Facebook page here.

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


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Portrait No 19 – Denis, artist & printmaker

I feel very lucky to met with so many fascinating people so far on this project, some I already knew and some I didn’t and I’m so grateful to ones that I didn’t know that happily give up their time, not just to have a photograph taken but also to spend so much time chatting and telling me all about their passion.

Denis was no exception and I was amazed to see the variety of his work, from his more current work exploring text and language, through his experimental led work and some more traditional painting – his studio at Neoartists was packed with such varied work and that wonderful clutter that creatives love !

Denis is also heavily involved in printmaking at Neoartists where they have a fantastic printroom – I have to admit that printmaking is something I knew absolutely nothing about before meeting Denis and I could have spent the whole day listening to him to talk so passionately and hearing all about the different methods and seeing the variety of styles of prints produced.

You can find out more about Denis & his work on the Neoartists website (and he explains it so much better than I can !) by clicking here and you can see a small selection of his work here.

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


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Portrait No 18 – John, photographer

Well sooner or later there had to be a photographer ! I’d decided that I would only use a photographer I didn’t know (mainly so I didn’t cause offence, I have so many photographer friends that I couldn’t possibly include one of them without upsetting someone) and also that I wouldn’t directly approach a photographer and ask them to take part, I wanted the selection to be as random as possible. John’s a local photographer that I’ve been connected with on social media for a little while and his volunteering last week gave me the opportunity to meet him in real life too.

Photographing a photographer brings a unique challenge for me, I’m really not a fan of photographer’s profile pictures with cameras in them, probably because I see too many of them so the challenge was how to create a portrait without including the camera. Chatting to John beforehand I found out that his business revolves around both studio portraits (children & models) and landscapes so I decided I needed to incorporate the landscape and John went a step further and demonstrated his model moves which tied his whole business into the one image !


John has been a keen photographer for many years and I was really impressed that he can trace his love of landscapes and a distinctive style of portraiture back to his childhood. He decided to turn his hobby into a business a few years ago after a long spell of unemployment and he now shoots portraits mainly from his studio in Horwich and loves to head up to the Lakes to photograph landscapes. You can see his work on his website www.fourtwographs.co.uk.

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

PS – for anyone who cares about equipment I was pleasantly surprised to find that John is a fellow Sony user – there aren’t that many of us around for some reason !!