Through the Lens: Photographer takes a journey into the unknown

Chris Colbourne, holding newborn Jorgie Baker in one of the maternity wards, is retiring next week a

Chris Colbourne, holding newborn Jorgie Baker in one of the maternity wards, is retiring next week as head midwife at Ipswich Hospital after 32 years working in the field. - Credit: Archant

TRAVELLING in uncharted waters, photographer Su Anderson journeyed beyond our usual patch to Bradwell-on-Sea to meet author Cathy Cook.

Through the lens

Through the lens - Credit: Archant

“Bradwell-on-Sea isn’t in our normal cover area,” said Su. “But I had the chance to visit the little village an hour outside Colchester where I was struck how perfect the quiet village was for an Agatha Christie inspired photo shoot.

Caz Fellows, Francis King, Ryan Fitch, Susie Butler and Amy Randall are launching the Ipswich Roller

Caz Fellows, Francis King, Ryan Fitch, Susie Butler and Amy Randall are launching the Ipswich Roller Derby Team at Raras Ice Cream shop in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

“I was photographing Cathy Cook who had written a book called Agatha Christie Miscellany. We shot at an old school house that I was convinced was the perfect location for a Poirot investigation.

“I had a great time talking all things Christie with Cathy, who had a considerable number of the classics available for the photos. We were trying to recreate a classic photo of Agatha Christie with two massive book piles, one on each side framing her perfectly and I am happy with the images we achieved.”

• Tip: We played a tricky type of Jenga trying to stack the books up high enough without risking an avalanche. Never put your subject in danger for the sake of a photograph.

Su Continued: “Chris Colbourne recently retired after 32 years working in midwifery and a total of 36 years in the NHS. I went to the maternity ward to photograph Chris, who was the head of midwifery at Ipswich Hospital, and we went in search of a baby to be in the photograph.

“We wandered through several wards looking for a baby and a mother that were both awake when we found newborn Jorgie Baker and her mother. Jorgie donned her first outfit after being born the night before and posed in her first professional photo shoot with Chris who laughed when I asked if she had a rocking chair she could sit in (it was a bit too stereotypical for a retiring person but it made for a nice shot).”

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• Tip: I go into many different places and shake a lot of hands during the day so I swear by hand sanitizer for me and anti-bacterial wipes for my camera- especially when going into a hospital ward where you don’t want to trek in unwanted germs.

Heading back to her home county, Su visited the University of Essex to photograph a teacher in the Literature, Film and Theatre Studies department, with his new book called Out of Essex.

“It was only my second time on the campus and for the second time I got lost trying to find my way around.

“When I found Dr Canton in the reception we headed out (in the rain) to the lake area of the campus where I shot several photos of him, even scaring some ducks in the process.

“I asked Dr Canton if there was anywhere else he’d like to go for photos and he took me up to the Wivenhoe building to an amazing cork tree. I have never seen a tree so horizontal with limbs spiralling around each other. It was the perfect place for a photo shoot and I really like how the photos came out.”

• Tip: When taking pictures in the rain you can buy a fancy gizmo that keeps your camera protected or you can use a plastic grocery bag for free. I often keep plastic bags of all sizes in my camera bag.

After some more sedate, artistic jobs, Su was thrown straight into the centre of the action at an ice cream parlour - to photograph a rollerskating team.

“I had never been to Rara’s Ice Cream shop but I will definitely go back to actually eat some day. The 50s diner décor was the perfect backdrop to photograph members of the newly- formed Ipswich Roller Derby team.

“The group will be in training for the next year before they will even attempt to compete against another team in a derby and includes members who haven’t skated in years.

“I liked the camaraderie of the group and would be tempted to join if I weren’t deathly afraid of roller skates - and falling.”

• Tip: Sometimes interesting décor can detract from photos so try and minimize the amount of patterns or colour in a shot if possible to make your subject the main focus.

Click on the gallery top right to see more of Su’s photos.

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