First Photo Project

So having found a great shooting camera in the 35SP I needed a project. A new customer of mine for my day job was a very interesting factory. Based in the former EMI record pressing works, The Vinyl Factory is an independent vinyl record pressing plant, record label and all round creative hub.

I showed the MD my growing portfolio, and was granted access to start shooting. To begin with just the machines, but this soon started to grow into a major project. What started as an essay, had morphed into a book project and has continued to dominate my photography equipment purchases and thinking since, and still does till publish date.

For now, here are a few samples from the first roll of Ilford HP5 through the 35SP at the factory.

Since these pictures were taken in March 2017, I have returned at least four more times for whole days, building trust with the workers to shoot more documentary style work, that hopefully with build into a solid portfolio and printed book.

Published by julianhiggs

A returning film photographer, darkroom builder and book maker.

4 thoughts on “First Photo Project

  1. Really interesting to read about this, Julian – partly because it stresses the value of photography in telling stories, and partly because I know this building well. I used to work nearby (still did when you first went in 2017) and regularly walked past it on my lunchtime sanity strolls. I agree that it seems appropriate to celebrate the analogue revival in one creative field with analogue methods in another, and to make a human connection in the process.

    Given the suspicion with which some people treat photographers these days, I’m curious to know how you presented yourself and your portfolio at that first meeting. Did you go in with a feeling of how you wanted to appear in order to persuade the MD to allow you in? Were they actively looking for good publicity, or just needing to be convinced you weren’t an industrial spy?


    1. Hi Clive, thanks for you comment. It really was a fabulous opportunity to shoot in a sympathetic medium.
      I had no plan really when I approached this project. However I already had an ‘in’ through my day job. I simply asked the question (via email) once I had secured business the other way. Showed him some of my work (IG profile at the time) and got a positive response. I may have been a bit lucky but had also already built a bit of a rapport with the MD and staff to a degree. They are still a customer today and I get in there quite regularly, so maybe that helped.


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