My project started it’s conception as a portrait project, visually demonstrating the varied life gay, lesbian, bi and trans people can lead. I drew upon my own experience of other people’s attitudes and existing stereotypes of what gay people are or should be like. I wanted to open their eyes to realise that there are LGBT people in all aspects of life, profession and ability.
The project developed some more, with the addition of each person holding their own childhood snap. With this I realised the audience who would get most out of ‘Outcome’ had changed. It would now be most apt for young people developing an awareness of their sexuality and for those who were confused or afraid of the difficulties with ‘coming out.’ I could see that my project started to develop a sense of ‘hope’ and ‘journey’ into adulthood and being “out.”
Although I do not attempt to sugar-coat the coming out process or pretend it’s the easiest thing to do – instead, with my project I want to show there is a life on the other side – or a life outside of the closet! More so, a life that is full of opportunities and freedom to live down the path you choose for yourself.
My personal story has helped shape this ideal. Although I have a loving family and circle of friends I allowed myself to hide away and not risk coming out or even admitting to it. New relationships helped force me to act however. I do not want other people to let their fear hold them back. It was not the easiest thing to have to say to people – and I still struggle saying “the G word” (gay) but I know wish I had came out sooner.
Cherry Potts contacted me after seeing my advert on the Arts Jobs listings page – which has turned out to be a great advert as I’ve had alot of interest from it.
Inspired by fairy tales, Cherry is a published author & editor at Arachne Press, the latest book is ‘Weird Lies.’
For the portrait Cherry brought along with her some of her works to hold. Who knew there were so many ways to hold a book. It wasn’t until near the end of the shoot I told Cherry to relax as we talked, so she put the pile of books into the most comfortable position, and I got the shot.
I really enjoyed meeting Ross and photographing him for the project. As a trained & professional dancer, I was keen to photograph Ross in some recognisable dance poses – hearing he studied ballet too I got him to dust off the shoes and dance tights for the shoot! My lack of technical terms came into play but Ross taught me a thing or two about dance positions.
I love his childhood photo too – almost looks like he wanted to be a dancer from an early age with that arm extension!
After seeing my tweets about the project, Alistair got in touch. Actor, model and dancer Alistair Frederick, was no stranger to the camera – after a coffee and chat about the project, work, theatre, travelling and even killer whales; we got to get some great shots!
The portrait I chose reflects Alistair’s personality & positive vibes.
Journalist and blogger @TerribleLadyGay saw a post of mine on the Arts Council job listings page and got in touch. She is also Arts Editor for ‘Vada Magazine’– an online LGBT magazine.
Naturally I asked TLG to pose with her trusty notepad she uses for notes and in meetings – this came in handy also, as afterwards we talked about the project for a feature on the arts page of Vada online.
Talking about the project made me think about how others perceive it and who would get most out of the concept.
Pete, from York, saw the project on Twitter and we talked about a photo. I knew of his love for yoga and thought it would make for a great photo – it did! After some stretching and different yoga positions, it turned out to be a simple but effective pose for the final portrait.
Most of the other portraits are from the waist up, so adding a full body in to the mix really helps give the project more diversity, aesthetically.
Local TV personality; Robert Gray, was very keen to take part in ‘Outcome.’ As someone who is ever the professional in front of the camera – and stage – he was great when it came to having his portrait taken.
Known also for being the owner of a lovely B&B in Greenwich (with it’s own episode on ‘The Hotel Inspector’) he came equipped with his kitchen apron and frying pan he uses to make the daily breakfast in.
The childhood photo of Robert’s is a favourite of mine. From a stack of options, we opted for this one – a young Robert sitting on the lap of Coco The Clown.
A second test shoot was needed, Myles Dobson, working in the media industry, model and host at the Adonis Cabaret Show, Myles was keen to have an Outcome portrait. We had been talking about photos for a while and now was the time to get together.
Posed in his Adonis vest top – which is alot more clothing than you would normally find at Adonis Cabaret! The muscly look Adonis Cabaret is known for, shows just how much Myles has grown up since early teens.
Model, artist and Disney employee Gregory Gaige agreed to be my test model for the very first Outcome shoot.
We had a variety of looks, sizes of the child print and spent some time with various lighting, backgrounds and framing. I had plenty of photographs to edit, whittling the list down to a few and ultimately, this one.
Gregory is currently undertaking a 365 sketchs – one a day – of Disney characters, raising money for Great Ormond Street. Take a look here: ‘Disney Sketch 365.’
The concept of #Outcome is to show that LGBT people can grow up, come out & still be the same person they’ve always been and that they can still be what they’ve always wanted to be! There’s a rich and varied life out there for LGBT people, they just have to make their own way in the world like everyone else! #Outcome is a great way of showing that there’s a myriad of opportunities out there for everyone – so dare to dream big!
#Outcome will include photographs of people from the LGBT community which incorporates an aspect of their daily lives – this could be anything from what they do for a living (such as a police officer in their uniform) to something they simply enjoy doing (like a dancer in a pose). Further to this, and indeed what I consider to be the corner stone of #Outcome, each model will be holding a photograph of their younger selves to help illustrate their journey from the child they were to the adult they’ve become.
I think the title ‘#Outcome’ represents the concept perfectly!
I would also like to take this opportunity to stress that I’m not attempting to sugar-coat the coming out process – which I know can be unnecessarily rough or mercifully smooth (like my own)! Instead I want to give people a sense of hope that, although times may seem hard & you may feel isolated, there are countless people in the LGBT community that have stood where you’re standing and are here to show that there’s a future out there for the taking!
Once I have a large enough portfolio of #Outcome portraits I will hold an exhibition of the work to celebrate the diversity of the models and to spread the message into the wider public consciousness – I want #Outcome to be synonymous with, and compliment, other LGBT projects such as ‘It Gets Better’ and Stonewall’s ‘Education for All.’
If you would like to model for #Outcome then please get in touch – everyone is welcome. However, I will need a digital or scanned copy of your childhood photo prior to the shoot. The photo should clearly show your younger self &, ideally, you should be the only one in the photo.