Putting photos and words together

I was a writer long before I was a photographer. To be exact, I knew I was a writer when I was about seven whereas I didn’t call myself a photographer until I was twenty-eight. Writing was inherent within me, but I had to train hard and learn extensively to be a good photographer. I love both of these creative and therapeutic outlets and these days, words and images work hand in hand for me. They complement each other. Words can really enhance a photograph and give it depth and meaning. It works the other way around too – a photo can bring another dimension to the words on a page.

Today on BBC Radio Berkshire, I spoke to presenter Bill Buckley about how I weave my writing into my outdoor photography to give my images an extra dimension. Bill invited me to read out the poem I wrote after witnessing the spectacle that is my three-year-old strawberry picking. Such an event incorporates such a broad range of emotions for a young child: a loopy kind of joy as they cram strawberry after strawberry into their mouths followed by such despair and indignation when they’re told to stop. For the grown-up, such reward to see one’s daughter indulging in such gluttinous pleasure and then nigglesome worry about the stomach or/and the vomiting that will follow. A bitter-sweet experience for all.

Here it is:

My little jelly junkie

There’s nothing more intent

than a three-year old

let loose in a field of fruit.

Cheeks bulging.

Pudgy hands foraging.

Stained pink fingers.

Crimson lip gloss.

Clumsy feet squelching

jam into the soil.

My little jelly junkie,

tipsy on nature’s candy,

wailing excessively

when the basket of treats

is responsibly taken away.

There’s going to be one hell of a come-down

from her




For me, writing makes me feel individual, unique. I know that nobody else will come up with that exact idea or angle, and nobody will put the words in the same order. You get a real sense of ownership and accomplishment from a piece of writing, and if it can support or trigger the taking of a photograph, even better. I hope to feed lots more of my writing into my photography in the coming months and years…so watch this space.

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