Saturday, 30 January 2010


I photographed manager Sean at McDonalds this evening.  It went well.  I also took some photographs off the staff as a ‘thank you’ and got a lovely hot chocolate in return.  I was surprised I captured the atmosphere here, being an inside photograph, it’s worked out beautifully.  I think this image is the strongest out of all I took.


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This was the first shoot I have done inside with my new lighting system and it still retains the atmosphere of night-time.  The restaurant was subtly-lit.

Knowing that my lighting didn’t let me down, I will return to the Holiday Inn and ask them if I can reshoot inside.

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I started up a Facebook group today called Nightworkers:

asking for people who work nights or those who know people who work nights would like to participate in the project.  Let’s see what happens…

I called into McDonalds on Derby Street last night and the manager agreed to have his photograph taken tonight.

I called into Sainsbury's on the way back and I need to write to their HR Manager with details of my project and hopefully they will be able to do something.

I received a reply from the Highways Agency, who said that they will be able to arrange something. They have a Traffic Officer in the control room and patrol cars working around the clock, so I will email them this weekend.

Terry Speake will arrange for me to photograph a Bailiff and Gamekeeper.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

I have received a reply from Sarah Morley at NW Ambulance Service and she has asked the Operational Manager if he has anyone willing to get involved and she will let me know.

The Environment Agency emailed back saying they can't help with the project.  They say they only have people from their Operations Team dealing with incidents and they have to respond immediately.  I think they think that I want to be with them when they're working.  I will contact them again explaining that I don't need to be there when all the action is going on.

I emailed Keith Harrison at Silcoms Engineering Works today in the hope that he will allow me to photograph one of his employees.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

  • Today, I rang ASDA Head Office (Press Office) in Leeds asking permission to take photographs in their Bolton store.  I emailed them with the details and, hopefully, they will reply soon.
  • A emailed the Samaritans again.  I think a Samaritan would be a great subject to photograph for this project as they are not only voluntary, but they provide an essential service.
  • Visited Bolton Hospice and left my details with them and they said they would get in touch.
  • Visited Blast Away in Kearsley, but it was a house, so I will ring them instead.
  • Visited Silcoms Engineering Works in Farnworth and was told to email Keith Harrison, which I will do today.

Monday, 25 January 2010

facebook logo I have joined the Facebook Group 'Night Shift Workers in a 9 to 5 World' and have asked if anyone in the group would be willing to be photographed.  Hope I get some replies.

I've also emailed:
  • The Environment Agency
  • The Highways Agency
  • Blackpool and Liverpool Airports
  • The Ambulance Service
  • Youngs Pest Control
I will visit some workplaces tomorrow and ring around others.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Approaching Contacts

Looking at the Travel Assignment, I approached most people face-to-face, which is obviously the best method.  I would rather do this as it is more personal, people can see who they are talking to and I think you can build up a rapport.  Marie Curie nurse, Sue Irwin, was the only person I didn't approach in person.

Obviously it may be difficult to do this all the time, but I think I will 'mix it up' - emailing, phoning and visiting workplaces.

I have decided that if a place is open to the public, I will call in, if it is an office, I will phone or email.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Other Contacts

Contacts - Prisons in the North West

Now I need to be specific on who I will contact:
Prisons in the North West
I have picked the following prisons to contact.  There are many more in the North West, but I’ll try these first and cast my net wider if I don’t get anywhere. The reason I have picked Liverpool prisons is that I am from Liverpool and know the area.  I am from Maghull, where HMP Kennet is, which is also known as Ashworth Hospital.



Sunday, 17 January 2010


As for the travel project, I will interview the people I photograph.  This is both beneficial as an ice breaker, but also so I can find out more about the person and more about the job they do.  I perform the interviews in onen of three ways:  I record them, I ask them to write on a questionnaire or I email the questions and they email me back.  It all depends on how much time they've got (remember, they're at work) and what method is easier for them.  When I have interviewed them I write out a transcript and maybe edit it a little and then post it onto my website.  The interviews will also be invaluable when making the book as I may put the workers' quotes with the images.

Gary Thomas' 'How to do your Research Project' has a chapter about interviews.  He says that by doing an interview face-to-face, interviewees respond more favourably 'they will usually be energised to help by your physical presence'.  He says that you can relate to interviewees while you are talking to them and be able to hear and understand what they are saying and use gesture or words to encourage them to say more (or less).  He adds that nuances of their behaviour will give important clues about how they feel about something.

Thomas suggests that taking care with appearance, demeanour and tone are important.  Do I want to be seen as a person in authority or a neutral observer?  He says the decision should influence the way you look, sound and behave.  I always like to dress fairly smartly when meeting the people I am photographing because, to my mind, it gives off the message that I am professional and serious about what I am doing, but I try to act as open as possible in order for people to warm to me more and feel at ease, and, thus, I can get more from them photographically.  Thomas suggests talking about the weather, my journey or anything in consequential to put the interviewee at ease and try to 'establish rapport' with them.

Structured Interviews

So far, I have been giving more 'Structured Interviews' which means I have been asking the workers pre-written questions, mainly to ensure continuity.  I do, however, tell them they don't have to answer a question if they don't want to and also that they can add anything else at the end, if they so wish.  My questions are open-ended which allow the interviewees to reply in whatever way they wish.  Also, this way of interviewing is very quick which is important if I'm interviewing someone during their work time.  Thomas', however, states that these structured interviews don't give you the opportunity to gain a proper understanding of the interviewee as you would with an unstructured interview.

Unstructured Interviews

These are more like a conversation and there is no predetermined format, except a general interest in the topic.  Here, the interviewees set the agenda - telling you what issue needs to be covered.  I would need to go into the interview with an open mind.  However, if the interviewee strays too far from the topic, I would have to bring them back to it in some way, but this needs to be done sensitively.   They may want to 'let off steam' about something and the interviewer must be understanding and realise that the interviewee is giving you their time and offering you something that may be important.  It is, however, best to avoid putting words into the interviewee's mouth, such as "Does that make you feel angry?".

Semi-Structured Interviews

These provide the best of both worlds, combining the structure of a list of issues to be covered with the freedom to follow up points if necessary.  This is the most common arrangement.  Drawing up an interview schedule is useful.  This is a list of issues which you want to cover.  They don't have to be in the form of questions, but provide an aide memoire of important points to discuss.  It is a framework of issues, leading to possible questions, leading to possible follow-up questions, leading to 'probes' which are encouragements to interviewees which may be verbal ("Go on ...") or non-verbal (a nod, raising eyebrows).

This type of interview sounds the best so far and I will attempt to make an interview schedule.

Nightworkers Ideas

I promised myself I would make up a list of 60 night jobs and work my way through them.  It is my aim to get 40 people to photograph, but we'll see how it goes:

1 Road Gritters
2 Hospital – Nurse/Doctor/Porter
3 Funeral Director
4 Supermarket Worker
5 Prison Officer
6 Airport Worker
7 Railway/Underground worker
8 AA/RAC/Green Flag
9 Motorway Maintenance
10 Careworker
11 Emergency 999 Call Operators
12 Bouncers/Doormen
13 Plastics Factory Worker Jonathan – River Street – see Martin Garrity
14 Silcoms Engineering Works, Farnworth Have emailed
15 Takeaway Delivery
16 Ambulance/

17 Cleaners/Street Cleaners Bolton Council
18 Warburtons Paul – 01204 393280
19 Telecoms Workers
20 Royal Mail Sorting Office Bury
21 Bus Driver Night Bus
22 Samaritans Have emailed
23 NHS Direct
24 Lorry Driver Eddie Stobart?
25 Council Incinerator
26 St John’s Ambulance See Roy at work
27 Ellesmere Port/Chester Refinery See Roy at work
28 Rat Catchers/Pest Control
29 Warehouse Worker
30 Gamekeeper See Terry Speake
31 Bailffs See Terry Speake
32 Air Stewards
33 Armed Forces – RAF, Army, Navy, Merchant Navy See Peter Griffin
34 Forensic Photographer See Sangita Mistry
35 Shipyards
36 People who Clean Chewing Gum off Streets
37 Newspaper Printers
38 Dockyard Worker
39 24-Hour Gym Staff Pure Gym, Manchester City Centre
40 Radio/TV Presenters and Staff
41 Farmers
42 Careline Staff Have Emailed
43 Salvation Army
44 Environment Agency
45 Highways Agency
46 Factory Workers
47 Police Helicopter
48 Paramedic Helicopter
49 Baker
50 Sleeper Train
51 Fisherman
52 Motorway Service Station
53 Hotel
I may redo this one as I wasn’t happy with the result
See Matt
Premier Inn
Last Drop
Britannia Hotel
54 Locksmith
55 Plumber
56 Electrician
57 Glazier
58 Call Centre Worker
59 Met Office
60 Pharmacy
61 24 Hour Alcohol Delivery Drink Doctor - 07 999 222 345
This’ll keep me going for a while…
I will get some contacts for the above this week and also look on websites/forums I can join which may help me contact people who work nights.

What Now?

 The following was the last post on my Travel Assignment Blog:

What Next?

This is the end of the Travel project.  I have enjoyed it immensely and have met many interesting people.  I think I will carry this project over onto the next term for the MA.  I think there are a lot of possibilities out there – workers who perform unusual jobs.  Whether I will keep it to night work, I don’t know yet.
I am pleased with the images and think the short interviews complimented the photographs, telling more about the person in the photograph.  Some images work better than others, but on the whole, I think I’ve done a decent job.
As mentioned previously in the last blog, after doing newspaper photography, it is difficult photographing people ‘just standing there’.

So, I need to start to find more people to photograph.