I took the leap into freelance work for two reasons. One was because I wasn’t content delivering work that lined the pockets of stakeholders, the other reason was to achieve more and work with more rewarding opportunities.
On Wednesday morning, I was sat sipping my morning coffee and noticed a post from a chap called Paul on the local Facebook group. Paul is, at the time of writing, running his way around 5000 miles of UK coastline to fundraise for the charity Head Up. His post read ‘lovely people of Portishead, I’ll be passing through today’.
I was always in awe of Elise Downing’s similar run and wished I had the opportunity to photograph her. This time, I had no excuse (other than an unplanned dismount whilst cycling in the Mendips the day before), so I ran out the door with my X-Pro2 and 33mm 1.4 to go hunt Paul down.
He had usefully shared his tracker link and I knew I could head him off somewhere along Poet’s Walk in Clevedon. It turns out that he detoured inland slightly to find a coffee shop, so I had to leg it back to the Pier where his tracker had mercifully stopped – remember this guy had already ran 3000 miles but I was already struggling to keep up with his tracker!
I walked in and immediately noticed a very tanned and very fit ex-forces type man sat with an equally fit looking woman and thought “this is going to be a tough run”..
Paul and Tina had stopped in Scarlett’s to grab a drink and we started chatting straight away. They were happy for me to tag along and get some photos. We had a chat about the route back to Portishead, finished our coffees and headed back out into the drizzle. It turns out Tina was a seasoned ultrarunner herself but luckily we took a steady pace up to Walton Castle before dropping down the techy descent into Walton in Gordano before heading back up the common and then down on to the coast path where I led Paul and Tina to Black Nore before I pulled out.
This day was the reason I went freelance. I can’t believe that I have the freedom and flexibility to jump on opportunities like this, it is a dream come true. These photographs epitomise exactly what I am trying to achieve. I want to make imagery that supports world-changing projects; projects that inspire and facilitate real-life positive change. Paul’s modest ambition is contagious and I urge you to read more at