HomeArrow NewsArrow Photographer visits our Under 1 Roof Service

Photographer visits our Under 1 Roof Service

Photographer- Roger Whitelock visits Under 1 Roof (St Martins training and development programme) to take some wonderful portraits of both team members and people we support. We are all over the moon with how these pictures have turned out.  See what Roger had to say below.

  ”This year one of my goals is to continue volunteering for charities. I’ve worked with a number of organisations in the past and helping with issues around mental health, homelessness and rehabilitation has always been close to my heart. It’s something that could really happen to anyone and talking to people living through these situations is always both a little frightening and very humbling in equal measure. Those that overcome these overwhelming challenges are an example to us all. My eldest daughter, Amber, currently works part-time for St Martins, a Norwich based charity giving homeless people, and those at risk of homelessness, a hand up. This month, she invited me to volunteer for a day running a portrait session with staff and clients.

The session was held at ‘Under One Roof’  – a training and development centre for vulnerable adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness – as part of the art group. From those in recovery to people with mental health challenges and long term illness, my sitters would all have very different stories. 

So how to photograph them? 

I was still pondering this as I drove to Norwich just after dawn with a car full of lighting kit, ready for any eventuality!

Thinking it through I came to a few key conclusions. I didn’t want to push an emotional agenda – I could light everything dark and moody, go uber gritty, or make everything bright and fun, but that would just be me imposing a style on the sitter. I decided to keep things simple and let each sitter bring their own energy to the portrait. So I set up with just window light and a reflector, slowed things down and just captured the people I was getting to know in front of me, waiting for the right moment to click the shutter. My other key consideration was that I wanted every sitter to really enjoy the shoot and to feel valued. So lots of conversation, encouragement, confidence building and just some occasional direction. 

The approach seemed to work as the day went down a storm and everyone loved having their photo taken. By making the session part of the art class all the sitters were able to watch me work, ask questions and chat about photography throughout the day. A few people even brought their cameras in to get some hands-on advice and I left very tired but really happy at the end of the session. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet the wonderful team at St Martins and the incredible people they support every day.”

Arrow Back to listings