Portrait Salon

Jan Klos

The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London.

Jan Klos’s portrait of the people who work at The Nelson’s Head pub in Shoreditch, London (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and comes from his series ‘The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London’. The work will be exhibited during Photomonth London at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club from 7th to 14th October.

Nelson's Head

‘East London is home to some of the oldest and best pubs in the world. Some are historic, steeped in tradition, while others put on popular gay nights or serve locally made beers. There are lots of them, and at the heart of what makes them worth visiting is their staff – the bar men and women who pull pints, keep locals entertained and often become like the closest of families.’

Pub on the Park

Pub on the Park, London Fields

Mahogany Bar (Wilton's Music Hall)

Wilton’s Music Hall, Shadwell

‘Inspired by the 18th century conversation piece and the traditional family portrait, photographer Jan Klos presents The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London, a new series of striking group portraits that introduce viewers to the colourful and dedicated teams behind some of East London’s much-loved drinking dens.’

Star of Bethenal Green

Star of Bethnal Green, Bethnal Green

The George Tavern, Stepney, October 2014 - "The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London" by Jan J Klos

The George Tavern, Stepney

‘Since 2008 one in five pubs in the UK have shut down in the face of a struggling economy, rising alcohol taxes and smoke-free policies. The Times labeled them an ‘Endangered British Species’ and East London has seen its share of public houses shut their doors for good. Some of them, including The Nelson’s Head and Joiner’s Arms feature in this exhibition. The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London serves to celebrate and raise a glass to East London’s public houses and the people in them, but it is also a timely record of what the area has lost in recent years.’

The George & Dragon

George and Dragon, Shoreditch

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak, Shoreditch

The opening night of Jan Klos’s exhibition at 6.30pm on 7th October will feature short video interviews with landlords on the importance of pub culture, the role pubs play in local communities and what the future might hold for them. Visit www.workersplaytime.net for more details.
Jan Klos is a Polish-born photographer. Specialising in portraiture and documentary, his work has featured in publications worldwide including Telegraph Magazine, Newsweek, Wallpaper*, Metropolitan and N Magazine. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at venues across the UK, including MAC Birmingham, Quad Derby, Lighthouse Wolverhampton, cueB Gallery London, Four Corners London, FUSE Bradford, Oriel Colwyn, Wales and Napier University in Edinburgh. He lives in London.


James O Jenkins

James Robertson


James Robertson’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2012 and is from a series of images documenting a group of young Afghans skiing on the slopes above their village in Bamyan. This in turn is part of a larger project documenting the many facets of skiing in Afghanistan, and with the help of the VSCO Artist Initiative has expanded to include documenting two Afghan ski guides who visited Switzerland for training with the hope of competing in the next Winter Olympics.

Ski touring with Untamed Borders in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2012. Skiers in Chap Dara valley have been inspired by seeing western skiers to make their own out wood, metal and plastic.

‘This series of images was taken over only a couple of hours: we were skiing down to the lower slopes about to finish for the day when from many different directions guys with wooden skis on their shoulders started walking up towards us.’

Ski touring with Untamed Borders in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2012. Skiers in Chap Dara valley have been inspired by seeing western skiers to make their own out wood, metal and plastic.

Ski touring with Untamed Borders in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2012. Skiers in Chap Dara valley have been inspired by seeing western skiers to make their own out wood, metal and plastic.

‘Bamyan doesn’t have a history of skiing, however to help the area’s economic recovery there has been a push to reinvigorate the tourism industry and this has included introducing skiing as a form of winter tourism. The local kids have seen westerners skiing and simply bought materials from the bazaar to make their own. There are also programs to introduce as many locals to skiing on modern equipment as well as teaching avalanche safety and training local ski guides.’

Ski touring with Untamed Borders in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2012. Skiers in Chap Dara valley have been inspired by seeing western skiers to make their own out wood, metal and plastic.

‘When I came across an article online about skiing in Afghanistan I had no idea it was possible, and it immediately challenged my preconceptions of it as a country. The idea that not only was it possible to travel there, but it was also possible to ski was completely juxtaposed to everything I had seen in the media up to that point. I want these images to have a similar effect with the images so unexpected they force the viewer to reconsider more than just whether it is possible to ski in Afghanistan.’

Ski touring with Untamed Borders in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2012. Skiers in Chap Dara valley have been inspired by seeing western skiers to make their own out wood, metal and plastic.

James Robertson is a professional photographer based in Edinburgh. Since being awarded The Guardian Student Photographer of the Year in 2008 for his images of the UK boxing talent, James has continued to produce work across a range of sporting disciplines from road cycling to rowing. As well as commerical and product work for a number of publications such as Rouleaur and Privateer he also spends time on his own documentary projects; including a look at off-piste skiing in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan and a recent series following the members of the one of the UK’s only dedicated ski patrols up in the Nevis Range.


James O Jenkins

Second Chance Salon


We’re very pleased to be featured in this week’s Professional Photo Magazine which is out today. We spoke to Terry Hope about why Portrait Salon was set up and about some of the plans we have for Portrait Salon 2015.

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The magazine has also kindly offered a downloadable voucher for this issue (No.110) which is usually only available to featured photographers. All you need to do is print it out and take it to WHSmiths. Many thanks to Terry Hope and Roger Payne.

Nick Ballon


Ezekiel 36:36

“Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD rebuild the ruined places, and replant that which was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it”.

Nick Ballon’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2013 and is from his series Ezekiel 36:36*, a documentation of Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB) which is one of the world’s oldest surviving airlines. ‘Founded in 1925, it took its name from Lloyd’s of London for its image of safety and security. The airline later earned its place in Bolivian history by playing an important role in the Chaco War of 1932, when its aircraft carried the wounded to safety and transported supplies to soldiers on the front line.’

Pilot Captain Zabalaga’s crew went on strike in late 2012, demanding salaries that were owed to them but which couldn’t be paid due to the airline’s growing financial troubles. Captain Zabalaga handed in his resignation days later.

‘In 1994, LAB was privatised and sold off to a failing Brazilian airline. The company has suffered at the hands of successive administrations ever since, becoming gradually dismantled over the years. In 2007, the Bolivian government ordered it to shut down on charges of unpaid taxes and social benefit contributions, leaving over 2000 of its workers out of jobs.’

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‘While all commercial flight operations have been suspended, the airline miraculously survived to the present day. LAB has become a workers’ cooperative which provides a range of aviation services, as well as operating an aircraft on behalf of another local airline. 196 employees continue to work for the struggling company, yet their salaries have been halved, and have even gone unpaid for two whole years following LAB’s collapse. Most of those who remain have continued to work for the company out of loyalty and faith. Their morale is occasionally boosted by small victories, such as their recent crowning as champions in the airport football tournament.’

Flight school – chair and printouts LAB first opened a flight school in 1927, and counts Bolivia’s first civil aviation pilot among its students. Today, the school technically remains in operation, though the classrooms and simulators remain unused, as tutors await news of the airline’s future.

dead bird on seat Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano continues to wait, with resolve and conviction, having endured a long struggle for LAB’s survival. Like the phoenix, he believes LAB can rise up from the ashes and have new life.

‘Once an icon of modernity and progress, there’s something decidedly anachronistic about walking through their headquarters. Stray dogs rest in the security booth at the front entrance. Workers, too, can be found taking midday naps in the engine room. Metallic stairs, which in the past were used for boarding modern aircraft, now lead up to nowhere. A Boeing 767 flight simulator worth $2.5MM has been sitting unopened in a gigantic crate for the past six years.’

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‘Successive self-proclaimed saviours have appeared at their doorstep offering multimillion-dollar investments and ingenious rescue packages, yet the workforce has grown disillusioned at their promises, which have invariably failed to materialise. Headed by an unlikely CEO, the current administration believes it has a master plan to bring the Bolivian phoenix back from its ashes, and take off once again in the following weeks.’

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* The title refers to the name of the only aircraft LAB currently have in operation, on hire to another domestic airline (crew included). It captures the quasi-religious faith the remaining employees have in the airline, which to most outsiders would appear to be a lost cause.

“Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD rebuild the ruined places, and replant that which was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.” (from King James 2000 Bible).

Words by Amaru Villanueva Rance ([email protected]).

Nick Ballon is a documentary and portrait photographer based in the UK, whose Anglo-Bolivian heritage is an important source of subject matter and inspiration in his work, exploring socio-historical ideas of identity and place, the concept of ‘foreignness’ and belonging.
He graduated with a BA (hons) from Berkshire School of art and design in 2001, and since then has worked editorially for a number of respected international publications, including the Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian Magazine, the Financial Times, the New York Times, El Pais and Der Spiegel.

His work has been exhibited internationally including at Rencontres d’Arles, Beijing Triennial, Guernsey Photography Festival, KK Outlet, Wellcome Trust, and NCM/Foyle Foundation. He has been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Photography Prize four times, and received an honourable mention for the Photographic Museum of Humanity grant.
In 2013 he self-published his first book Ezekiel 36:36 which looked at the curious and precarious existence of Bolivia’s national airline, which received much critical acclaim and was one of TIME’s best photo-books of 2013. His second book ‘The Bitter Sea’ will look at land-locked Bolivia’s painful longing to reclaim back its sea lost in a war to Chile over 129 years ago, and will be published by Trolley Books.

Nick Ballon’s book Ezekiel 36:36 is available to buy here.

[email protected]

James O Jenkins

Lydia Goldblatt

Still Here

Lydia Goldblatt’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon in 2011 and is from her series Still Here, an intimate body of work about her parents. ‘Goldblatt’s series, Still Here (2010-2013), takes as its point of departure the family home, focusing on the transitional experience of the artist’s parents as they age. The work stems from a desire to address the inevitable changes wrought by her elderly father’s approaching death. Her image making combines close observations of the human form with still lives, portraits and abstract works resonant of planets and origins.’

Father, from the series Still Here

Father, from the series Still Here

‘Marked with tenderness, the work is far removed from the haste and public face of contemporary family self-representation. It offers instead a concentrated meditation on mortality, time, love and loss, in which corporeal scrutiny courts metaphysical wonder. Still Here explores the indefinable thresholds that mark out individual existence, and the subtle process of erasure that returns us to the state from which we emerge.’

Mother in the Garden, from the series Still Here

Mother in the Garden, from the series Still Here

After Image, from the series Still Here

After Image, from the series Still Here

‘While the work is about the artist’s family, it is equally a means to contemplate the nature of life and the invisible bonds of love.  It engages with the shifting nature of time, and the potential of photographs to open up the realm of experience via their poetic as well as indexical reality. In making work about a personal experience of mortality, Goldblatt explores the cyclical scope of existence that sees nature’s fingers unpick our fragile yet insistent efforts to build, construct and create.’

Mother, from the series Still Here

Mother, from the series Still Here

Spent Time, from the series Still Here

Spent Time, from the series Still Here

‘Photographing, for me, is a means of giving expression to both the internal and external processes that shape our experience of life. My work considers transitional human states and is tied to concepts of identity and belonging. These images are from a series about my parents, focussing on my elderly father’s mortality, and stemming from a desire to address the inevitable changes wrought by his approaching death.’

Untitled, from the series Still Here

Untitled, from the series Still Here

Threshold, from the series Still Here

Threshold, from the series Still Here

‘I am witnessing human fragility, the physical and psychological boundaries of a human essence. I am interested in the indefinable thresholds that mark out our individual existence, and in the subtle process of erasure that returns us to the state from which we emerge. While the work is about my family, it is also a means to contemplate the nature of life and the invisible bonds of love. It engages with the constantly shifting nature of time, and the potential of photographs to open up the realm of experience via their poetic as well as indexical reality. In making work about a personal experience of mortality, I am exploring the cyclical scope of existence that sees nature’s fingers unpick our fragile yet insistent efforts to build, construct and create.’

Wedding Ring, from the series Still Here

Wedding Ring, from the series Still Here

Window, from the series Still Here

Window, from the series Still Here

Lydia Goldblatt trained at the London College of Communications, receiving a Masters Degree in Photography with Distinction in 2006. She lives and works in London. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, with group and solo shows in the UK, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece, China and Malaysia.

Her series, Still Here, is the subject of a solo exhibition at the Felix Nussbaum Museum in Germany from November 2012 – January 2013. She has also exhibited recently at Galerie Huit during the Rencontres d’Arles International Photography Festival, the Hereford Photography Festival, the Daylight Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie and International Photography Awards.

Interviews and features of her work have been published in Photomonitor, Hotshoe, British Journal of Photography, PLUK, the Guardian, Sunday Times, Telegraph, and Wallpaper*, among others.
In 2010 she was nominated for the Sovereign European Art Prize, and in 2011 was awarded the Fundacion Botin Residency Award with Paul Graham. This year she is the recipient of the Magenta Flash Forward Award and International Jewish Artist of the Year award. Anne Braybon, curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, recently nominated her for the Vic Odden Award, recognising significant achievement by a young British photographer.


James O Jenkins

Adrian Nettleship


Adrian Nettleship’s portrait (below) was selected for the first Portrait Salon in 2011 and he tells us more about the series it belongs to called ‘Drowning’.


‘I started work on this series, titled ‘Drowning’, towards the end of 2010. It was around the time that the Bush administration had been experimenting with different interrogation techniques and recasting the common definition of torture in order to accommodate them. I’d produced a small piece of work for an activist magazine on the subject, but I was concerned that my approach was too literal and I wanted to try something that touched upon the theme without being limited to it. I’d seen Emma Critchley speak about her series ‘The Fear of Falling’, a beautiful set of underwater portraits, although it’s not immediately apparent how they were shot. I’d been inspired by the idea she’d spoken about, simply of exploring how people react when placed out of their element, how the appearance of the face changes underwater and I was keen to experiment with this myself.’



‘I’m a strong believer in the idea that in order to create something that satisfactorily expresses a certain idea, it’s important to take action, even if the initial attempts result in failure. Too many of my own ideas have been set aside because I’ve passed through the stages of initial excitement through to questioning the foundations of the idea without ever trying anything out. I think it was Annie Leibovitz who I first encountered talking about the idea of going back, again and again to the same subject, to refine her approach, all the time gaining familiarity. It’s a very different approach to the constraints of commercial work where getting results first time are essential. Through the process, something often emerges which can be carried forward, and so the two motivations above formed a basis for experimentation.’


‘I borrowed a small fish tank and asked for volunteers, and it quickly became apparent that the total internal reflection that arises from shooting a subject in the denser medium of water allows for a great deal of control if the lights are placed in the less dense medium of air. The sidewall of the tank became a large soft light source and anything not in the water received very little light at all. It also became quickly apparent that I would need seriously to consider a risk assessment. Water, electricity, glass and people all in one place carry considerable possibility for problems. We went through a good many revisions of the instructions we gave our subjects to get the desired result – variations on asking people to hold their breath repeatedly, taking in only the air they needed. I had quickly abandoned the somewhat reckless idea of jumping on an unwitting subject while their head was submerged, in an attempt to capture their resulting panic. There are limits.’


‘The final step once we were satisfied in principle was to build a fish tank large enough to give space around the subject for the shot, ordering panes of glass cut to size, fixed together with silicon sealant. I was very fortunate to be able to call upon a wood turner friend with considerable carpentry skill who built an over engineered stand to hold the tank, with a window in the bottom to shoot through. As a tank of water gets larger, the weight grows exponentially, which proved to be a limiting factor on how big we could build. We eventually settled on an estimated weight of 150kg for the water alone.’


Adrian Nettleship is a photographer based in East London. He has been working professionally in stills and video since 2005 and clients include The Wire Magazine, RWD Magazine, Tate and Lyle, and Christian Aid.


James O Jenkins

Laura Dodsworth


Laura Dodsworth’s portrait of ‘Debbie’ (below) was selected for the first Portrait Salon in 2011 and is part of Laura’s photographic series ‘Marriage’ about the significance of the wedding dress.



‘Marriage is a series of portraits of women in their wedding dresses in their homes. Women are to some extent defined by marriage, as wives, homemakers and mothers. The portraits are taken in their homes to contrast the ‘fairytale’ of a wedding day, epitomised by the dress, with the domestic reality of marriage.’





‘A wedding day is romantic, full of optimism and the bride and groom are poised on the brink of their journey through life together. The wedding dress is the single most significant item of clothing a woman will ever wear – it’s more than a dress, it says so much about the wearer, and evokes ‘forever’, ‘love’ and your hopes for the rest of your life. Dreams, expense, effort, time are invested in a wedding day. Yet all this is for one day, and bears little relation to the day to day domestic reality of marriage.’





‘What does marriage mean for women? There are so many answers. The series as a whole de-romanticises the dress, raises questions about the wedding day as fairytale and imparts a common experience married women can relate to. At the same time each photograph in Marriage tells a story unique to the subject and provides a window into their domestic world.’





‘Marriage prompted me to take a longer more intimate view through the window of women’s lives, and I went on to spend two years photographing and interviewing women about their breasts, bodies and lives for my first book, ‘Bare Reality: 100 women, their breasts, their stories’.’



Laura Dodsworth is an award-winning people photographer and her work is a personal enquiry as much as it is an exploration of people, their loves, their lives and their place in the world. While the human body and human relationships are important current inspirations, her art/social projects are often driven by deeper socio-political as well as spiritual questions.

Laura has just published her first book, ‘Bare Reality: 100 women, their breasts, their stories’. See more at barereality.net


James O Jenkins

Travis Hodges

Tim Andrews

Travis Hodges’ portrait of Tim Andrews (image on the right of the diptych below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2013 and is part of Tim’s photographic project ‘Over the Hill: A Photographic Journey’. Tim was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005 and subsequently left his job as a solicitor and set upon a journey turning himself into a photographic project and has now been photographed by over 300 photographers.


‘This portrait is part of an unusual set, unusual in the sense that the subject is the curator of the series. Some viewers will recognise Tim from other photographer’s portfolios and even from the walls of the Taylor Wessing Prize itself. Some 350 fellow photographers have created a portrait of Tim making a fascinating insight into both his life and the work of so many photographers.

Beginning in 2007, when he answered an advert in Time Out from a photographer looking for a nude model, Tim has journeyed through the photographic landscape offering to model for known and unknown image makers. The project has become a way for Tim to collaborate with artists and be part of the process, it also charts his life with Parkinson’s Disease. This is something that I, like many photographers, have touched on in the image.

My image began from the idea of separating the subject from the viewer with a non physical layer designed to mirror an emotional barrier. The pattern projected over Tim becomes both separating and protecting, reminiscent of watching the rain from behind a pane of glass. We experimented with a few different projections but settled on one that reminded us of both star constellations and medical scans.’

Read Tim’s blog about the shoot here.

Travis Hodges is fascinated by people and uses his camera to explore what makes them interesting, from well-documented celebrities to those who have never stood before a professional photographer in their lives. His work, from time-pressed editorial shoots to longer-term personal projects, is people-driven and examines what makes us who we are. His client list includes Adidas, The New York Times and Virgin Media and his images are seen in magazines such as The Independent New Review, Wired and ES. Personal projects allow him to further explore the human condition and consider how people come together in tribes through common interests or habits. His projects Follow Me and The Quantified Self investigate how technology is impacting on the way we live.

His awards include the Royal Photographic Society 155th print exhibition; the Observer Hodge Award and the Jerwood Photography Award. When he’s not behind the camera, Travis organises the monthly Photo-Forum talks in central London, where working photographers can discuss and debate their images, ideas, and approaches.



James O Jenkins

Carly Clarke

Reality Trauma

Carly Clarke’s self portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2013 and is from her work ‘Reality Trauma’, a self-portrait photographic series she produced in March 2012 when diagnosed with stage 4b Hodgkin Lymphoma, a rare cancer and with a large tumour inside her right lung during her final year of a BA photography degree at Middlesex University. The portrait below is Carly on her last day of chemotherapy.


‘While I was overwhelmed with chemotherapy treatment for 6 months and the idea of possibly dying, I felt a necessity to record my journey and document my life as it changed so drastically. This led to examining not just myself, but the whole of life’s meaning on many levels. My body became a shell, limited in movement, filled with pain, while I could do nothing but hope and wait for every treatment to end. The image of who I thought I was became unfamiliar, almost alien, losing my hair and so much weight, unable to recognise the reflection in the mirror, which I avoided at all costs. The hospital staff and doctors became like a family to me. I put my trust in their hands through every biopsy and every significant event that required me to surrender to all that was beyond my control. My identity felt crushed, yet I didn’t mind because I knew this perception of a helpless human being was not really me, for inside I was strong, determined and hopeful, and utterly terrified.’


‘My life slowed down to concentrating on getting through each moment, drug to drug, endless exams, giant needles, biopsies drilling deep into bone, tubes down my throat, and hoping for some day, the pain to end. A plastic line inserted to my heart fed sickening but healing medicine through my arm, trying to kill the cancer but taking my strength with it. The cure is as dangerous as the disease, and chemotherapy takes one to the very edge of life. Rapid downhill weight loss was, the most visible threat, and my skeleton became more visible by the day, a reminder of each precious pound lost. The powerful pain killers pushed my fragile life boat even further from the shore of what was once life, nauseating and bending every sense, but I held on. Will I live through this? I did not know.’



‘A meditative focus on the small things that mattered really helped. I found much comfort talking to those in hospital of similar experiences, and spending time with family and friends.  Those moments can best be recalled through the use of a single memorable photographic image.  Nothing but a photograph can take me back to my time with cancer, that moment in its entirety, as if I were there again, re-living the sensations, the feelings I felt and the fears I held in my mind.’


‘These photographs evoke some painful memories for me; however they also remind me of the huge capacity of my own human body to endure through such hellish times. My body, mind and soul were tested to the ultimate ends unimaginable and I experienced life on an unbound level. This self-reflective collection of images gives only glimpses into that time but my hope is that the audience can see not just the horrifying aspects, but also the promise that being a survivor of cancer gives and the tremendous hope for others facing a similar condition.’


‘Traumatic times can be reflected upon as lessons in survival that awaken us to cherish the subtleties of everyday life and our reality that can so easily be taken for granted. The immense persistence, willpower and courage we as human beings possess when required to is sometimes overlooked. We do not give ourselves the credit for fighting some of life’s toughest battles. This period in my life, is evidence that no matter what life throws at us, we can get through it, even when words cannot explain who ‘we’ are anymore, why we are here or even what has happened to us. We are more than survivors; we are more than we think we are and capable of anything if we believe in ourselves and push those boundaries beyond limits visible. What makes us important as human beings is being able to evolve and become and to create anything in this lifetime. We must allow ourselves the credit we deserve, and see beyond the ‘now’, because anything that we believe we are now, in this very moment in time is temporary, for we are always changing and becoming something else.’



‘Change is the biggest part of our identity, of who we think we are, and my ‘self-portrait’ is a portrait of a person I perceive that I am, but only in one moment in time, and not necessarily the next. This work is a collection of moments and identities, as is the practice of photography.’


Carly Clarke is a British documentary and portrait photographer who works in medium-format photography. Documenting in a creative, cinematic style, her work looks at social issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. Storytelling through the voices of subjects she photographs is key to her work.

She has recently completed her MA in Photography and previously BA (Hons) in Photography at Middlesex University, London.



James O Jenkins