Reportage/Documentary Archives - Page 2 of 2 - John Ferguson Photography

Getting on the Instagram bandwagon. What am I waiting for!!

johnkeatley copyGreat article about something that I’ve neglected for so many years, but not any more! This series of articles as really opened my eyes to a new way of using my photography skills, which can only be a good thing! Watch this space. These images are from a great US portrait photographer John Keatley. Instagram feed: @johnkeatley Best Of Instagram Portrait Photography

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Documenting Ocado’s home delivery service.

I was recently contacted by supermarket delivery company Ocado who saw a selection of my pervious work on my Behance network page, which is mainly based on my photojournalistic style of work.      This is the second time my Behance networking page as secured me new clients, which I suppose is ultimately what you’re hoping for when posting your work up on their site. It’s also a great source of inspiration too.

I was asked to produce a series for images for there forthcoming annual report. Images were also required for a new web and marketing promotion.

We only had two days to complete the brief, which was quite involved. We needed a combination of the ideal family house, aesthetically pleasing family members(who came down from Manchester)and most importantly, the right kind of lighting.
Part of the brief was to make the whole shoot look like it was shot on a summer’s day, the shoot was to take place in January!

I put together my team 1st and 2nd photo assistants Ben and Nick, digital operator Sheila and MUA Sarah. Arranged for all the lighting to be delivered from the Pro centre in London who specialise in my favourite lighting gear…Profoto.

The first set of images were shot outside and around the entrance to the property, I used a combination of Profoto strobes with small soft boxes with egg creates, plus my own Elinchrom ranger Quadra portable lighting kit.
The gods where smiling on us as the weather for these two days couldn’t have been any better, sunny but slightly overcast, giving me some cover for the hash January sunshine..can you believe it!

The next day prove to be much more of a challenge, both myself and the creative director felt the early images from the shoot were not what we were looking for, they looked at odds with the previous days images, we needed to change something around. We were now shooting inside the property.

I then decided to change the whole lighting set-up, moving away from the strobe lighting equipment and swapping it for Profoto’s fantastic HMI continuous lighting heads. The hours were fast ticking away, and there were some uneasy moments when I thought we were not going to finish the shoot. After a series of frantic phone calls back and forth to the Pro centre in Shoreditch and Direct lighting in London’s Waterloo, we just managed to get enough lights and equipment together to carrying on the job. The lights proved to be the perfect solution giving the images a more natural look matching the previous days mix-lighting set up. There was naturally some post-production required on the images to get that uniformed look I was looking for. The photo shoot proved to be a success, which is all you’re looking for, but it was touch and go!

Click on the image to watch the behind the scenes video with Ocado.

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Suffolk Community Foundation


I was recently commissioned by the Suffolk Community foundation to photograph a  selection of charities and support groups and services around the county. The foundation’s purposes is to facilitate these various groups with grants and funds, helping them to continue there vital work supporting local communities, groups and individuals. From disable groups, homeless shelters, meal on-wheels services to a Lido swimming pool. I was truly amazed at the breath and scope of the foundations reach and it opened my eyes to something that I wasn’t too aware of in Suffolk.

There’s a large misconception that Suffolk is a rural idyll, dotted with sheep, sweeping countryside – home to two of England’s finest painters, Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable and beautiful country pubs which it certain is, but the other side of the county has similarities to many other towns and cities in the UK. Part of the commission was to visit the town of Lowestoft which until only a few years ago had a large thriving local industry, but as since fallen on hard times as a result of losing its fishing industry along with Shell Oils southern operational base being close ten years ago. Kirkley in Lowestoft, is one of the most deprived wards in the county ranking 173rd most deprived in England.

Lowestoft has now attracted European Union redevelopment funding which will focus its aims on developing the energy sector such as offshore windfarms and other renewable energy initiatives like tidal energy generators and wave power systems. I visited the Access community trust in the heart of Lowestoft, one of its many services they offer is a resettlement programme and provides an interim move-on facility for residents. Acting as a ‘stepping stone’ between supported accommodation and individuals returning to independent living.

They offer self-contained flats and provide a safe environment where individuals can live semi-independently, alongside the added benefit of support staff who are on hand to help out when needed. I met so many great people there, both volunteers workers and residents, all pulling together sharing, giving advice, guidance, and ultimately sharing a joke or three. These are a few of my favourite images from my journey around Suffolk for the foundation.

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The Security Guard. Environmental Portraiture

I love working on personal photographic projects, I get restless when I haven’t got a project to research or work on. This project came about purely out of curiosity. A local steel factory had closed down not to far from my home in Suffolk.

The factory was huge, very dark and quite eerie. During my second visit to the Cranes steel foundry I ran into 24 year old Daula from Bangladesh, he was studying economics at the University of East London. Through an employment agency in London, Daula excepted a job from a security company to guard the disused factory, mainly from looters and trespassers like myself.  “When I first started working here I was very proud to be in charge of such a place, its very big, but now I don’t like it here” he tells me. “I have to live and sleep here for two weeks each month”. Daula slept in a tiny one man caravan provided by the company, along side an extremely furious Rottweiler dog which he also had to feed. “I work to send money back to my family has well has paying rent for my flat in London”. “People come at night looking for metals, I see them, but I don’t want to talk to them. Sometimes I get very scared, but I do have my mobile phone, just in case”. He ask me, “When do you think the factory will eventually be pulled down?”

I wanted to produce a collection of strong environmental portraits whilst maintaining a cohearent narrative which runs through the main core of the story. The images were shot over a three week period, until the site was eventually pulled down and turned into a shopping retail park.



Security guard picture gallery



South Sudan with Oxfam

This was my second visit to Southern Sudan. One year on from the newest country in the world first’s Liberation from Northern Sudan, the country is now teetering on the brink of a renewed civil war and a host of other problems, one which includes a major refugee crisis in the Upper Nile State near the border with Northern Sudan.

4 year old Awab Allah, proudly holds up his carefully constructed tank made of mud, syringes and razorblades. Awab, in a filthy denim jacket, loads the empty syringe casing with lengths of straw. He flicks the razor blade on his tank deftly, so it hits the back of the straw, making the missile fly through the syringe. It is a direct hit on his friend Adam’s tank. The boys laugh. “They are good fighters,” Awab’s brother Musab says. “They have seen so much war.”

Click on this link to see more of the story and a few more images.