Clearing through some stuff the other day, I found this feature i shot for Devon Life. I’m not sure exactly when its from, but it has to be around 1999 or 2000.
I was asked to take the pictures by Anna Baness who was the partner of a colleague where i was working at the time.
Linda Lemieux harvests reeds from the somerset levels for the purpose of making baskets, chair seats and other such items. it its quite amazing that she undertakes the whole process from the harvesting, through drying and processing to the manufacturing and the ultimate sales of all the products.
Linda is still operating from her shop in the square in Chagford on Dartmoor.
I remember from the shoot that i was very green and made numerous “newby” mistakes. As digital was new and untrusted by magazines at the time i was instructed to shoot using Fuji Velvia (as was the norm back then) as they didnt feel my 6mp canon camera was up to the job. i really should’ve bee a bit more forceful on this, but being new…..
Anyhow, off i went to the shoot on a nice sunny day on the river isle near langport with big plans in my head (having not actually asked what the magazine wanted). i spent the day shooting every possible angle and activity that was going on, ultimately using 4 rolls of film, which even then with processing would’ve cost me around £45.
When the magazine landed on the door step, i was initially disappointed that they had only used the one image and then quite annoyed at how much time and money i had spent doing the job, but i was actually quite chuffed that I’d got my first shot in a glossy magazine, and more so that I’d had an insight into an interesting world that would’ve otherwise passed me by. as I’ve learnt many times since, money’s not everything, but it is nice sometimes.