I was asked / commissioned by the High Weald AONB Unit - a government body charged with the care and conservation of the High Weald in the South East of England - to make these portraits for an oral history project recording the lives of a number of people who have lived and worked in the Ashdown Forest all their lives.

These characters grew up in a different world; a world of commoners rights, hard graft and a freedom not obtainable in the modern high speed digital world. What linked their personalities was an energy that comes from a fulfilled life - as part of a localised community with the life support that brings.

I shot these on my Gandolfi 5x4 a wooden camera which always seems to make for a relaxed portrait session.