Kate Griffin Photography // London Family Documentary Photographer » Celebrating family life in London and across the UK

the american boys in brighton

I can be quite impatient. Not waiting for bacon to properly crisp is one of my greatest patience failures. There are many more.

So having to sit back, twiddle thumbs and wait for film to be developed and scanned is testing me to the limit.

I’m having to distract myself. I’ve taken to baking banana loaf cakes. And chocolate fudge chocolate chip ones. It is working. Sort of.

Last week I was lucky enough to attend Jonathan Canlas’ Film Is Not Dead (FIND) workshop in Farnham, Surrey. You can read about how I got there, here. I went because I wanted to learn to slow down, to be more considered in the images I take, to look more and press the shutter less. I left feeling I had got so much more out of it. Not least the glorious people I met.

I had THE BEST time. I’ve applied capital letters and made the words bold because I cannot shout loudly enough to let you know how much of a good time I had. I’m going to wait until I have my developed films back before I tell you all about it. What a tease. But it’s no secret that I LOVED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF IT.

Until then, I’m going to show you what I got up to with Jon, Joey, Craig + Kate the day after the workshop finished. I had no film left, so I captured the day digitally. Having instant access to those images has calmed me slightly, although I’m still fidgety about the film I shot. I’m hoping that good(ish) things come to those who wait. We shall see.

The American boys wanted to see a bit more of England, so we took the slow roads and country lanes to Brighton. After 3 hotter than the surface of the sun days in Surrey, I couldn’t wait to feel the cool, coastal breeze and eat a fish & chip supper on the seafront surrounded by new friends.

One of the first stops was an Aladdin’s cave of curiosities. Jon found a box of old photographs and was in his element. He showed me his angry face. Well not really angry, but more “can you believe all this stuff” face. He left with a bag full of portraits and a happy face.

They are both very compliant people when you ask them nicely. Well, who wouldn’t want their picture taken in a iconic red telephone box? Who cares about the cliche? Sadly, they discovered that people don’t use a telephone box to make calls anymore. I’m not sure the fragrance was delightful. In fact, I know it wasn’t. But look at those happy little faces.

On the seafront, empty of people, full of pebbles.

After fish & chips, and the arrival of Craig and Kate, we made for the pier like kids on a school trip.

Action Joey, leaping over railings.

Non-Action Jon. Sensible.

I think Joey has come to terms with his shotgun marriage at the seaside. Jon perhaps realises he made a rash mistake. It’s the sea air. Makes you do funny things.

Jon does what he does because he loves it. He can’t imagine doing anything else. All work is personal to him, so he’ll grab any opportunity to make beautiful images. I just amused myself by noticing that he’d decided to pose them by the public toilets. But good light comes first. and that’s where the good light was.

I quite like these two. Both the right side of slightly mad. Obviously totally professional and excellent photographers. But still brilliantly mad.

Sometimes the people with the best sense of humour have faces that rest in a sombre way.

The group shot. And directions to the Gents. Important to be prepared at all times.

Joey is a little bit Irish. He is fleet of foot and prone to outbursts of dancing which are sadly lacking any rhythm. But when there’s no music playing, who cares?

Jon gives good moody face. He looks a bit tough right? He’s not (unless you are a seagull trying to steal hot donuts from him). He is kind, generous, and so sweet natured. He is my new big brother. I could rave about it him. But I’m British and we don’t do that sort of thing, right? Well I will be when I review FIND.

Jon also created the opportunity for me to meet Kate. She is wonderful. I’ll be forever grateful to him for that alone.

Kate gave Joey a nickname. She cheated a bit and used a bit of his actual name. From now on, he will always be Joey Essex to us. He has no idea why that makes us laugh so much. Good.

He’s American. He loves knives and guns. He found a shop which sold them. I think he was eyed with a modicum of suspicion.

Take a look. The FIND Norfolk 2013 dream team.

We rounded off the day with a chinese buffet banquet. I think I earned brownie points for taking the Americans there. If I’m honest, it was a decision driven entirely by selfish reasons. Let’s call it the gift that gave back.

The boys have flown back now. I miss them already.


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  • June 7, 2012 - 8:40 am

    Jane Packard - Fab images Kate and what a great introduction to the peeps behind FIND. So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 xReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2012 - 9:31 am

    Fanni - These are just lovely Kate!! I am so pleased you got to meet some wonderful people and been inspired by them too!
    Great work 🙂

  • June 7, 2012 - 9:00 pm

    Stuart Cooper - These images are fantastic Kate. I would have loved to have spent just a little bit more time with these guy, they were such an inspiration. Glad you took these on digital as well as just like you I am totally impatient!ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    Kirsten Mavric - YOU NEED TO SHOUT MORE WHEN YOU POST BLOGS, KATE. This one nearly slipped right by me, tsk. Great shots, I love them all equally and fully.ReplyCancel

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