Portrait of a new Green Party member photographed as part of my Green Surge documentary poject

Image of the Month – May 2015 – Portrait of a new Green Party member

My Image of the Month for May is one I took as part of my short-term project, Green Surge.

It was one of the last portraits I took for the project, just days before the General Elections here in the UK and is of Alec Leggat – a new Green Party member, who joined at a time when the Green Party was seeing a surge in its support – dubbed the Green Surge.

For this project I let the person I was photographing choose the general location of the portrait – some asked to be photographed in a park near their home, others a general area close to their work. The reason for adding this participatory layer to the project was to ensure they had some connection with the location, and so they had a degree of control as to how they were represented.

On meeting Alec at Parliament Square we set about trying to find a suitable location and backdrop. I struggled to find something strong enough at the square, and suggested the grounds of Westminster Abbey – Dean’s Yard across the road.

With each of the portraits for the Green Surge project I tried to ensure the backgrounds added to the impact of the overall image – I didn’t want ‘generic’ backgrounds that lacked impact or visual appeal.

The image was taken using natural light only, which had posed a real challenge for some of the portraits, but I was fortunate that the sky was overcast, with only slight thinning of the clouds at times. I waited for the thinning of the clouds before taking this shot, as I really liked the contrast and highlights it brought.