Daniel Meadows and the Importance of Personal Work

I was really lucky and stumbled into a job working for a local newspaper in Essex whilst I was still a school boy in 1978 and I’ve never stopped working as a photographer since. But in in 2012 I started to feel sort of burnt out and so I joined the Royal Photographic Society and started editing a publication for one of the special interest groups that led me to interview a number of photographers, one of which was Daniel Meadows who had studied photography with fellow students such as Martin Parr, Charlie Meacham, Brian Griffin and others.

Daniel spoke about the importance of shooting personal work, that others do not have a commercial controlling impact on and I took that idea on board and soon afterwards shot a documentary set of images about a local stonemason that gained me an associate distinction with The Royal Photographic Society.

Daniel also spoke about a project that he did after graduation where he purchased a double decker bus from Bartons and spent a year traveling around England photographing strangers, he spoke of his camera as being a passport into the lives of others, I think that is a great concept.

My wife, Shona and daughter Jessica visited Daniel with me and on the way down we visited the bus Daniel had used, it is now in a museum just outside of Birmingham. He was really surprised to hear it still existed and really enjoyed looking at the images I took of it, and a few years later attempted to have it taken to the Library of Birmingham, to show at an exhibition he had there, although it could not be done.

When I searched for information about JRR 404, which was Daniel’s bus I discovered that I might have traveled on it as a schoolboy traveling into Melton Mowbrey. I also bought my own bus, before I knew Daniel and we had turned it into a studio to photograph family portraits, but it did not work out so well for me; the first time we used it was at Chaddesden in Derbyshire and we expected 23 families to come on board but it rained and only 1 turned up.

The featured image for this post is a multi exposure, a conceptual approach to photography. It shows Daniel walking around in circles, he told me that no matter what work he did after the photobus project, students and other photographers always want to talk about that project.

I wonder if in this image supplied by Phil Stevens the driver is Daniel Meadows

If you would like to see more about Daniel’s project he has a website called The Photobus. Click here to be transported there, no need to buy a ticket…

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