On Friday the 30th of September I met with Mark Staples the self-employed owner of Mark Staples Building and Maintenance Services who was undertaking a house refurbishment. Mark needed a few images for his newly created website and I decided to use him as one of my people at work as he runs his own business and as I said in my previous post that outlined the person at work project I find self-employed, independent businesses interesting and important. Mark is a handyman/builder who provides a wide range of home improvement services where his motto is “no job is too small”. He undertakes a wide range of jobs from repairing small leak or garden repairs to full house refurbishments and extensions.
He has been working independently for over four years, but has been in the building trade for 30 years. Before starting this business mark worked as a train guard but despised the job and finally decided to leave and go out on his own. He already had many connections to the building industry and was able to make even more, determined to pick his business up off the ground and be successful in his chosen field. After a slow start, Mark now has jobs booked for months in advance as something always needs to be done to a home that can’t be done by an otherwise untrained person.
On the shoot I took about thirty images as I had a limited time frame in which I was able to be there. Throughout are some of the best from the shoot that will be finalists for the final three that I will submit for the project.
One image that I definitely want to use in the project is the detail shot, first image in the post, the picture of the hands. I was inspired to take this picture after recently being introduced to the photographic works of the Italian photographer Tina Modotti (August 1896 – January 1942). She did a series titled 'Hands Resting on Tools' in which she took detail shots of workers hands and the tools of their trades, which influenced me shooting my own image of Mark's hands resting on the top of a broom.
Another photographer who influenced some of these images is Lewis Hine (September 1874 - November 1940) as he mostly photographed manual labourers in the middle of conducting their manual work and not paying attention to him, influencing the shooting of Mark smoothing down the freshly plastered wall.