The Long Lens blog: Photography with added snaps, art and culture

The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.

Lockdown photography project: PRESTON – PEOPLE WANTED (PROJECT COMPLETED)

I’m going to do a series of portrait-style photographs of people in Preston (outdoors in city centre or outside their homes).

I’ll also take a short statement from each person about how they feel, thoughts about the lockdown, or perhaps even just a message they would like to send.

I’m looking for people who would like to take part in this photography project (it’s free, and I’ll send you a digital copy of the image).

My hope is to photograph a very wide range of Preston people, from all communities and faith groups.

If you would like to be photographed, or know someone who might like to be photographed, please get in touch with me (on here or

I’m going to start doing this in a couple of weeks (while observing all social-distancing measures etc – if they are still in place).

Full press release:

Photographer launches portrait project – and wants Preston people to pose for him

A Preston-based photographer is seeking people to pose for a portrait as he seeks to document the impact that the covid-19 has had on our lives.

His Proud Preston People project involves photographing Prestonians around the city – with participants also asked about their thoughts on life under lockdown. These words will be published alongside the images when the project is complete.

The project, with subjects photographed for free, will be carried out following social-distancing rules. The photographer will travel by bike to an outdoor location or the person’s home to photograph them.

Cook said: “I’ve wanted to do a set of portraits of people in Preston for a long time. After looking what is possible and safe under these lockdown conditions, I’ve decided to go for it. I think this project will be really important as it will capture people and their thoughts and a truly unique time in their history.

“I will ask the people I photograph how they are feeling, but their statements can be about anything – a message, a promise or what they think about coronavirus.”

The photographer will send a free digital copy to all participants photographed, and he hopes to exhibit the images across the city’s local independent venues once the lockdown is lifted.

He added: “Exhibiting the images will be a really important part of the project, whether they are displayed in pubs, hairdressers, cafes or shop windows. Independent businesses have suffered hugely during the lockdown and those that survive will still find it very tough afterwards.

“I think a lot of people will be scared of returning to public places a long time after the lockdown is lifted, so I want to give people an extra reason to return to our local bars, shops and cafes so that these businesses are supported.”

The photographer is aiming to produce images that reflect Preston’s diverse population and communities.

He said: “As well as wanting people representing every faith group and nationality in the city, I would love to include someone reading this now and thinking, ‘I’ve never done anything like this before’. You are exactly the person I want to include in the project. I’ll jump on my bike, cycle to your house and photograph you.”

If you would like to take part, please email Garry Cook at or call him on 07976 579 522 to arrange a photo session.

The Proud Preston People project has been funded by Preston Cultural Framework Board, which is backed by the Brewtime Collective, Curious Minds, Preston City Council and UCLan – one of a series of micro commissions they have funded for the city’s creatives during the lockdown. Find out more at

Cook’s previous photography work in the city has included the 2007 documentation of the ban on smoking in public. He exhibited a set off images in the Harris Museum in 2018 as part of their Courtauld Connects exhibition.

Other documentary projects have included Brilliant Blackpool, celebrating tourism in Blackpool, and Women and Alcohol, focussed on nightlife in Liverpool, exhibited at Liverpool International Photography Festival and East London Photography Festival.

A photobook examining the conflict between Israel and Palestine called Palestiniana was published in 2012.


(Below – some portraits from past projects. All new portraits for this project will be taken outdoors in and around the city of Preston)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 4, 2020 by in Uncategorized.
%d bloggers like this: