‘I Don’t Care’…….October 2016


Playing catch up again….as it is now the end of March 2017…….oops!

A couple of years ago our good friend Carolina Giammetta wrote and directed a short film called ‘I Don’t Care’.

The film was conceived after she had visited one of our Shifting Perspectives exhibitions and was particularly taken by a couple of the photographers work, including Fiona’s images of Billie-Jo titled, ‘I Don’t Care’.

The film isn’t about us, but more about how she has come to see Down’s syndrome through her relationship with us and other people she knows who have children with Down’s syndrome. Our daughter Billie-Jo was one of the actors and it is a VERY moving, beautifully shot (by the brilliant Alfie Biddle) and directed film, with wonderful acting by Andrea Lowe, Jo Hartley and Cavan Clerkin.

She has since shown it at many festivals and it has won LOTS of awards.

A little while ago she called up on a Thursday evening to see if we were available to travel to Belguim on the Saturday to pick up an award for her from The Extraordinary Film Festival…….

So, of course we jumped on the Eurostar and had a lovely time at the film festival.

Here are a few shots of Billie-Jo on stage giving a small speech.

You can now see the film here:

(It is about 15 minutes.)

And here is a behind the scenes trailer with me, the Director, Producer and actors:

Photographs courtesy of Julian ‘Hools’ Hills

Farm Animals, Parrots and Dragons…….July 2015


At the beginning of the year I had a call from a well known environmental charity asking if I would like to shoot their calendar for next year. Of course, I jumped at the chance and spent a very enjoyable four days in Germany taking photographs of rare German farm animals. We spent a night in Hamburg, which is a very cool city. Young and irreverent and full of graffiti!

If you visit you will see a lot of tags of smiley faces, spirals or just ‘Oz’. This tagging was done by the ‘legendary’ Walter Josef Fischer—known in Hamburg as OZ. He had reputedly tagged his name, signature smiley faces and spirals more than 120,000 times around the city since 1977. He died last year at the age of 64, after being hit by a train(!), doing what he loved, tagging.

I can’t show you any of the images from the shoot yet, but they look great and the design of the calendar is great too.

I can though, show you some of the parrots and dragons I have been shooting, and here they are:

Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo_RB_32

A Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo_RB_08

A Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Green Winged Macaw_RB_19

A Green Winged Macaw

Green Winged Macaw_RB_26

A Green Winged Macaw

Ring Necked Parakeet_RB_09

A Ring Necked Parakeet

Ring Necked Parakeet_RB_03

A Ring Necked Parakeet

Black Headed Caique Parrot_RB_14

A Black Headed Caique

Black Headed Caique Parrot_RB_21

A Black Headed Caique

Sun Conure_RB_08

A Sun Conure

Sun Conure_RB_22

A Sun Conure

African Grey Parrot

An African Grey Parrot

Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo_RB_03

A Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Ring Necked Parakeet_RB_15

A Ring Necked Parakeet

Bearded Dragon_RB_45

A Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon_RB_26

A Bearded Dragon and last but not least, and starting to pass a striking resemblance…….

Richard Bailey Portrait

Poets, Perspectives, Triathlons and a Solstice…….June 2015



Well it was a packed month looking back!

First up was the YOUYOU Mentoring ‘I’M A STORY TELLER’ project.

Stars from stage and screen gathered in the the historic home of poet John Keats to lend their support and read short stories and poems penned by young writers, mentored under the YOUYOU Mentoring scheme.

Nyasha Duri, Phoebe Thomson, Olivia Maxwell, Louella Ward and Poppy Turner were beneficiaries of the scheme and had their poems and short stories read by:

Nicholas Pinnock, Charlene White, Leanne Best, Georgina Campbell, Daisy Lewis and Laura Pradelska.

The wonderful Laura Pradelska is a long time supporter of YOUYOU MENTORING and her reading of Nyasha Duri’s beautiful short story is available to listen to on SOUND CLOUD HERE:

Thank you to all those who attended and gave their time, it was a lovely event.

You can see more about the event and about YOUYOU MENTORING HERE: and also HERE: YOUYOUMENTORING

YouYou Mentoring Story teller

Leanne Best, Nicholas Pinnock, Laura Pradelska and Georgina Campbell. (Photo Sam Errington.)

YouYou Mentoring Story teller

                                               (Photo: Chloe Thacker.)


A few days later and we are off to the My Perspectives awards ceremony, held each year at the Orangery in Kew gardens.

This is possibly my favourite night of the year.

Of the 250 entries entered into the competition I am tasked to ‘whittle’ it down to 25 images which are then sent off to a panel of judges to select their favourites. The annual competition is open to anyone with Down’s syndrome and the only rules are that:

1. You must have Down’s syndrome.

2. You must have taken the photograph yourself.

This years entries were outstanding and it was very difficult to edit them down. The eventual winner was David Kenward.

David has entered the competition before with very strong images, so it was great to see him win. You can see more of his work by clicking HERE: David Kenward Facebook page.

Thanks once again to Katie Pinnock and her team at GlaxoSmithKline for their continued support of this competition and the ceremony.

Winning photo by David Kenward

Winning photo by David Kenward

Photo by Klay Green

Photo by Klay Green

Photo by Jabbar Jamil

Photo by Jabbar Jamil

Photo by Carlos Biggeman

Photo by Carlos Biggeman

Photo by Hubert Lawless

Photo by Hubert Lawless

Then the Blenheim Triathlon loomed it’s head, a bit quicker than expected and with my twin brother racing I was going to have to put some effort in, especially as he is now a member of  a ‘tri-club’ and competing in Olympic distance races!

We had great weather and although he did beat me, it was only by a minute and a half, we raised a ton of money for the charity ‘I Can Dance’, so it was a great day all round.

Here we are just before the swim and me on the last leg of the run.

Blenheim Triathlon 2015

Blenheim Triathlon

And then……..there was a trip to STONEHENGE for the Summer solstice!

I hired a 17 seater minibus, filled it with family and friends and headed down to Wiltshire on a Saturday afternoon.

We wandered in and out of the stones, mingled with Druids, hippies and hula hoopers, got about an hour of sleep and then up again to see the sunrise. We were very lucky that there was a ten minute window where the clouds cleared long enough for us to see the sun come over the horizon, before disappearing behind the clouds again.

It was a truly memorable experience, lots of ‘characters’, banging of drums, and there was something really very special about being able to walk in, around, and to touch the actual stones. I think I must be a punk turned hippy, or at least a ‘cynical mystic’!

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

And it doesn’t stop there, as the following week I was in Hamburg, for a very enjoyable time shooting animals for a Greenpeace calendar…….but that can wait for another time!

Sheep, sheep and more sheep……and Vivienne Westwood…….October 2013


Modern Farmer magazine have got me taking photographs of sheep and I am enjoying running around the country seeing these quite lovely creatures. They gave me the front cover again, which was nice!

In between doing work for the wonderful RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) and a visit to Cheltenham for the University of Gloucester, there was a visit to Buckingham Palace to see Prince Philip (who was delightful!) and a trip to Keats House where Dame Vivienne Westwood graced us with her presence. (She was not quite so delightful!)

I know I go on about the RNIB, but they are brilliant. This was a quick trip to a school they run in Coventry, where children of various special needs are looked after and educated with great care and attention.

A lovely week was spent in Cheltenham for the University of Gloucester, taking photographs for their new prospectus. Always great fun and a really nice vibe there.

A friend of mine has just taken over as Chief Exec. of The Lord’s Taverners. He has been involved with them for a long time and is a mad cricket fan, so it his perfect job. The Taverners do a great job raising money for the underprivileged and I know that he will take them onto bigger and better projects. Every so often he has called me along to take a few snaps for him and this time it was a trip to Buck Palace for a ‘do’ hosted by Prince Phillip. I’m not a great royalist, but there was something quite nice about wandering through the gates at the front, into the inner courtyard and then into The Palace proper. It is ‘rather splendid’ inside and not a spot of dust to be seen! Prince Phillip was on good form too, considering he wasn’t long out of hospital.

And then there was Dame Vivienne Westwood…..hmmmmm.

I am a trustee of a very small non-for-profit scheme called YouYou mentoring. This year we had the opportunity to partner with the fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and her ‘Climate Revolution’ project, by giving five young poets the chance to develop their poetry and create a collection of poems to inspire others to consider their own relationship to the environment.

Climate Revolution is an inspiring project that Dame Vivienne founded and is doing great work in keeping this issue in the public domain.

As part of the poets development they had their photographs taken with Dame Vivienne at Holborn Studios, (see August post) and recorded their poems at a solar powered studio and had their poems published, by Dame Vivienne, in a little poetry book .

The poets also gained guidance from a leading literary editor of a top magazine and were voice coached. All this was to climax in a special event at Keats House in Hampstead, where they would read out their poems, alongside YOUYOU’s supporter, BAFTA  Rising Star Award-winning actress Juno Temple (premiered here on iD magazine) and to an invited VIP audience, including the poets mums and dads.

Dame Vivienne was invited along to say a few words about the ‘Climate Revolution’ project, a few words about YouYou Mentoring and then to have a nice evening….or so we thought.

So, after the young poets, who are aged 17-21, had finished reading their poems in front of the audience, Vivienne gets up to host a Q &A discussion with them.

Her first words were: “Well, people keep talking about talent, but I don’t see any here…..”

… she then told one of the 18 year old’s, that she didn’t think her poem was any good and she didn’t understand a word of it!

Vivienne’s staff and her guests were sniggering and chuckling, obviously thinking this was hilarious. Eventually a few people in the audience, including myself, decided to stand up for the poets, and she started to be a bit more pleasant.

Although there seemed to be an attempt to humiliate them publicly, each of the poets were dignified and were able to talk about the poems and the story behind them with great passion.

(Remember that Dame Vivienne’s company was a partner in the project, she took part in the official photo shoot and media, had very kindly printed the poems in a little booklet, with its ‘Climate Revolution’ branding on the cover and on the night she had her photograph taken with the young poets for the press. )

I don’t know, maybe Ms Westwood, thought this was good fun, maybe she thought this was the right thing to do, maybe that is a normal Saturday night out, maybe trying to make people feel small is something that occurs regularly in her world…?

What I do know, is that YouYou Mentoring has very strong values and strives to develop and encourage young people to get on to the first rung of their chosen career. With high youth unemployment it is schemes like YOUYOU that are helping to make a real difference and we always offer POSITIVE encouragement.

The journey of the poets development and other creative mentee’s involved in the project was documented by YOUYOU Mentoring. You can view the promo films, stills and read the poets poems here on the designated Facebook page.

As I say…..And then there was Dame Vivienne Westwood…..hmmmmm.

Blue-Faced Leicester Blue Faced Leicester Blue-Faced Leicester sheep Blue Faced Leicester Dorset sheep Dorset Ewe Friesland sheep Friesland Ewe Friesland lamb Friesland Lamb Merino Ram Merino Ram Suffolk Ewe Suffolk Ewe Suffolk Ram Suffolk Ram Wiltshire Long horn ram Wiltshire Longhorn Ram Modern farmer covers

It’s all Happening!…….January 2012


The first week of the New Year and all the rushing about at the end of last year pays off and we open up The Strand Gallery with YouYou Mentoring‘s ‘Close Up – Discovering Hidden Talent’. The local BBC news pick up on it and run a piece at 6pm, which brings lots of people in. George Muigua is great in front of the camera, as are the brilliant Andy Fallon and Brix Stuart-Smith. Andy is one of Britain’s most well known and respected rock photographers and also a YouYou mentor. The images he took, with his mentees are on display, as are those of Scarlet Paige’s mentees. Scarlet Paige, (daughter of Jimmy Paige), is also a major name in rock photography, as well as always being a pleasure to meet.

For a cold and windy night in the first week of the New Year, the private view is a great success and YOUYOU gets plenty of mentions in the press.

Shifting Perspectives is not far off, so I am trying to get ahead of the game and am travelling all over the country taking photographs of people with Down syndrome, who are in employment. (As well as sorting out prints, frames and text for all the other photographers) I go up to Norwich to see the delightful and extraordinairy Brogan, who works at Norwich Hospital. Full time, five days a week delivering mail around the hospital.

I spend a great morning with her and then rush off to Holkam Beach and shoot a few sheets of 5×4 for my ashes project, which is starting to take shape. More of that later!

The Shifting Perspectives exhibition has been in Doncaster for the last three months and now it is time to take it down. The Point have really made use of it, with local schools and photography students creating work around it. The space has also been used for health professional to have meetings in. The comments book is jam packed with positive words.

The Point, Doncaster

Fergus Henderson of St.John…….December 2011


Brenda Ramsey was in touch again and it would now appear that I am a trustee of YOUYOU Mentoring. We are talking about doing an exhibition of all the work taken by the photography Mentees. Alex Proud has offered us The Strand Gallery for the first week in January. Alex is a great supporter, not only of YOUYOU, but also the Down’s Syndrome Association and has often let us have space in his galleries. Thank you Alex.

Myself and George Miuga, one of my original mentees take a trip to the newly opened St.John Hotel in Leicester Square to take photographs of Fergus Henderson. Fergus is wonderfully affable, helpful and very game. We have asked for the (obligatory) pigs head and he gives of his time freely and we get some wonderful shots.

Jo Turpin comes along and shoots a beautiful little film as well.

In the meantime hang Shifting Perspectives work in Doncaster at The Point.

Fergus Henderson, St. John Hotel, London W1

Fergus Henderson, St. John Hotel, London W1

All images ©Richard Bailey

The Dublin Arts Council, Ohio, USA…….November 2011


A lovely and very charismatic man called Lito Ramirez called earlier in the year to see if we could bring Shifting Perspectives to the USA. Well, of course we could. After speaking to the Dublin Arts Council, they asked whether I would come out for the week to take part in talks and workshops. Well, of course I could.

HERE is a lovely short video produced by the local e-arts channel, which has a bit of me taking photographs of the locals and below is a quote from David Guion the charming Director of the gallery.

‘Shifting Perspectives 2011 was the most successful exhibition that we have had at DAC. I think the impact is still felt in myriad ways. It would be so great to build on the 2011 exhibition and continue to raise awareness of Down syndrome.’

In the meantime I have been doing some nice work the lovely people at the University of Gloucester and also the RNIB.

I have also been moving on from DARWIN’S PIGEONS (Fancy Pigeons) and taking some shots of other birds…….

All photographs ©Richard Bailey

GlaxoSmithKline…….October 2011


GlaxoSmithKline have been sponsoring the Shifting Perspectives exhibition for the last seven years and have been absolutely fantastic. In fact more than fantastic! With their support not only have we been able to produce some wonderful pieces of work on all aspects of Down syndrome, but we have also been able to take the work to over 40 different venues in over 12 different countries. Plus….a website,, and the My Perspectives competition. We also have an iPad app thanks to Bright Machine.

The amount of feedback and beautiful comments I receive from people who have seen the exhibition really makes it all worthwihile. GSK’s very generous funding finishes at the end of 2012. I have spent an awful lot of time over the last seven years on this project, and won’t be able to let it end just like that. I feel like we are just starting to get the work out their, so will have to look at ways to make it continue into the future.

In the meantime a great big thank you to GlaxoSmithKline and especially Katie Pinnock.

Meantime I have been doing some quite nice work for Middlesex University’s new Art College brochure.

All photographs ©Richard Bailey

Hungary, Vermeer and The World Photography Organisation…….September 2011


I had a call from a lady in Hungary asking if we could take the exhibition over to Hungary. Well, of course we could.

I had all the boards for the outdoor exhibition translated into Hungarian and also had boards for inside a mall and for the cities medical university made up. Renata and her husband had recently had a child with Down syndrome and as their was no national group, she decided to start one. It is called AngelHeart Down Foundation. To launch the foundation she used the Shifting Perspectives exhibition to get lots of publicity and has now taken it to at least four cities around Hungary, including Budapest. Last year I did something similar for a group in Turkey. Three energetic ladies were starting up a group, so we took them the outdoor exhibition which they proceeded to take on a tour around Istanbul and these are the places I would like the work to be seen.

I hear from the World Photography Organisation that my work ‘Sarah_after_Vermeer’ has been chosen by the curator Elisabeth Biondi to be exhibited at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York.

And I ran my first Triathlon….!!?

And I have been doing some nice work with Illy and the University of Gloucester.

The outdoor exhibition, Debrecen, Hungary

The outdoor exhibition, Debrecen, Hungary

Me talking to the local news.

All photographs ©Richard Bailey

Sony World Photography Awards…….February 2011



I get a lovely phone call this morning from a very nice lady at the Sony World Photography Awards letting me know that I have come second in the Advertising category. I am of course very happy about this, but am reminded of the Olympic athletes who can’t bear to look at their silver medals! That said, I am looking forward to the big red carpet, black tie affair at the Odeon Leicester Square in March. The images that ‘won’ are from the ‘After_Vermeer’ series with Sarah Gordy.

In the meantime we are taking down to the Shifting Perspectives exhibition that has been up in Hereford for the last three months. It has been a wonderful show and a great space to show it in.

Sarah_After_Vermeer #1

Sarah_After_Vermeer #2

Sarah_After_Vermeer #3

Hereford Art Gallery

Hereford Art Gallery

All photographs ©Richard Bailey