The Royal Opera House is one of the United Kingdom’s leading cultural institutions, recognised the world over for its creative force and outstanding productions. As a recipient of the Arts Council England funding, the Royal Opera House is a proud member of the Arts Council’s £10 million a year network of 10 ‘Bridge’ organisations that connect the cultural sector and the education sector so that children & young people can have access to great arts and cultural opportunities. Co-funded by the UK’s Department for Education, the 10 Bridges are working in locations right across the country to galvanise local cultural needs. 

Covering Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North Kent, the Royal Opera House Bridge reached out to 25,000 young people facilitating innovative and creative partnerships with a wide range of local arts organisations who provide opportunities to foster rich and stimulating cultural lives.

I was commissioned to make formal portraits detailing the people working at the heart of 15 Royal Opera House Bridge partner organisations for the ROH Bridge’s Annual Review. All shot on location, my brief was for the pictures to be person centred, yet allow for a distilled hint of the creative location. The people and places profiled within the annual review represent some remarkable examples of the drive and determination required to ensure children get the very best cultural start.

From boarding one the UK’s last Light Ships, venturing into outdoor school theatre spaces and treading the elevated boards of a historic naval dockyard, I zig-zagged across the south east of England building a little visual window into the lives of some exceptional 'Voices for Culture'.

Series was shot on a Phase One IQ250, 80mm LS lens and Profoto lighting & modifiers. Browse the photographs here.