This image has always been a favourite of mine although it became edited out when I worked on ‘At Sixteen’ originally.
When asking if I could do his photo, this teenager became a little flustered about what to do with his cigarette and so stuck it behind his ear. I only got one shot, unfortunately before he turned away to take another drag.
The ‘At Sixteen’ archive is being scanned and updated and all images will be online (kinda) soon.
Over the years I have often photographed my extended family within their own environments. I also sometimes photographed their friends and their relationship with them. This photo is of my niece and nephew taken behind their house in the Raploch in Stirling circa 1992. The Raploch had a – rather unjust – less than glorious reputation for itself and has had significant regeneration over the past decade.
At one stage my mum, sister and brother and their respective families all lived in the Raploch and I knew the area and some of the people quite well. I always found it to be a decent place with decent people and its reputation unfair in its negativity.
Whilst these pictures were taken for personal documentation at the time I can now look at them as situated within a time and a place and what they tell us of that. This vast expanse of grass behind the houses where the kids played was full of mattresses and settees and sometimes empty bottles of cider. People probably complained of needles and dog mess but I cannot remember it being a main issue. Rather there was a freedom in this area of untamed grass and expanse of land where you could run around and jump on old furniture and play. There was a wildness and an adventure to be had.
None of my family live there now. It has been designated Urban Regeneration pathfinder status by the Scottish Executive. It has changed and for those who live there now, it is probably much improved.
Yet some part of me still believes that children might miss those vast expanses of untamed land and the possibilities that lie therein.