Barbie is a leading creative photographer. She describes herself as “a little unconventional” and “a photographic obsessive” whose whole life revolves around photography. She says she likes her images to convey a message or provoke a reaction. They do not need to be pretty. Subjects have included People with Character, Macro Natural History, Humour, and Shoes.
She was part of a Gold Medal winning team representing Britain in the Worldwide FIAP biennial print competition where she also earned an individual silver medal.
She is also a PAGB judge with over 30 years experience and she Zoomed into us last year to judge our “Reflections” Competition.
“Barbie’s Pic & Mix” is her collection of extensively illustrated “mini-lectures” of 15-20 minutes each. Either in advance or on the night, clubs can select the subjects from a list of over 25 titles. We held a series of quick polls throughout the evening to choose each of the eight subjects we managed to fit in.
Barbie showed us her images under each of the selected titles, explaining her inspiration and the creative processes involved.
Our eclectic mix covered the following.
This is one of Barbie’s (many!) passions and she is happy to photograph anyone – even policemen. Her images included people creating or interacting with urban art and environmental portraits.
“Not for the faint hearted”
The images here were mostly part of a project about tattoos and piercings. They included male nudes and graphic images of “intimate” piercings.
This consisted of Barbie’s “My Indian Takeaway” panel for her AWPF, a collection of environmental portraits taken in non-touristy parts of India, with other similar images that did not make the final panel.
This was a collection of amusing composites with Barbie explaining how she collected the necessary shots and then constructed the final images.
“A trip around London at night”
These were images taken in and around Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, the Embankment and the London Eye, Southwark Bridge, the City, St Paul’s and the Millenium Bridge, Canary Wharf, and the O2.
A collection of images of the interiors of derelict houses and cottages (Barbie made a project out of photographing abandoned East Anglian tied cottages), plus an abandoned holiday camp, World War II shelters, and a German fairground.
Barbie loves using her drone, especially for churches (you see the shape of the building with not many people about). Subjects included churches, a convalescent home, a derelict factory, a marina, a lake, an old mill, and a bridge.
This covered a wide range of sporting activities – cricket, horse racing, banger racing (including the demolition derby), rugby, football, canoeing (at Lee Valley Centre), bowls, dog trials, ten-pin bowling, snooker, and boxing.
This “Pic & Mix” approach, with lots of titles to choose from, is a great concept and proved to be a very popular format. Given Barbie’s self-confessed “unconventional” and “obsessive” approach to producing images with meaning, her pictures were – not surprisingly – wide-ranging and very varied, thought-provoking and sometimes challenging, imaginative, compelling, and – most of all – extremely interesting.
All this was accompanied by Barbie’s fluent and engaging commentary. We really enjoyed this great series of wonderfully illustrated “mini-lectures”.