"Over The Hill" is a photographic project by Tim Andrews, in which he has collaborated with and modelled for over 300 photographers since his diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease in 2005. I was photographer number 310.
This shoot nearly didn't happen. Tim originally contacted me back in the first half of 2013, and as I'd just taken my business full time I felt I didn't have the time to commit to personal work. I told him how honoured I was that he had asked me to be involved in his project, but that sadly I would have to give the opportunity a pass.
Life went on, my work carried on and I never seemed to find the time to shoot personal work at all, contrary to what I believed would be the case (!) And in June this year, he got in touch again. My first thought was that I couldn't possibly fit it in, but it suddenly hit me that I needed to make time for personal work. And I am so glad I did.
There are no words to describe how exhausting (yet wonderful) it is to be totally, completely consumed by a love for something and to make it your life's work. As Rosie Hardy said in her brilliant TEDx talk (to paraphrase), after turning your passion into work and spending all your time working for clients, eventually you turn to your initial love for the medium, and dive headfirst into your personal work to reset yourself, inspire yourself again and start afresh.
Meeting Tim and photographing him did exactly this for me. I love my job, and I put my entire heart and soul into each and every client job I take on, but meeting and working with Tim reminded me why I love it. Truly connecting with somebody through portraiture and capturing them for who they really are.
I stood on the beach and looked out over the sea as Tim looked through the photos on my camera, and felt a pure, overwhelming joy. I had found myself, and was ready to face the world again. Thank you, Tim.
To find out more about Tim's project, and to see more photographs from his collaborations with photographers, head on over to his blog: timandrewsoverthehill.blogspot.com