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Tom Ormerod, Photographer

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Photographer Tom Ormerod

Another one out of Bournemouth’s strong photographer community is Tom Ormerod. We grabbed him for a quick chat to find out about his journey into photography…

Photography is just one of the many artistic branches explored here in Bournemouth. As such, we’re never short of a photographer or two to talk to. This time, it was Tom Ormerod’s turn to be put in the Humans of Bournemouth hot seat. From his background in the art to his plans for the future – we wanted to know all…

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN BASED IN BOURNEMOUTH?

I am a Dorset boy originally; I was born in Dorchester. Moved away for quite some time, ended up in Sheffield. And then I moved back down, when circumstances allowed it, to Bournemouth in 2012. So, I’ve been around for a few years, but not the whole time.

WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER THAT PHOTOGRAPHY WAS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?

There has always been cameras around me. My dad did wildlife photography for a period. Although I had an interest in them when I was younger, it was more a case of, “Ooh, there’s a camera, I can take a picture.” But digital photography opened everything up a bit. My first ever camera was a Pentax Spotmatic SLR. A film camera; a hand-me-down from my dad many years ago.

But I didn’t do anything with photography for many years – just snaps. Then about 18 months, maybe two years ago, I just started taking more and more pictures and began posting them online. And I think that spurred me on, because it was interesting to see people’s reactions. It was interesting to see them go, “That’s a good picture!”, because to me it’s just a snap. That really helped me.

Just over a year ago, December 2017, I had a moment. I went out for a photography trip. Took myself off in the morning for a sunrise, just for the sole purpose of taking a photo. That was the moment when I thought, “I really enjoy this. I’m on my own, not a soul around me, the waves are crashing, the sun is coming up — this is beautiful.”

DID ANYONE INSPIRE YOUR STYLE OR DID THIS DEVELOP OVER TIME?

It just developed, I suppose. There are a lot of local people who inspired me when I first started properly a year or two ago. A lady called Emily Endean, very well-respected photographer – her stuff’s brilliant. She encouraged me, which I appreciated. Someone who is clearly very good at photography didn’t just dismiss me. It was nice for them to say, “That was a nice shot you did the other day!” When, as far as I’m concerned, we’re in two different leagues. There’s also a chap called Duncan Graham (DTG Photography). Again, excellent photographer and very encouraging.

The sea and seascapes are what I really find inspiring. Every time I take a picture away from the sea, I don’t like it! Well, I like working with water. I can be by a river or by a waterfall and still be happy. But if I’m in a forest, I just look at it and think, “This is a forest; I can’t take a picture of a forest!”

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS TO SHOOT? (APART FROM SEASCAPES…)

I do dabble in other areas. The single area I do love apart from seascapes, which emerged last year, is Astro Photography. That’s all about the sky so I’m not too fussy about where I shoot that. It needs its focal points, like a church or… well… anything. Something in the foreground, and the Milky Way.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HAVEN’T EXPLORED AS A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT YOU’D LIKE TO TACKLE IN FUTURE?

Wildlife is the one for me. Because my dad was a wildlife photographer; he’s taken many great pictures over the years and he has them up at home. My friends, as well, they dabble in other things. And every now and then I’ll see one of there shots and go, “Wow — that’s amazing! I want to be able to take a picture like that.” And I think it’s the challenge that drives me. I want to take new pictures and learn new skills. Because in wildlife photography, you could be dealing with a small, fast-moving creature, which is a hell of a lot different to a static landscape. That’s the one I really want to get to grips with this year.

IF YOU HAD NO BUDGET OR TRAVEL LIMITATIONS, WHAT WOULD BE THE DREAM PHOTO TO TAKE AND WHY?

At the moment, I have this desire to go somewhere in the Arctic Circle. Places like Northern Norway… Iceland… those are the sorts of places I want to go right now. And, let’s be honest, it’s for one thing – The Northern Lights. But I would love to be able to go somewhere like that and see the dramatic scenery those places have, but also for Milky Way shooting. As well as The Northern Lights. Being able to combine the two. Maybe not necessarily in the same shot, but being able to go somewhere where you can have The Northern Lights one night, and completely clear skies for shooting The Milky Way another night. And I think there’s something about shooting with snow; there’s a wow factor to it. Snow-covered trees with The Northern Lights or The Milky Way.

If I had no restrictions at all, I would do a tour of the outlying areas of the Arctic Circle, going to different places to do nighttime shooting.

WHAT IS THE DREAM OR END GOAL FOR YOU AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?

I would say the dream is to do it full-time and not do any other work at all. But I believe in this day and age you have to be exceptional to make that happen. Or very lucky. So, I would be content with exhibiting my photos. And that is it; I’m a realist and I don’t ever expect to do it full-time.

Just to be able to exhibit my work – and not just online. There’s something about doing stuff online. It’s fun and it’s exciting, but it’s almost like you get to a certain stage where you almost move past it. When you start thinking, “I don’t care if somebody doesn’t like that photo anymore, because I like it now!” And for me now, it’s more important that my photographer friends and peers like my work, than the general public.

Follow Tom’s photography pages on Facebook and Instagram so you never miss another post. Also check out some of Bournemouth’s other photographic talent in this article.

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Hannah Elkins, Musician

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Musician Hannah Elkins
Photo courtesy of Hannah Elkins

Ahead of releasing her first single, we had a chat with musician Hannah Elkins. Where did her journey in music begin and what are her hopes for the future?

Dividing her time between the hustle-and-bustle of London and the Bournemouth music scene, we were lucky to have a few words with musician and singer Hannah Elkins. As she goes to release her first single, it seemed like a good time to hear about her beginnings in music…

ARE YOU FROM THE BOURNEMOUTH AREA?

Yeah – I grew up in Bournemouth. I studied at Leeds University, and then came back to Bournemouth, before moving to London last summer. But most of my life has been spent in the area.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DECIDE THAT MUSIC WAS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?

My mum is a singer herself. She’s very musical and runs a choir in Bournemouth. So, in a way, I had no choice. I grew up singing and it was just what I knew to do. But it was really at secondary school that I realised that it was what I wanted to do for a career, and what I went to study at university.

DO YOU MODEL YOUR STYLE ON ANY ARTISTS IN PARTICULAR?

My favourite artist is Lianne La Havas. She has very delicate, beautiful vocals, with quite hard guitar sounds. For me, it was the first time I had heard that kind of contrast in music, which I fell in love with. Another one is Jessie Ware. I just found out that she was classically trained, and I studied classical singing at university. I think that’s why I love her stuff so much – you can hear she’s just got this amazing voice in there. She’s a huge inspiration to me.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FIRST GIG…

I started writing my own music probably quite late in comparison to others. A lot of them, you hear they started writing when they were 12. For me, that didn’t happen until I went to university. Because I studied classical singing, and then I went for a year abroad in the Netherlands to learn to play piano. And it really changed my perspective of music and how I wanted to approach it.

So I started sitting at the piano and writing my own stuff. And then when I went back for my final year at Leeds, I just thought, “I’ve got to do this!” Took a lot of courage, but I booked my first gig at Hyde Park Book Club. Lovely little intimate venue – it was actually quite terrifying because it was so intimate. We had about 70 people in this room. I just rocked up with my notepad (with my lyrics on it) in one hand and my little keyboard and sat in front of these people, who were the most attentive audience I’ve ever had. And that was it – I was hooked.

NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING FIRST SINGLE…

It’s called After the Midnight. I don’t have a set writing method with any of my music. Normally, I’ll find this idea, work around it and build the song, but with this one, I had just a chorus – two lines and two chords that I knew I loved. Had no idea where I was going with it. Even when I stepped into the studio, I didn’t have the song in full! Bit risky, I know, but I like a challenge. I don’t know if I’d recommend it…

So, I worked with my friends Elliot Wenman, who plays guitar, and Niko Battistini, who is a Bournemouth-based producer. With those two, I created this song.

When I started writing this, I had started a different mind state of how I wanted to write. So, it was included in a couple of other songs I had written. There was the theme of this midnight, the stars, the universe; it just fit into this collection that I was working on at the time.

WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO LAUNCH YOUR SINGLE SPECIFICALLY IN BOURNEMOUTH?

I am really excited to come back and do the launch here. That’s because After the Midnight has been a collaboration with a lot of Bournemouth musicians and artists. The artwork was done by a girl called Amy Leonard, who is studying at the Arts University. She’s done some brilliant artwork for me. Plus the photography has been done by Alice Parmenter, who’s also Bournemouth-based. And then, as I mentioned earlier, the production from Niko. There’s such talent in Bournemouth, and that’s where this single has come from.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE BOURNEMOUTH MUSIC SCENE?

In Bournemouth, there is this real market of music-lovers. There is something called Sofar Sounds, which is run in Bournemouth. I performed for them a couple of years ago, and then I volunteered for their team afterwards. It’s a brilliant event where they basically get three acts and take them to an intimate venue. Audiences can apply for tickets, and they don’t know where the venue will be or what the lineup is until they’re emailed a few days before. They tell you at the beginning of the gig that they want you to pay attention to the artists and give them that respect, which I think can be lost in some of the bigger venues. London, for example, can be slightly saturated.

WHAT IS THE DREAM OR END GOAL FOR YOU AS A MUSICIAN

Ultimately, it’s to write music that people can relate to and want to listen to. As long as there’s someone there who is listening and says that they like it — that’s the dream, really.

Read more amazing and inspiring stories from the talent of Bournemouth in our Humans section. And find out more about Hannah on her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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Stephanie Wyatt, Miss Earth 2019

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Learn more about Stephanie Wyatt, 19, from Dorset, as she has been crowned the new Miss Earth 2019…

At the end of last month, Stephanie Wyatt was crowned Miss Earth England 2019 at the Arden Hotel in Birmingham, sponsored by Millennium Balti in Leamington Spa. She got in touch with Humans of Bournemouth with full details on her story and what it’s like to be “Miss Earth.”

WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES AS MISS EARTH?

As Miss Earth, I will be representing England on an international platform of millions of people around the world. Since I have also been rewarded with the title of ‘Beauties of a Cause Eco-Ambassador’ for my accomplishments, my duties include working with environmental, eco-activities and other social causes.

WHAT’S YOUR ADVOCACY?

My main aim is to advocate the preservation and restoration of Mother Earth. From a young age, I remember being exposed to the harsh reality around me and knew I had to make a change. When I found out that I could make a difference, I knew I had to carry on doing what I was doing.

DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A STIGMA ON PAGEANTS?

Despite the stigmas, Miss Earth is different to your everyday beauty pageant. It is an environmentally-focused competition. A platform for change. For example, one of our challenges that was judged was to create an “eco-warrior” outfit. I decided to make mine completely out of real flowers. I believe that we are sending out a message here, showing the public that we all have a responsibility to preserve and attend to what the world we live in needs. Which fights against any stigmas.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING TO THE MISS EARTH FINAL?

I am extremely honoured to be put in the position to attend the final. Which is the third-most prestigious platform in the world to represent England. I’m also privileged to meet so many like-minded women. I’d like to thank the Miss Earth England organisation and I hope that I will do my country proud. This really is a dream come true for me.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PROJECTS BESIDES FROM MISS EARTH?

I want to be socially and environmentally responsible for our earth. That’s why I created my own project in 2017. I investigated how I could tackle the world’s second-largest polluting industry, which is clothing. I thought of several ways to reduce this problem and also need those in need at the same time. That’s why I decided to aid those whom are struggle with period poverty. My first steps to making a difference were deciding to set up workshops at my local library, where the public could donate their unwanted clothes. Once generous individuals had donated, I was then able to up-cycle them into re-usable sanitary wear for girls in Kenya. This can make a big transformation on a girl’s life in Kenya since they can go to school now in comfort and not have to worry about their period getting in the way of their education.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO DURING YOUR REIGN AS MISS EARTH?

I hope to set up a lot more like-minded projects, similar to what I have done before. I’m particularly interested in helping Third World countries; they are one of the main reasons why I put my heart and soul into the work I do.

Find out more about the Miss Earth pageant on their Facebook page. And for more inspiring stories about the locals of Bournemouth, Poole and surrounding areas, check out our Humans section.

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Jack Lenton, Personal Trainer

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Personal Trainer Jack Lenton

Meet Jack Lenton. His lifestyle is his career. As a personal trainer, he owns his own business and is able to train clients worldwide.

Learn more about how he decided to become a personal trainer and how his passion for fitness began. Jack also desires to help others develop their own career in the fitness industry…

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM BOURNEMOUTH?

No, I grew up in the south of Somerset. Then I decided to go to Exeter University, so I lived there for a while. After that I lived in America for 18 months. I’ve lived in Bournemouth for the past year. My girlfriend lived here, so it made sense for me to move here with her.

WHAT DOES YOUR PROFESSION INVOLVE?

My day-to-day job is mainly online coaching and training. I also employ people to help with my business and coaching — I love being able to give people the chance to do what they love as a job. We mainly coach one-to-one sessions, giving the clients personal advice on themselves and how their body works and what suits them. Nevertheless, we also coach in groups as well; they don’t tend to be any more than 40 people. An individual’s ability determines what group they are put in. As a group, they will be supported as much as possibly needed.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO FITNESS?

Fitness was the only thing that kept my attention; I didn’t really enjoy school. All my efforts went into fitness and sports instead of education. Therefore, when choosing a university course, exercising science caught my eye. It was the only course that for fulfilled my desires at the time.

WERE YOU INTO SPORTS AT SCHOOL?

Of course! It wasn’t weightlifting or strength training — I was too young for any of that. I tended to play more standard sports such as football, basketball and I tried a bit of trampolining. As a kid, just being active was my priority. Fitness has always been a key aspect of my life.

WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIVE A STRICT LIFESTYLE IN TERMS OF FITNESS?

I have made my fitness lifestyle strict because that is the how I prefer it. My mental and physical health has improved by working out daily. Although it never limits me in terms of my lifestyle, since I enjoy it so much, it’s more of a hobby than a chore.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO START SEEING RESULTS ON YOUR OWN BODY?

I was looking at photos of myself the other day. From when I was about a year into my training and my body was so different. It took me about two years to see a massive progress. For a long while, I wasn’t very sure on what worked on my body type in terms on fitness wise. I found that, I noticed what I was doing wrong before finding what I was doing right. Over the years, I’ve increased how much I train. Before fitness and training was part of my daily routine, I was working out about five times a week. My personality is quite addictive, so that certainly helped keep myself on track.

IS SOCIAL MEDIA IMPORTANT TOWARDS YOUR CAREER AS A PERSONAL TRAINER?

Social media makes a significant impact on my career since it allows me to coach worldwide. My personal trainer career is no longer restricted to local people; because of social media, anyone can reach out to me. It also benefits me in terms of meeting like-minded individuals from anywhere and everywhere. Those who share the same passions as me and are part of the fitness community.

WHAT IS YOUR END GOAL?

Right now, I hope to carry on what I’m doing and making money from it. I also hope to keep employing more and more people for my business. This means I can help them gain experience and earn money from doing something they love as a career, just like me.

Don’t forget to check out Jack’s Instagram and website to learn more about his coaching!

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