Guest Lecturer - Jon Tonks

Today, we had a guest speaker come in to talk about his work. Jon Tonks was chosen amongst 29 others to be the top 30 young photographers to look out for in the future.

His work immediately enticed me for one reason - IT WAS RELEVANT! His work massively took our brief into consideration for our project of Environmental Portraiture and I believed I could learn something that would help me from the off.

For the majority of the lecture, he spoke about a project in which he started in his Masters degree and turned into a book. The project Empires was an idea he had where he would travel to many different British Empires and whilst he was there he would document the lives of those living there. He was influenced by his previous work as a photojournalist for a local newspaper and this drove his chain of thought towards doing what he knew how to do - documenting.

Empire  by  Jon Tonks

Empire by Jon Tonks


He traveled to many different islands, using his personal savings, and was driven by his passion towards the project and concept. When he returned from an island called Tristan, the world's remotest island, The Sunday Times wanted to use his project for their 50th-anniversary issue. He said that he only had one island left to visit - the Falklands, to which he did. He explained to us how they only used the photos and didn't ask him for any information when the text was being written. This angered him as it would mean each photo wouldn't be seen in the context in which he would have hoped.

The last photo of the last cow of  Ascension Island , from the  Empire  collection.

The last photo of the last cow of Ascension Island, from the Empire collection.

My favourite image from the  Empire  collection.

My favourite image from the Empire collection.