Historically speaking, portraiture of individuals in uniforms has a long-standing tradition, which goes back for centuries.  From the 17th century it became popular for soldiers with a commission to have their portrait painted.  In part, this practice was developed into a sense of pride and identity for the individual, the regiment and the dynasty of their family.

This practice continued until the development of the camera. With the advent of photography it soon became popular to have your military portrait taken with a camera rather than a painting. This first became prevalent with the Crimean and the Boer war, and by the First World War it was common practice for every soldier to have a portrait made before they went to war.

The Combined Cadet Force has been a great source of pride to the College since it was founded in 1902, just 12 years before the start of the First World War. 2018 is the centenary of the end of the Great War, a conflict in which 108 Old Elizabethans gave their lives.

The Photographic Portrait Project that I am proposing has two aims; to commemorate the courage and sacrifice of all those who have lost their lives to war and also to create a positive and forward looking record of the boys of Elizabeth College at this point in history.

The idea for the project is to make a series of photographic portraits of current members of the Elizabeth College CCF, carrying on the tradition of military portraiture but within the context of contemporary fine art practice. In the project I hope to capture the sense of the continuity that the CCF represents within the college. Through their participation in the CCF cadets develop the qualities of integrity, commitment and responsibility and these are some of the values I hope to get across in the portraits that I make.

The images will be shown in the Gate House Gallery towards the end of 2018, with every participant receiving a print of their portrait. The college will also receive a full record of the images to keep in the Foundation’s archives.

I have a genuine interest in capturing our world through the lens and telling a story with photography. The story of the CCF is a story of positivity and development of skills and including a historical responsibility. The portraits will tell the story of the contemporary CCF, and in time they will become part of the history of Elizabeth College.