Sometimes I am a photographer as well as a painter especially at times when I have found it difficult to devote the time to painting that it requires. All of my photographic work was taken with a SLR camera, Pentax or Canon on film and developed and printed by myself.
I spent twenty odd years working with Travellers, Gypsies, Showpeople and Circus folk. I was lucky to be able to photograph them in their own environment and be ‘a fly on the wall’.
This is Missie and Goldie Boy on a Gypsy site in Sheffield in the 1980’s. Life was and still is very hard for Gypsy women, they often look a lot older than their years and become worn down with child bearing and the struggle to live on the margins of a often hostile society. Missie was a victim to this harshness as she eventually took her own life.
101 views 6.4.11


gypsies, photo journalism, black and white, sue nichol

My love of the sea stems from my childhood. I was born in Hartlepool on the North East coast and visited the little fishing village of Staithes often, as I still do today. The fishing cobles to be found on the North East coast serve as my models.

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  • samsalt1
    samsalt1over 3 years ago

    As you know my experience tends to be in creating picturesque images of Yorkshire and beyond with very little deviation , especially not into human interest and street photography so I am unable to make more then casual observations as to this lovely collection of Gipsy images, All of them portray a slice of life we would seldom be privvy to and the rugged hardship certainly carries through in all of them but none more so than this one which shows an image we all would recognise as a travellers lot.

    An excellent shot in all respects !

  • Thanks, Sam, great feedback. I do think I was extremely lucky to gain an insight into a life that has now almost disappeared.

    – Sue Nichol

  • Mike  Waldron
    Mike Waldronover 3 years ago

    Excellent portrait, Sue!!

  • Thank you, Mike.

    – Sue Nichol

  • seeya
    seeyaover 3 years ago

    You captured such despair on her face as confimed by the story. This is a very powerful image. Sandy

  • Thank you so much Sandy, I feel very humble to have been at the end of the camera.

    – Sue Nichol

  • Larry  Grayam
    Larry Grayamover 3 years ago

    Congratulations 3/29/11

  • Thank you so much, my first photo feature…:))

    – Sue Nichol

  • bevmorgan
    bevmorganover 3 years ago

    This is a very compelling image, Sue. It says so much and we as viewers are left with so many more questions to ask. Great photography and insight.

  • Thank you so much Bev, I knew it was going to be very powerful as I pressed the shutter, very humbling.

    – Sue Nichol

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...over 3 years ago

    Very powerful image dear Sue.x

  • Thank you Catherine, much appreciated :)

    – Sue Nichol

  • rosson1
    rosson1over 3 years ago

    great job on all accounts here sue…:))

  • Many thanks, Ralph, Ii appreciate your comments.

    – Sue Nichol

  • TheBaldyMan
    TheBaldyManover 3 years ago

    Super image and a poignant tale to go with it.

  • Thank you so much Alex.

    – Sue Nichol

  • nigelphoto
    nigelphotoover 3 years ago

    This puts me in mind very much of Dorothea Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’. Very poignant, and so sad that in our society we should have so much hardship, especially when we also have so much wealth.

  • Ah, thank you so much as she is one of my favourite photographers. We don’t have to look that far to find such poverty ,unfortunately. Some of the people I met had an exsistence that owed more to the third world than a wealthy western country.

    – Sue Nichol

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Mooreover 3 years ago

    Such a sad story, as one cannot help but wonder what happened to her son, and the more emotional hardship on him. Alas, poor Missie. Indeed an image that opens doors, Sue.

  • Thank you Frannie. He ended up in prison for awhile but has since turned his life round.

    – Sue Nichol

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