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‘Black Suffolk’ photoshoot – volunteer models needed


A team of experienced creative professionals in Suffolk is offering people of African heritage the opportunity to be part of a pioneering photo exhibition this year.


The photoshoot is planned to take place in February or March (exact dates TBC) in central Ipswich. We’re currently looking for volunteer models from across Suffolk to take part in the shoot. All ages are welcome.


About the exhibition

The theme of the exhibition is based on the everyday heroes of Suffolk’s Black community.


Although inspired by the Black Panther film and the Power of Stories exhibition in Christchurch Mansion in 2021 (which features three original costumes from the global blockbuster), the concept aims to make the idea of Black heroes more accessible and relatable, and, therefore, empowering. Especially for young people and children.

The images will pay homage to people of African heritage across various areas of life: work, education, the Windrush generation, volunteers, arts, culture, etc. 


Style-wise the photography will be similar to his Black Britannia project, which was exhibited in London and opened by Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown, and around the UK including Ipswich in October 2020.

We're currently raising money to fund the photo shoot, and if we reach out target, we'll be sure to contact everyone to let them know if they have been selected.

About the photoshoot

The photographer plans to photograph three people per day over five days (Monday to Friday), and create a collection of stunning, high-quality images that will be exhibited in Cornhill throughout April.

Around 16 images will be used in this exhibition, however, we hope we'll find more funding and opportunities to display others at other local venues during 2021 and beyond. The funding we secure will cover models' travel costs and refreshments.

Tell your story to BBC Suffolk

During the photoshoot BBC Suffolk plans to record interviews with the models about their lives in Suffolk. This will be carried out and broadcast by BBC Radio Suffolk in association as part of their role in supporting the community activity and the Power of Stories. 

What happens after the Cornhill exhibition?

The images and stories will help the community to create a living legacy, which will be protected and stored safely in Suffolk’s Archives at The Hold. In 2021, more Black history and present-day activities will be held at the venue. Your story will also be transformed into a short story next to the images used in the outdoor exhibition.

About the photographer

Ipswich-based John Ferguson is a national press, documentary, lifestyle, and portrait photographer whose favourite place is on set surrounded by talented, interesting, and inspiring people.

John works on both large and small-scale projects, tackling both with the same objective: to produce relatable images that tell stories, which are approachable, intimate, and unaffected. His secondary objective is simple, have a great time with like-minded creatives doing what they love to do.

His career achievements include an array of national and international awards as well as national and international projects for the press, charities, and independent projects such as Black Britannia and The Forgotten Cowboys. What’s more, John has also shot A list celebrities including David Bowie, Michael Jackson, The Osbornes, Sir Lenny Henry and Lewis Hamilton. John also works for people and companies around Suffolk.

More information

The photography collection will be part of a broader community programme, which will be in association with Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service, which is curating the Power of Stories exhibition. The programme is being curated by the Black community and will aims to empower, celebrate and inspire the local Black community during changing times. We are seeking more funding for this programme.

Please note: all images will be owned by John Ferguson, and may be used as part of his ongoing work in Suffolk and elsewhere. The images may also be used by the press.

How to get involved

If you’re interested in being part of the photoshoot, please sign up!

Your personal details will be kept secure according to GDPR regulations – feel free to read this privacy policy, and used for the purposes of arranging the photoshoot.

Your information will not be used for marketing purposes without your permission.


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