We're absolutely delighted to announce that Sue Parkhill was named a Creative Awards Winner in the Print Editorial/Personal category at LeBook Connections Midwest. Sue was recognized for her Storm Portraits, a personal project focused on subjects with the same names as 2019 UK storms.
The power of names has been the focus of Sue's personal photography for years. For this series, she gave herself some rules. The first was that she wouldn't use social media to find subjects. She wanted her search to be organic and the subjects traceable back to her. She relied on word-of-mouth to find subjects that matched the 21 names selected for 2019 storms, so every portrait features a friend of a friend of friend. Her second rule was to refrain from researching subjects beforehand - she didn't even tell them what to wear. In some cases, the people who turned up for their session weren't anything like she'd imagined.
Looking back at her project, Sue expressed, "I can say that it was a joyful and compelling experience – I have found that people are always surprising."
Storms are named when there is a risk of medium to high impacts from wind, rain, or snow. Until the 1950's, they were tracked by year and order. It was found that names make communication quicker and reduces confusion when more than one storm occurs at the same time. The names used alternate from male to female, ommitting the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z. Sue found that, without exception, people were delighted that their names were being used for a storm.
Take a peek below at Freya, Saoirse, Tristan, Erik, Lily, and Peggy. View all 21 of Sue's storm portraits here.