In this photobook conceived and edited by Stephen Gill, mail carriers from the Royal Mail share their unique views on British society and culture along their postal routes.
Photographs by The Royal Mail, conceived and edited by Stephen Gill
"In this age when many famous fine art photographers and photojournalists strive to capture the mundane, the banal, the everyday reality of our existence, it is like a breath of fresh air to come upon this unique collection of inexpensive snapshots taken by inexperienced camera operators.
These are truly delightful photos of ordinary day-in-the life experiences taken by the men and women who deliver the mail throughout Great Britain.
This project — conceived, managed and edited by the young photographer Stephen Gill — offered the free use of disposable cameras to every member of the Royal Mail. Hundreds took him up on the offer, and as a result, Gill painstakingly reviewed over 30,000 images to end up with the best of the best. It is apparent that everyone had fun in the process.
The goal was to create intimate documentary views of the UK that are rarely seen except by postal carriers, utility workers, garbage collectors, and so on.
Why? Because it might be interesting to see a country, more or less in real-time, from such a privileged vantage point.
How to get everyone on board with the idea? Promise to publish a tightly edited book and sell lots of copies to benefit a charitable organization.
In addition to a wonderful collection of photos (printed and sequenced beautifully), the reader is rewarded by thoughtful essays, and hilarious, heart-warming hand-written notes that accompanied the cameras on their return to the organizers of the event. You can (and should) buy it online from the Royal Mail."
— Jim Casper
I like how the adults in the pictures are not looking at the camera, seemingly unaware of their participation in the project. The use of cheap, colour film cameras add an appealing colourful and high contrast aesthetic finish to the work, which in itself adds credibility to the 'truth' of the images. The fact that the adults are not looking, allows for the viewer to become more voyeuristic, it is less confrontational you can REALLY look, surveying the scene, make judgements or simply observe. It allows you to sympathise, empathise or place yourself socially in comparison to the subject. I think this is very powerful and definitely something I can keen to adopt in my own practice.