It really is life through a lens.
Fylde Coast-based photographer and writer Jill Reidy is packing up her cameras and setting off on the road tip of a lifetime.
Jill – who has been a photographer for most of her life (with a few jobs in between) – is set to explore England’s seaside towns outside of season, from today until March 8, with stops at Whitley Bay, Whitby, Scarborough, Great Yarmouth, Southend, Margate and Brighton.
The project was born out of a love for the seaside and the wealth and variety of opportunities for photography that it brings and, with the approach of her 65th birthday, Jill felt the time was right to set out on her adventure.
Jill, who lives in Bispham, said: “I turn 65 this year and the time has come to step out of my comfort zone and drive off into the wilderness, in my little Smart Car, armed only with a SatNav, a bag of cameras, the odd change of clothes and enough energy, grit, determination and petrol to visit seven or eight seaside towns in just over a week.
“I’m interested in what makes these towns tick out of season. I love to find the unusual, the quirky side of places I visit, and this is what I’ll be looking for along the way.
“The seaside has always held a magic for me.
“I grew up in London and my family used to visit my cousins in Margate each year.
“When we drove over the brow of a hill and saw the sea for the first time, the excitement in the car was palpable.
“I have lived in Blackpool now for nearly 40 years and that feeling has never left me.
“As a photographer, this town is a dream.”
Jill has documented Blackpool extensively and now wants to compare the resort with others around the country.
She plans to stay just one night at each location, exploring and shooting during daylight hours, and hopes to meet locals with stories to tell.
To fund her trip, Jill launched on crowdfunding campaign on the website Kickstarter and within just a few hours her goal was smashed and has since nearly doubled.
“The interest and generosity of people in the project has been astounding, I’m really delighted with the response and I can’t wait to get started,” Jill said.
“I’m hoping people will come and say hi to me if one of my stops is near to them. I’m a writer/storyteller, as well as photographer and I would love to hear personal stories about the towns.”
Not only will Jill document her journey around the UK through her social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – but she aims to publish a book and hold an exhibition of the images she takes on her trip later in the year.
For more information or to keep up-to-date with Jill’s project, visit kickstarter.com and search for Seaside Towns Out Of Season. For those with a story to tell in any of the seaside towns, contact firstname.lastname@example.org