Generations Hastings fishing families Photographs by John Cole

Placing documentary photography at the service of communities world-wide, through projects, teaching, consultancy and coaching


Generations: Hastings Fishing Families

Generations: Hastings Fishing Families is a photographic portrayal from the 1990s to the present of the men and women of Britain’s oldest beach-launched fishing community. A community, like so many others across Britain that may soon become extinct.

I first came down to Hastings in 1991 to spend a few days photographing the fishing fleet, and ended up spending more than two years on the project. When I moved to Hastings in 2000, I carried on photographing the fishing community, linking my earlier work with the current generation of Hastings’ men and women.

For me, this is more than a creative labour of love – it is also part of my commitment to helping the Hastings fishing community and I will donate a portion of the profits from the sale of Generations to the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society.

What I'm all about …

For over thirty years I have worked all over the world as a professional photographer shooting assignments for major news corporations including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Newsweek and Paris Match. I have photographed celebrities, sporting stars and politicians, such as Mohammed Ali, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Elton John, Ian McKellen and Alan Rickman. Which is fun, but what I really love doing is documenting ordinary people doing extraordinary things, giving voice to those who may not have a voice of their own.

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