|Ashton Jean-Pierre photographer (I love his work!)
Rebecca Bailey, better known as Becky. Born profoundly deaf, I grew up in East Sussex, UK. I’ve been creative all my life, using my hands to make clothes, art, food – I enjoy the visual and problem solving aspects, it absorbs me. I could quite happily spend hours untying knots, painting little objects.
As a student in college, my interest in photography deepened. I was always so excited about getting into the dark room, to watch an image develop onto the blank paper. It made me so proud to take, and then develop my own images.
I’m a very sociable person, love nothing more than spending time with friends and family, especially my Mum and playing with my two girls. As long as I’m travelling, moving, creating things (cakes, art, films and, of course, beautiful photographs), I can’t complain!
At what point did realize that you wanted to be a photographer for the rest of your life?
There wasn’t a defining moment, I’ve always been interested in photography, art & illustration. I studied textiles at University of East London, published a BSL book for children (which included my illustrations) and recently, I did the cover photograph for another BSL book. Photography as a career has been an organic progression, wonderful to combine work with something you love!
Tell us about the ranges of work you do?
I’ve really enjoyed being able to expand upon my skills as an illustrator and photographer. Recently I threw myself out of my comfort zone and won a grant from BSL Zone, and was commissioned to make a short animation film. I was really grateful to embark on this new adventure until it dawned on me I had no experience! It was nerve-wracking but I had a fantastic team and, in the end, was very pleased with the results. The short showed at film festivals around the world and I was happily shocked when the film won 3 awards. It was the first time most people had seen BSL used in animation.
What are some of your best work(s) that you’re proud of so far?
I’m not sure if this sounds conceited, but I’m really happy with most of my work and have favourites at different times. I have to say, though, that as a Mother of 2 beautiful daughters, I always love this picture of them. Also, because of how intimidating it was to make the film (Little World), I’m extremely proud of what we created.
If you could give a young photographer advice based on your experiences so far, what would you recommend that he/she should do?
I hope that, as a deaf woman, I can inspire deaf children, show them that being deaf shouldn’t be a barrier in working at something you have a passion for. Purely as a photographer, when you see something that grabs your attention, grab the opportunity and take that picture right then and there.
What are your future plans?
Just to expand my portfolio and experiences, but mainly to go with the flow.
Completely Silly Random Questions:
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be? And why?
David Hockney’s photography inspired me to take up photography, I love his photographic work and collages. At college, I drew upon his collages to create my own, which they still have on display. So proud! It would be amazing to see the world through his eyes.
Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you?
Easy answer, no.
You have the choice to live with a gorilla who knows sign language or a dog who sings lullabies, which do you choose?
If I lived in the great outdoors, I’d like both, To be honest, a dog singing lullabies would be lost on me – ha ha.
Name something you do when you’re alone that you wouldn’t do in front of others.
I actually can’t think of anything except for the obvious things, like using the toiled. You’re very nosey.
If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?
To be able to take pictures of them – what an exclusive!
The ten questions Lipton asks are:
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
There is one word, which I can’t repeat here.
What turns you on?
Friendly people with open minds, I find them thrilling.
What turns you off?
Narrow-minded people and snobbery.
What sound or noise do you love?
I’m a deaf woman, so I can say that I love the rythmn of African drumming. When I was 20, I went to Africa and had a 4 week course of African drumming – I loved it!
What sound or noise do you hate?
Scraping chairs makes me feel sick – I HATE it.
What is your favorite curse word?
I have to say, I think it’s “shit” – when angry, it’s the one I’ll most often simultaneously sign and mouth.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Vet, love animals. But I think one dream of mine is to open a deaf cafe, hearing people welcome to learn more about deaf culture, communication. I’d like to incorporate art from deaf people – in fact, I have a lot of ideas for this possible future venture.
What profession would you not like to do?
Politics – seems lacking in freedom to express honest ideas, very rigid and stressful.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?