Photographer Tracks Down Subjects, Recreates Photos from 1970s
Chris Porsz is a paramedic who had a hobby of snapping photos of random people on the streets of Peterborough, England in 1970s and 1980s. The amateur photographer was fondly labeled as the ‘paramedic paparazzo’ for his love of taking simple, honest and yet endearing portraits of regular people on the streets such as policemen, punks, homeless people, couples, brothers, sisters, friends, children eating ice cream and whatnot. Now, he is on a mission to find the people he snapped 40 years ago to recreate the pictures.
He made extra effort to meticulously track and contact the original subjects of his decades-old street portraits.
Porsz started this project seven years ago and searched for his old subjects during his spare time. He admitted: “I don’t think anyone else has tracked down so many strangers and recreated photos in this way before, it took tenacious detective work, meticulous planning and, often, unbelievable coincidences.”
Little did he know that he would even serve as a providential instrument in reuniting some of the people in his old pictures who had lost contact with each other over the years. Porsz reflected: “It has been enormously satisfying to do so many reunions and seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they met up with old friends again. I’ve felt very privileged.”
More than just being able to find his subjects of decades ago, he also managed to convince them to strike the very same pose from the original portrait he took. Looking at the ‘then and now’ pictures are truly fascinating, as the contrast between the fashion, hairstyle, etc. can be quite striking.
After seven long years of tracking people and capturing their reunions, Porsz’s compiled these nostalgic photos in a book he called ‘Reunions.’ With the help of writer Jo Riley, the stories behind the past and present pictures can be found in this book.
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