Story by Sadia Khan with photos by James Woollen.
James Woollen is a photographer and artist who volunteers at the Burngreave Messenger. His work features in articles regularly. James lives with the extra challenges of ASD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and some physical limitations which make him a great advocate for disabled artists.
A journey that began with taking pictures of items to sell on eBay, led to professional level photography. Although he has worked in many jobs, none come close to the joy photography gives him.
Volunteering at the Burngreave Messenger itself has given Woollen opportunities some can only dream of, like his photographers pass to Tramlines music festival.
James wouldn’t want to leave Sheffield, believing it is the most vibrant and cultural place for music. Typically taking photos for Indy rock bands, James recently attended a grime concert, something out of his comfort zone, yet he still believes that the lyrics can be described as ‘poetry’.
The gift of a camera by his grandfather in his late teens is what led James to find this passion, now becoming his favourite pastime. He is one of the Messenger’s most valuable contributors. Having an end goal in mind was not something that ever appealed to James, as he takes photos for his own enjoyment, however having a piece of work published is important to him.
Another interest of James’ is local history and collecting vintage postcards to preserve memories. James is relied upon by the Messenger to provide advice and illustrations for many of our articles and the paper wouldn’t be so visually interesting without his valuable input.