A Great War veteran in his own home. Stories over tea and cake. Bill Hay (above) served from 1914 until captured in 1918. © Keith Collman

During the search through my photographic archives for my book Great War Portraits I discovered many long forgotten images cataloguing my life from the 1970s. Photography has always been a hobby, not artistically, but as a way of recording life as it progressed, I suppose an unintentional photographic diary. Family, places, interests, holidays and the mundane. I didn’t put any wider context to these photographs at the time other than for family, friends and my own satisfaction. I’ve always been motivated to record things, before they disappeared, but now, with the passing of time these images appear more interesting.

Life has changed drastically over the last 30 years, all the Britsh WW1 veterans have died. Everthing has changed, televisions, clothes, phones, cars, shops, streets and factories. Before the advent of the digital camera and the camera phone one had to make a conscious decision to carry a camera, recording shopping trips, attending concerts (often banned), football, even photographing having tea in the kitchen. By publishing these photographs I’m not saying they have any great photographic merit, but they are a record that would otherwise stay hidden, recording our ordinary lives. I hope they may appeal to people of like mind.

I’ve always loved the snapshot, often kept in an old suitcase. Accidently some are classics, but it's not just the main subject matter. It’s often in the detail, the background and the surroundings. We can learn a lot by analysing old photographs and why we love them so much.

I’ve selected a few photographs from my archive that may appeal to a wider audience, additional images and portfolios will added over time. To receive my newsletters please join my subscribers list.

I was born in 1948 in Islington, north London. We moved to Hemel Hempstead New Town in the 1950s when dad was offered a job and a new council house. After attending Secondary Modern school and further education college I served a five year engineering apprenticeship. From 1971 I worked in engineering, distribution and finally graphic design.

All images © Keith Collman - All Rights Reserved

My book, Great War Portraits, is available to buy now

“I am hugely impressed. It’s a brilliant book, quite unlike anything else I have seen.”
Dr. Richard S Grayson