In the 1970s and 80s, Chris Porsz would approach strangers on the streets of Peterborough and photograph them- particularly strangers he found interesting. The strangers vary in age and fashion choices but all of the portraits managed to capture the culture of the time.
Some years went by and Porsz took a break from his passion for photography to focus on his children and his job as a paramedic. He had all but moved on until he decided to submit some of these old photographs to be published in a local newspaper.
After many of the people who appear in the photos saw the newspaper spread and recognized themselves, Chris Porsz decided to pick up the camera once again for a reunion.
He barely knew these people 40 years ago, but this was a great opportunity to learn more about them, the way they were living in the 80s and how it has changed.
This cute punk couple, for example:
They’re not together anymore, but Tina Tarr and Dog remember 1985 fondly. “They were good times. I still had hair, then.”
Or this badass, still being awesome after nearly 40 years:
Steve Osborn, also known as Metal Mickey, broke both of his legs in the early 80s after a string of motorcycle accidents. He had to get metal bolts put into his legs, hence the nickname. Osborn still plays guitar and is active in raising money for the National Association of Bikers with Disabilities.
After driving an ice cream truck for a while, Gino Borillo started his own pasta shop in 1992, which he still runs with his daughter.
There are dozens of photos and backstories like these in Porsz’s book, Reunions.
This project was not easy to put together, according to Porsz. “Lots of detective work, lots of failures…people that didn’t want to do it, or, sadly, people who died young, or emigrated, but the successes outweighed the failures and kept me going.”
“Obviously I never dreamed when I took those pictures that I’d ever see them again. If had, I would have taken contact details. It would have been a lot easier. But that would probably destroy the concept, wouldn’t it?”