I have produced a photo book called 'People of Hay', which shows 100 images of some of the many characters I have photographed in Hay-on-Wye over the years.
The book is available from Thru the Lens Photography gallery, Hay-on-Wye, for £30. Alternatively you can contact me to order a copy.
Below is the introduction to the book, written by photographer, Simon Burgess.
There aren’t many people who you feel you know pretty well before you even meet them.
Billie Charity, though, is one of those special people whose work, in this case her photographs, so fully reflect her personality that when you do meet her it’s like meeting an old friend.
People really like Billie. You can see that in the wonderful images in this collection. She has an innate ability not just to relax her subjects but to give them the confidence to reveal themselves to her camera as they really are. It’s clear her camera isn’t a barrier - as it often can be - between photographer and subject.
Her enthusiasm and sense of fun are obvious throughout these pages. Even though she’s very good at capturing decisive moments that requires being in the right place at the right time, there is more depth and complexity to Billie’s work than simply recording what’s in front of her.
Before I came to visit Hay, Billie’s images had convinced me that it was populated with a myriad of colourful characters and eccentric personalities. Whilst that is in part true, it is Billie’s ability to get the balance between infusing her images with her own colour and character, and letting her subjects do the same, that makes this book of her photographs so special.