Facebook reminded me that it was a year today since my passion for photography returned.

After a couple of years of not touching my camera at all, my best mate Kim Walton dragged me out of the house and we spent a week photographing the beautiful County Durham and Northumberland landscapes. It reignited my enthusiasm.

A year on and I am involved in a huge project to photograph and document the town of Stanley, County Durham and its people. The project will culminate in an exhibition at Civic Hall Stanley throughout August.

Stanley is a former colliery town that like many of Durham’s mining communities suffers from underinvestment and on the surface has little going for it.

Two weeks into the project and I have found that Stanley has plenty going for it and plenty to be proud of. We have been accepted with open arms. Community groups, businesses, people on the street have all been willing to talk to us (often for hours) about the past, present and future of the town. The hundreds of images I have already taken are some of the best I have ever produced and we have still got five months to go.

I feel privileged to be given access to it all and I can’t thank Kevin Reay enough for introducing me to everyone and everything that is positive about Stanley and David Mills for ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

As a sneak peak of what will be on show at the exhibition here are a few ‘ behind the scenes’ images.