GEM Magazine January 2015

Marcia Shakespeare – Gem Magazine – Phillip Parnell Photography

It’s not every day I can say I have been working with a true inspirational pillar of strength and determination. Sure, I have worked with some interesting people, some of whom have more to say than others. But non have been quite like Marcia Shakespeare. A lady thrust into the lime light not by choice, but by a series of very unfortunate and equally saddening events. In the very early hours of January 2nd 2003, her daughter, Letisha Shakespere was one of the two teenage girls that were fatefully killed in a drive by shooting in Birmingham.  A few weeks shy of 12 years to the day, on commission by I am sat with her – trying to capture the essence of where she has been, to where she is now.

Not knowing what to expect, or even how to behave in front of such a person I walked into the meeting place with mixed thoughts and ideas on the direction of the shoot. 10 minutes into our session it became evident that there was a lot more than what met the eye with this lady. Marcia had a certain calm about her, but it was a type of calm I had not encountered till now. It was one of humble confidence and resolution. An attitude that she aptly displayed through her photographs.

Marcia Shakespeare - Phillip Parnell Photography

Marcia Shakespeare – Phillip Parnell Photography

If I had learnt one thing from Marcia, it was this. Even through the hardest, most trial some of tests that a human can face, the said human still and always has a choice. Instead of letting circumstance consume and control the destiny of her life, Marcia has risen to become an ambassador for hope and change. Marcia is a lady who is continuing to look upwards and forward from amidst an emotionally torn rubble of catastrophic proportions.  Truly, an inspirational person to meet.

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