An artist/street photographer will be capturing images during this year’s Sidmouth Folk Festival for an exhibition that will also feature pictures taken by local residents.

The ‘Your Town, My Town’ project by Sidmouth School of Art, in association with Sidmouth Folk Festival, will begin with photographer JJ Waller creating a ‘snapshot in time’ as he roams the streets during the week-long festival, from Friday, August 2 until Friday 9. During this time he will also be photographing local groups, clubs and societies who would like to feature in the final exhibition.

Anyone interested in the project and in contributing their own pictures can attend a free Q&A session, as part of the Festival programme, at the Manor Pavilion on Tuesday, August 6 at 2.30pm. JJ will be talking about his approach to his work, what inspires him, and how other photographers can find similar inspiration.

The project is being funded by the Folk Festival, with additional funding from Sidmouth School of Art, a contribution from Cllr Stuart Hughes' Locality Fund, and local business sponsorship from The Royal Glen Hotel.

JJ is known for his evocative street photography in Brighton and other seaside towns. He won acclaim for his portraits during the 2020 Covid lockdown, photographing residents looking out through the windows and doors of their homes. The pictures were compiled into a book, JJ Waller’s Lockdown.

He said: ”I’m very excited by the prospect of visiting and working in Sidmouth. It will be my first visit, everything will be completely fresh and new to me, which suits my way of working perfectly.

“I don’t have a set talk, I like to let the audience set the flow of the dialogue, usually these interactions are great fun.”

Residents are invited to take their own photos during the Folk Festival for the' Your Town, My  Town' collection, which will be exhibited in various sites including bus shelters, telephone boxes and the Wallspace billboard. A photo book will also be created as a legacy of the project.

A spokesperson for  Sidmouth School of Art said: “Anyone can submit an image to the project. Sidmouth residents and festival visitors of any age - we positively welcome younger generations to take part. No experience, expertise, or special camera equipment is required! A smartphone image will do just fine.”

The deadline for submission of pictures is August 23, two weeks after the festival, and JJ will return to Sidmouth in the autumn to review and select the images for the exhibition.

Local clubs and organisations who would like to book a photo shoot with JJ for the project can email giving details of the best date, time and location for photographing their activities.

To book a seat at JJ's talk/Q&A, or to submit a photo to the project, visit