A year in the life of photogenic Sheffield...

THERE is a man walking a dog in Hillsborough, a woman pushing a pram in Woodseats.

There's a teenager on a bike in Crookes, and a guy gardening in Greystones.

Some hold umbrellas and some carry shopping. One throws a basketball and one has a copy of The Star. A few smile at the camera. Others don't even look at it.

They're young and old, black and white.

There are a little over 365 of them and every one is different, except for two common features: they all live in Sheffield and they all agreed to be snapped by city photographer Luke Avery.

The 26-year-old pictured a different person – or on occasions a small group of people – in a different part of the city for every single day of 2010.

Some he knew – January 1 is his girlfriend while December 31 is himself – but most he simply walked up to and asked if they would pose for his project.

"One thing I learned is that Sheffield's reputation for being friendly is absolutely right," says Luke, of Palm Street, Walkley. "Even those who didn't want to pose were mostly really nice and interested in what I was doing.

"I suppose it's a bit strange having someone come up and ask to take a picture of you but I met some really interesting, really quirky people while doing it.

"The hardest part was getting them to pose naturally. They'd ask 'Should I smile?' and I'd say 'Well, I don't know, what sort of day are you having?'"

The results are an incredible record of Sheffield in 2010. Every area from Ringinglow to Malin Bridge, from Ecclesfield to Dore is captured.

In the background there are shops, parks, roads, woodland, polling stations, pubs and tram stops – all creating an image of Sheffield in 2010. The Conran Tower makes more than the odd appearance in the background while the much-missed Sheffield Wheel also pops up.

But...why do it?

"I realised I'd lived here for eight years and I didn't really know the place – I knew the student bits and the city centre, but I suppose this was a way of finding out a bit more," says the former Sheffield University chemistry student who originally comes from Gloucestershire.

He cheated a little. A day or two had to be taken in advance when he was away from the city overnight but those who view his incredible shots will forgive him that.

Now he is hoping to exhibit the collection and is looking into making a book.

Long term he wonders if it might be used as a social record of the city in 2010 and if archivists might be interested in the work.

"I'm very proud of what the project has become," he says. "It's strange because now it's over I still find myself walking down the street thinking 'That guy's got a nice beard, he'd make an interesting subject'. It's been hard to switch off."

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