Samuel Hicks - "All My Life"

All My Life is a documentary project on Peckham BMX Club.

“Peckham BMX Club was formed by CK Flash in 2004. The shorter version of this story is that CK and a couple of other volunteers self built a BMX track on a piece of waste ground in the heart of Peckham, on Naylor Road. Classic old school Peckham, right by a tower block. In just 4 years and starting with only 4 riders the club became the Number 1 BMX club in the UK. This is like forming a football team and then becoming Premier League champions. An amazing achievement.

Since then, with a lot of hard work and with help from the council, the club has raised funds and built a world-class track in Burgess Park. The club has sent 4 riders into the British Development Team (the Olympic Team) and created many more National, British and World Champions.

More importantly the club has helped hundreds of local children. It not only gives them the opportunity to train 3 times a week and travel around Europe entering competitions, but it teaches them skills that they will go on to use for the rest of their lives.

I first met CK when the club trained on Naylor Road, and have seen the club grow over the years. Since starting this project I’ve seen how great the club is and how, through riding a bike, young people can learn, laugh, enjoy and respect themselves and others. The club has riders from the age of 5 to 53 years.

With the advances in camera technology I was able to shoot the project using just the available light. Digital cameras have such great chips inside them now that you can shoot in very low light conditions. Up until recently shooting at high ISO it was not possible to get the same quality files. I was able to shoot the project hand holding the camera.  I’ve really enjoyed the freedom this project has given me to create the images. Allowing me to chat to the guys and take photos that I feel capture the club members naturally. When I first started photographing the riders in Naylor Road I met Big Mike. When I met him again at the new track when starting this project I said ‘still doing BMX?’ and he replied ‘all my life’. I thought that would make a great name for the project. He now trains with his son Andres at the club.”

Samuel Hicks's portfolio