Jason Wilde’s Free Portrait Studio started life in early 2009 under a bridge in Chalk Farm, London. Although those first sessions yielded some fairly strong portraits the idea behind them was to fine tune a working process for my big idea of traveling around the coast of England making portraits of people outdoors and in front of a white background. In July 2009 I started the project and spent two weeks on the south coast visiting a variety of towns that included Bexhill On Sea, Hastings, Brighton, Margate and Whitstable. After chasing and wrestling my 9ft x 6ft collapsible background along the sea-side promenades in windy rain I decided that an outdoor project was too unpredictable. Around the same time Professor Val Williams invited me to set up a series of portrait studios in her Hastings Gallery during the 2009 Hastings Old Town Carnival Week. With a controllable indoor environment the three subsequent Hastings gallery events went very well, influencing me to develop my original idea into a mobile indoor studio with the addition of studio lights, a laptop computer and an assistant.