Dapper & Jude
UK based photographers Daryl and Judy Ford present their work under the name Dapper and Jude.
Daryl was known as "Dapper Daryl"
when he worked as a jockey.
Since 2019, Daryl and Judy have worked together on a long-term project documenting the life of peasant communities in Romania.
In this rare collaboration between two photographers, each brings a unique perspective and style.
Daryl's work often includes animals and action, and he works mainly in monochrome.
Judy is drawn to quieter moments and detailed observations. Most of her Romanian work is in
colour, but she uses monochrome for her distinctive Jude on the Loose portfolio.
These differences in style add to the viewer's experience and give a more complete picture of the culture.
Both Daryl and Judy work exclusively with natural light.
Daryl has been a photographer since 1990. Judy developed an intense passion for photography in 2015.
In 2021, Judy was awarded the Joan Wakelin Bursary by the UK Royal Photographic Society; her work has been published by the Royal Photographic Society and The Guardian.
In 2022 Daryl and Judy exhibited their Romanian work at the house of HM King Charles III in Transylvania. In 2023, the exhibition moved to the ASTRA museum in Transylvania.
In 2023, Judy was selected as one of the top 100 emerging photographers for the Hamburg Portfolio Review.
"Daryl, who after a horse racing apprenticeship became a blacksmith, now combines the smithing with a photography business that he runs in partnership with his wife Judy. Inspired by his fellow Devonian James Ravilious, a master of recording country life, he has spent many years documenting life in his local community."
Rob compares Daryl's image of a Shepherd Leading his Flock to Don McCullin’s brilliant image "Sheep going to the Slaughter"
—ROB WILSON FOR FRAMES magazine
Daryl left school at 16 and took an apprenticeship to become a jockey. During his career, he worked for 10 different racehorse trainers; he has many fascinating stories about his life in this industry.
His role also involved working with farriers who came to make and fit horseshoes. He became interested in the skill of blacksmithing and started making horseshoes for farriers. When Daryl struggled to maintain the low body weight required to work as a jockey, he took up blacksmithing full-time.
He built a business creating decorative ironwork and curtain poles. By then, Daryl lived with Judy in a small rural village. He worked in an ancient blacksmith's forge.
In 1990 Daryl and Judy had their first daughter. Her arrival marked the start of Daryl's interest in photography as he created lifestyle portraits and documented family life. Initially working with film, he moved to digital in 2001. By 2004, when the business needed product shots for a brochure, he found his images were better than those of the "professional photographer" they had hired.
Daryl grew up exploring Exmoor National Park, and his love of nature, animals and rural life comes through in his images. His work is influenced by the photographer James Ravilious, who created a documentary record of life in rural Devon between 1970 and 1990. Daryl has documented rural life for many years and created a book for his local farming community.
In 2015, Daryl and Judy started adventurous travel, including several trips dogsledding inside the arctic circle. Photography was a crucial part of these trips, and this was when Judy began to share Daryl's passion for photography.
Daryl's inventiveness and practical skills are vital to the success of the couple's photographic work. He created the stands for their exhibitions as well as mounting prints and making frames. More recently, he designed a handmade book system called Copper Spine Books.
Royal Photographic Society Licentiate Distinction (Awarded 2019)
a path to the past
Exhibition (with Judy):
The House of King Charles III, Viscri, Romania (2022).
The ASTRA Museum - Sibiu, Romania (2023).
"Judy is always drawn to the quiet moments and small details that tell a larger story, and chiefly enjoys the connection that photography affords her with other people. “Learning about them and letting them realise that I’m really interested in them and care about them is hugely rewarding."
—LUCY DAVIES FOR THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY JOURNAL
After graduating in English Literature, Judy had a career in technical writing and publications with International Computers Ltd, where she ran a team of authors and managed publications. She moved into marketing but missed writing, so she became a freelance writer and took a contract with Vodafone Ltd. Vodafone engaged her to establish a technical publications unit, and she later led the design and development of Vodafone's Management and Executive Information Systems.
Although highly successful, her life was frantic at the peak of her management career, and she
wanted to spend more time with her young daughters. The tipping point came in 1996 when Daryl and their oldest daughter were involved in a serious car accident. In 1997, Judy decided to give up her career and move to an agricultural holding to bring up her daughters and work with Daryl in his blacksmithing business.
Many challenges and life lessons followed this decision, including Daryl and Judy losing their home and life savings after intellectual property theft by their primary customer. After many bleak years, Judy knew she had to find an outlet for her creativity, but writing no longer resonated with her.
She spent several years exploring before discovering that photography was the medium to which she would devote the rest of her life. Her writing and IT skills now support her photographic work, her need to make the best of life gives her drive, and her life experience and empathy give her work depth.
JUDE ON THE LOOSE
Judy has an alter ego who loves creating more whimsical work. Jude on the Loose produces an eclectic collection of images showing subjects that fascinate or amuse. Glimpses of human spirit, street scenes, dogs, light and pattern, fine art still life. What started as creative play has evolved into a body of distinctive monochrome work.
University of Sussex: BA Hons English - School of Cultural & Community Studies (1980).
The Open University / Royal Photographic Society: Digital Photography (2020).
Sebastian Liste (Noor): Photographic Storytelling & Mentorship (2021 to 2024).
Royal Photographic Society Licentiate Distinction (2020)
Royal Photographic Society Joan Wakelin Bursary (2021)
Hamburg Portfolio Review (2023).
Royal Photographic Society Journal (2021)
The Guardian (2021).