Chris Swinton

Hello and thank you for visiting our site. My name is Chris and I am the UK’s and possibly the world’s only blind motorsports photographer, if it has two wheels and an engine then chances are I’ll be trying to take a picture of it.

I can often be found at Oulton Park, Donington Park, Darley Moor, Aintree, Trac Mon/Anglesey, Three Sisters, the Isle of Man and anywhere else Mrs Blind Photographer is prepared to take me.

Please feel free to spend some time reading the content and find out where we are and what we are doing as this year we will be covering British Superbikes, Thundersport GB, Darley Moor, Aintree, Wirral 100, NG Road Racing, No Limits, PDMCC, Bemsee and hopefully a little bit of the British Minibike Championship. You can also keep up to date with the adventures of the Magnificent Seven or as they are now known the Amazing Ten, these are the riders that have very kindly agreed to race in 2019 with either our logo on their machines, a visor decal on their helmet or both and we are extremely grateful for their help in spreading the word not to mention very proud to be associated with each and every one of them and we wish them a fast, safe and trophy laden season, you can read more about them in the ‘Friends of Us’ section of the site.

You can also learn more about out new charity partners that we will be trying to raise funds for and they are Walthew House in Stockport and The Billy Redmayne Memorial Fund over on the Isle of Man. As you will discover Walthew House is our local sensory loss charity and being blind and partially deaf myself I have benefited personally from some of the amazing work the dedicated team do there and The Billy Redmayne Memorial Fund was established after Billy tragically lost his life while racing at Oliver’s Mount in 2016 and the funds aim now is to nurture and support up and coming road racers at the Manx GP, an event that Billy was victorious at twice, in the Newcomers race of 2014 and the Junior Manx a year later.

In the ‘Galleries’ section you will find a collection titled Charities which are the images taken by myself at various circuits and signed by the rider in question and these will be available to purchase framed with all proceeds being split between these two very worthwhile causes and with your help we hope to raise a lot of money along the way. Riders that have already helped include TT legend John McGuinness on the iconic Norton, Andy Irwin, Richard Cooper, Glenn Irwin, Ben Currie, Luke Hedger, Joe Francis, Leon Jeacock, Christian Iddon, NW200 ace Alistair Seeley, current British Supersport champion Jack Kennedy, Mark Piper, Josh Daley, David Allingham, Kyle Ryde, Gino Rea, Mark Goodings and TT lap record holder Peter Hickman. We are hoping to add more names all the time as we go through the season but as you can see the response has already been superb and just goes to underline the long held belief that racing and those that race really like to give something back.

‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain’ I don’t often find myself on this side of the camera but here I am very proudly handing over my first signed McGuinness at Walthew House.

About me

So, how did a blind man with no prior experience end up being a photographer?

Back in early 2015, I am sat with Kerry (soon to be Mrs Blind Photographer) in Mr. Ho’s office at the Royal Eye Hospital in Manchester going over what happens next and telling me something I already know.

While Kerry and Mr Ho are talking I’m sat looking out of the window, I can’t see anything – but I think it creates a nice mental image for you, and thinking “now what”?

Fast forward to June and I am perched in a bush just outside Milntown on the Isle of Man, about to take my first picture. I can hear the engine note in the distance as the first bike approaches, the sound is bouncing around in the trees making things even more alien to me but I know that this is my moment. You can’t take your first picture twice, and everything seems to slow down as the first machine comes barrelling out of the treeline.

My finger is poised over what is hopefully the correct button. I am ready, and when I think I have the bike where I want it I fire…

…and miss by a country mile, In fact, if I turned what happened that day into a book or calendar, the title would write itself: ‘Empty Roads of the Isle of Man’. But more importantly, I am utterly hooked and this slightly odd story begins.

Away from the camera life is busy at home as we welcomed our twin boys into the world in May. Dexter and Cassian came into the world 10 weeks too soon and weighing just 3lbs each but after 9 exhausting weeks in the Neonatal unit at Stepping Hill Hospital and quite a few dramatic moments we finally brought them home and family life began at last for us, they are truly amazing little characters and have already visited Oulton, Darley, Aintree, Anglesey/Trac Mon and 3 Sisters and we are making plans to introduce them to the wonders of the Isle of Man and road racing.

I’m also a huge Rugby League fan and follow the mighty Swinton Lions (obviously) and every October we make the trip to Old Trafford for the Grand Final, I enjoy most sport generally speaking and my bucket list includes a visit to New Orleans to ‘see’ the Saints in action.

We also have 3 smelly, hairy associate family members or, if you prefer dogs Lenny, Teddy and Buster who keep us equally busy as well as providing quite a few laughs along the way.

My amazing wife Kerry, none of this would be possible without her.

I am also an avid collector of tattoo’s and am the proud owner of the piece below that is my tribute not only to John but also to anyone that has every sat on the line and waited for the ‘tap’ on the shoulder.

Afterword

I hope you enjoy the site and the story, you can keep up to date with things we are doing on this site and through our Facebook page. There is a contact page on the site so please feel free to do just that, I will happily answer all the questions you may have or just say hello. If you see my trackside the same applies come and say hello. Don’t wave, I wont see you!

Chris