In the late 1970s and 1980s, paramedic Chris Porsz spent hours walking around Peterborough, a city in eastern England, snapping the photos of the everyday passerby. From punks to policemen, the amateur photographer captured portraits of life that were endearing and honest. Now, almost 40 years later, Porsz—known as the “paramedic paparazzo”—has returned to his project, this time acting as both savvy sleuth as well as picture taker.
Porsz has dedicated the last seven years to tracking down his former subjects and convincing them to strike that same pose from so long ago. “I don’t think anyone else has tracked down so many strangers and recreated photos in this way before,” Porsz told Metro. It took “tenacious detective work, meticulous planning and, often, unbelievable coincidences,” but the results are a fascinating look at how people have changed—how they’ve grown up, split apart, and of course, changed their sense of style.
Porsz’s update was not just a reuniting of subjects and photographer, but often, a reunion for the people who appeared in the photos—some had not seen each other for decades. Reflecting on this, Porsz told Daily Mail, “It has been enormously satisfying to do so many reunions and seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they met up with old friends again. I’ve felt very privileged.”
Together with writer Jo Riley, Porsz has compiled photos and stories into a book aptly-titled Reunions. It is now available through his website.