I spotted Quinn on the seafront in Brighton and asked if I could take his portrait. We talked for an hour before shooting and I quickly realised that he has lived through a lot. This story touched me:
Quinn had twin boys. Sadly, due to heart failure one died at the age of 2. When his remaining son was 12, they were living in France at the time, he was knocked off his bike by a drink driver and died in Quinn’s arms. The driver was taken to court but was given a soft sentence. Enraged, Quinn attacked the guy and put him in a coma. Now it was Quinn’s turn to be sentenced. The judge took into consideration the loss of both sons and gave him the option of a spell in prison or the French foreign legion. Quinn opted for the Legion and spent 4 years in Libya.
I was interested as to why Quinn had tattooed his face and I put to him that it was the ultimate statement in opting out of society. He couldn’t really explain why he had done it other than to say that he’d never been able to accept authority and even as a child had always asked ‘why not’. He sent me this poem that he had written, which I think sums up his philosophy very well.
Most Folks find me a scary looking fella,
With a certain kind of look,
Some would say a biker,
Others like a crook!
I have nothing to hide I’m a just a walking picture book,
For its in my eyes that people should really look!
Most folks seem to pre-judge,
Oh well, thats just the way they think,
I’ve only met a few that look beyond the ink!