Regent’s Park cycling champ Justin McKie wants to photograph the great and the good of Hampstead and Highgate

Justin McKie. Picture: Justin McKie

Justin McKie. Picture: Justin McKie - Credit: Archant

Justin McKie will be no stranger to readers of the Ham&High – but you’ve probably never considered letting him photograph you. He tells Ella Cotton why you should.

Justin in the saddle. Picture: Frankie Snells

Justin in the saddle. Picture: Frankie Snells - Credit: Archant

Amateur cyclist and four-time national veterans' champion Justin McKie has more or less conquered the world on two wheels.

Not only is Justin a European champion track cyclist: a couple of years ago he was ranked third in the world for the category.

While Justin competes all over the world, he also works closer to home: you may have seen him in our pages defending plans for now-defunct Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11). "I chair the Regents Park Cyclists Group," he said, "and I also chair the Regents Park Safer Parks Police Panel.

"My interest overall is the provision of safe places for people to move around and exercise. Regent's Park is the only central London place where people can somewhat get away from the challenges and aggression of broader London."

But it's as a photographer, not a sportsman, that he wants Ham&High readers to think of him now.

He uses a studio in NW3 at weekends and in the evenings - and he's looking for local faces to try out his skills.

Decorated Ham&High cartoonist Ken Pyne. Picture: Justin McKie

Decorated Ham&High cartoonist Ken Pyne. Picture: Justin McKie - Credit: Archant

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It grew out of an interest in travelling and photojournalism.

"I shot a lot of pro-boxing and travelled the world," he said. "It was a great journey, really interesting, and I met really interesting people. I won a few awards for that."

But after getting tired of all the blood from boxing, Justin's turned his attention to more local matters.

"I guess I got to the point where I thought there was nothing more to learn [about photographing boxing]," he said. "In the last 18 months or so I've been learning portrait photography."

So far he's had the likes of Ham&High cartoonist Ken Pyne through his doors.

"There are lots of interesting people in Hampstead and Highgate and the surrounding areas," he said.

"Whether they work locally, are famous or influential, it doesn't matter - I'm just keen to progress my photographic portrait skills."

"Really, what's interesting to me is meeting interesting people and taking portraits.

"[I want to] shine a light on what is really a fascinating group in north west London."

If you believe you are, or know, a good person for Justin to photograph, get in touch via his Instagram: @mckiejustin.