Walter James memories of the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics in Birmingham…

August 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

2012 will always be a marked year in the Chapter of Walter James Photography and those who were associated members of the Imagers Makers Network.


It was a period of activities that meant different things to different people, from those athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympics to those large international organisations as well as the more moderate business enterprises from around the world, being part of the commercial money making machine that was part of making London 2012 a success for many organisations.


For many of us, it was the opportunity to have a share of the London 2012 Olympic Dreams as athletes or as business providers, via applying for tenders for the games.


It was also going to be a year that many lessons were going to be learnt that was going to have a lasting impact on many people and organisations, again for different reasons.


For me personally, the lessons were based on poor decision making or not understanding the bigger picture during the infancy of the years leading up to London 2012, not following the sound advice given when I showed my intention to be part of the London 2012 Olympic dream.


One of the first failures for me, was that I did not know the complexity of being part of 1% of the London 2012, and the hoops I had to jump through, so much so by the time I took interest in the London 2012 Olympics, I soon realised that many of the opportunities were soon taken up by the big boys.


The Organisers for London 2012 was very conscious about allowing the small players in the business world having a share in contributing to the 2012 Olympics by a tendering process.


The way they organisers wanted to help was by suggesting small groups of companies forming a partnership in order to deliver on some of the Olympic contracts that were being put out for Tender.


Not thinking I was in a position to play a part, I never attended at first any of the London 2012 Olympic Roadshow that would explain how the small fish, like me, could swim with the big fishes of this world. 


By the time I learnt some of the rules of engagement, I soon learnt that not even the crumbs off the table I could tick any of the boxes for, with a begging bowl.


That being the case I approached Birmingham City Council because Birmingham was going to be the training camp for the Jamaican and the USA Track and Field Teams.


To my surprise the door was open to me, in order to document the Visiting International Team while they were in Birmingham.  The Jamaican Team was going to be looked after in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Birmingham University.


Because of the Jamaican diary, while preparing for Gold for the London Olympics,   I requested the support of other Professional Photographers and Videographers to support my effort to document the Birmingham City Council Jamaican Legacy Project.


The new group of Photographers and Videographers soon became known as The Image Makers Network, with the responsibility also to document Jamaica 50th Anniversary since independence from Great Britain.


I will not go into this journey any deeper, because I have a book to be produced regarding my  Journey as an Image Maker and the 2 years of my life that this project dominated to the build up to 2012 London Olympics, that saw a very successful London 2012 for the Jamaican Team, that was made possible because of the partnership of Birmingham City Council and Birmingham University mainly, along with some other players who contributed their personal expertise, in helping the relationship work, for example, Jamaica National Building Society and a few others.


As I have said before there was a lesson learnt, and mistakes made that has helped to make me a little wiser person, when working with agencies or organisations bigger than myself, as well as working with other Image Makers for a common goal, including the politics that comes along with such a large project.


I think one of the most important lessons learnt was that “One hand cannot clap on its own” as well as to be mindful who you clap hands with because not everybody will see your vision the way you do.   


I do hope you enjoy a selection of some of my images captured on my journey along with a few videos,  captured during a two years historical time in Birmingham City Council history as an Image Maker, as well as my own personal legacy for my friends and family, especially my kids Kobi Tygar and Oprah Whitney for which a book will also be presented to them both in a presentation box.


Please note some of the images captured in three videos below;

England v Jamaica U16 Netball in Birmingham 2012  

The Birmingham Jamaican Legacy Project 2012  

The Birmingham Jamaican Legacy Project by

The Image Makers Network.


One of the articles printed in the Voice Newspaper below, about the Birmingham City Council Jamaican Legacy Project 2012.


Sadly the funding was never there, in the end, to produce an Official Legacy Publication for the City of Birmingham, but at least my book of images and words will be done at some point, which I have dedicated to my Mother, Ms Mary Elizabeth Campbell and my son Kobi Tygar and my daughter Oprah Whitney, not forgetting Angela who had to watch me allow my own business be sacrificed for the sake of the Birmingham City Council Jamaican Legacy Project 2012.











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