"We're All Incredibly Proud Of Him" | John Bigglestone

“This is a photograph of my grandfather,” wrote Tom Bigglestone, “on the first day of his Masters in photography – at aged 80 in 2015.”

This post is part of a series, showing drawings of other people’s treasured photos.

Tom continued: “A world-class photographer, lecturer and one of only two HMI in the country for a particular award, he started his Masters at Arts University Bournemouth.

“The glow and pride on his face is just a joy and it’s probably my most prized photograph, of anyone.

“His Masters faced a few delays due to some health problems, but he really got going with it in 2018. He died suddenly, aged 84, in 2019 – doing what he loved – putting up pictures. By that time he had completed enough of his Masters for us to submit on his behalf and he got a distinction – posthumously graduating post-pandemic in 2021.

“We’re all incredibly proud of him and his attitude to life – always learning. I was lucky enough to be his best man at his third (and final) wedding in 2014 in New York.”


It gave me great pleasure to draw John Bigglestone. After I sent the finished version to Tom, he replied:

“Wow, what an incredible drawing! The way you capture things is inspirational and this is such a treasure. It’s already the lock-screen on my phone, and I’m going to send it to my Dad (who took the photo), and John’s widow, and I know they’ll absolutely love it.”