28 May Staff spotlight: Martin Bloomfield, Director
Name: Martin Bloomfield
What do you do at Seaside Creative?
Make tea and be annoying? Ok, I head up the visual content side of the team. Having had many years in photography and, more recently, video production I still enjoy getting a buzz out of taking a photo or shooting a video. I also get to work with a bunch of associates who have complementary skills, like drone photography, corporate video production, sound engineers etc. I also manage and develop websites, working again with some very clever techy people for the more advanced sites our clients have asked for.
Have you always worked in this type of business? If not, what else have you done?
No, prior to setting up Seaside Creative with Kelly, I had my own business Bloomfield Digital, offering mainly photography and video. In 2014 we became Google Certified Street View Photographers producing quality 360 degree virtual tours of business premises across the South East of England. We started to do websites as clients liked the convenience and support we gave, along with running social media accounts. Our expertise in visual content certainly does help with creating content.
In 2016 Bloomfield Digital won the Adur and Worthing Small Business Award which just blew me away. We faced a lot of competition with over 14 other businesses, some of which were quite established. This gave me a massive boost of confidence to leave my home office and move into a shared studio space on Lancing Business Park.
Prior to Bloomfield Digital I worked for a short while at the Home Office as a specialist advisor for forensic science quality standards. I worked with Police Forces across the UK to gain UKCAS accreditation. In 2012 I was made redundant from Sussex Police when the Scientific Support Branch merged with Surrey Police’s branch. I had worked my way up to being Head of Imaging and Crime Lab at Sussex. I worked with 16 very skilled and talented people using the latest forensic techniques from Lasers, Quasers, alternative light sources, to using cyanoacrylate (superglue to you and me), DFO, Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) using gold and zinc, Ninhydrin etc, for finding fingerprints and other forensic evidence on all types of surfaces that might have been handled by suspects and offenders of crime. We used liquid latex to remove soot from fire scenes (to see if there was any types of evidence on the walls beneath) to using liquid nitrogen to freeze split number plates again for fingerprint evidence. I had the best trained and equipped lab in the South East of England.
Do you have any workplace rituals?
When I started my career with Sussex Police (1987) I was a photographic technician. In those days we had to handle some pretty smelly and dangerous chemicals to develop films and process photo paper. So every day the photographic team of eight would take a break at 10am and 3pm for coffee and tea. Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, quite often with a biscuit or cake. Still can’t get out of the habit…
Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you.
I feature in two of the Peter James Roy Grace novels. Peter came to visit the team and I showed him around the lab facilities and a few of the techniques we used for detecting fingerprints and other forensic evidence. The VMD technique is good on surfaces that may have been wet and Peter subsequently used this in a story line of a submerged outboard motor. First I was Mike Bloomfield and then in the second book I was Martin Bloomfield.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Good question! I find my aspirations change on a yearly basis. A week before Covid hit the UK we were just about to put our house on the market; we had chosen and spoken to the estate agents about a live date. This has now been shelved for at least a year to see how the market pans out. I must admit I don’t plan that far ahead in life, I take life a year at a time. It would be great to see Seaside Creative thrive and grow.
Have you read anything good recently, whether for fun, work or both?
I do have a stack of books on my bedside cabinet. Currently there are four:
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, recommended by Gillian Fielding (Secret Millionaire and patron of the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce) Six habits that will transform your life before 8am. In fact my copy appeared courtesy of my youngest son, who’d bought it for his own development. I’m definitely not an early riser, so this will be quite a challenge!
Make the most of your time on Earth Rough Guide 1000 Ultimate Travel Experiences. I always enjoy a good travel guide. I have the whole collection of Michael Palin travels. This is one of those to dip and out of.
Brain Rules for Aging Well by John Medina – my wife Alison bought this for me at Christmas… no comment…
Finally, I’ve got a signed copy of the Peter James book Dead at First Sight that I started and haven’t quite finished. Love Peter’s use of well known Sussex locations. They’re an easy read, great for the summer holidays. There are often people mentioned in them I know or worked with in my past life.
What’s your greatest achievement, whether at work or personally?
In 1991 I made it on to the front page of the Brighton Evening Argus, as ‘THE’ Sussex Police photographer, not just ‘a’ police photographer. I ribbed my colleagues for years afterwards.
Home life would be bringing up three boys – what a challenge that was. A great deal of credit has to go to my wife, Alison, whose boundless love and authority kept the boys on the straight and narrow. They’re grown into lovely people and pursued their ambitions with hard work and determination.
If you could invite four guests for a long lunch, who would you invite and why? Where would you go for your lunch?
Michael Palin – I grew up with Monty Python on TV and the films. As I said, I love Michael’s TV travel series and books. He would tell a good story.
My Dad – he passed away unexpectedly last year; he was my rock and fanatical supporter. I still miss him loads. He was the perfect dad anyone could want: calm, wise and a great sense of humour.
The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein – A British Field Marshal of WWII who led the 8th Army victory over the German army in Egypt. Shot in the lung and knee in WWI he led with determination and grit. He wore my dad’s regimental beret of the Royal Tank Regiment which also endeared me to him!
Mary Berry – who wouldn’t want to have a great dessert? Lovely lady, again with a lot of real world experiences, having written over 70 cookery books.
Where to dine? A very nice-canvas covered restaurant on the beach at Vilamoura, Portugal. We had the best ever red snapper cooked on an open coal fire washed down with a bottle of green wine. We managed to lose the boys for a few hours and I enjoyed the alfresco dining with my wife.
If you could be transported to anywhere right now, where would it be (and without any quarantine restrictions!)?
The island of Penang off the coast of Malaysia. I went there for a holiday as a child with my mum, dad and sister in 1965. Dad was in the Army and stationed in Seremban on the mainland. I was lucky enough to visit there again in 1995, with dad, one of my sons and my sister’s family. So idyllic and an abundance of interesting people and sights to see.
Thanks Martin – some fascinating and entertaining responses there! If you’d like to contact Martin about any aspect of photography, video, website builds/management or any of Seaside Creative’s services, please do drop him a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
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