From photo-walking to scooter-shooting

Frozen pigeon

I take nearly all of my photographs from the seat of a mobility scooter as I am disabled by a variant of motor neurone disease.

In 2014 MND caused me to retire after 20 years working as a TV cameraman and director. I was 46. The diagnosis is life limiting and has virtually stopped me from walking but it’s fuelled my love of photography and brought my creativity full circle.

I began my working life as a newspaper photographer and during my TV career I spent much of my time off walking city streets taking photos for pleasure (Fedora Hat below is one of my favourites from that time). Instead of walking, now I go out on my scooter , often taking two small cameras with a prime lens each and capturing scenes that I find interesting. Working like this gives me a unique perspective literally and creatively.

Fedora Hat (taken in 2012 before I developed MND)

Because of my decreased strength I use lightweight mirrorless cameras and sometimes a Ricoh GR compact. I have a very portable mobility scooter called a TravelScoot. When I am noticed people feel less intimidated than when I was on two feet pointing a large camera at them!

Mobility Scooter = Invisibility Cloak

I enjoy exhibiting my work, writing and giving talks and presentations about my experiences. I’m also involved in raising money and awareness for neurological organisations and disability issues generally. I’ve been told that what I have to say is inspiring.

If you’d like to contact me please get in touch via my email:

 Recent exhibitions and events:

  • 12th to 15th September 2017 – Exhibiton at “Stronger Together”, Tabernacle Arts Centre, Notting Hill, London.
  • April 2017 – Guest speaker at Worcester Visual Arts Meet-Up.
  • March and April 2017 – Solo exhibition at Worcester Arts Workshop. Organiser quote –  “One of our best ever exhibitions. It’s attracted so many people to the venue”.
  • March 2017 – Guest speaker for “Rewired” at the Royal Geographical Society. Rewired is an innovative Art / Science event created by Movement for Hope.
  • 2016 – Contributor to the 20th anniversary celebration book of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
  • 2016 – Exhibited at Neurocreativity for Movement for Hope where the comedian Russell Brand was a guest at the private view.
Laughter building
Laughter building

All words and photography on this site © Miles Pilling


11 thoughts on “From photo-walking to scooter-shooting

  1. Hello Miles, you found the blog where I write about Photography. I think that is what you are looking for and I will not disappoint you as photography is the only topic I discuss.
    I am pleased to know about your blog and intend to be a regular viewer and reader of your thoughts on the subjects you photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Miles,
    Really like your shots!
    I go around worcester trying to do”street”with mixed results ( I’m a beginer),surprised I’ve not seen you yet.
    Hope to see you at some stage.Regards and Respect.Ian Miller.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Ian. Can you get to Worcester Arts Workshop during March to see the exhibition? I’m sure we’ll probably end up snapping each other at some point. Appreciate your comment. Miles


  3. Hello Miles,

    Yesterday morning I logged into Worcester News and focused ,on “Six fabulous pictures…..”

    The lady on the mobility scooter is my mother. RIta Zacchi. After two and a half years living with us here in Ombersley Road and in poor health, Mum passed away aged 85 last Friday evening so you can well imagine the very special impact that photo has made!

    RIghtly concentrating on not mowing anyone down with her scooter, mum was obviously unaware of the eye of the camera. Had she been, she would have smiled her sunny smile and probably shown a shapely leg or two! The family accompanying her seem to be looking your way but made no mention when they returned home here with mum They were visiting from India at the time and indeed Titus – the father- flew over specially two weeks ago to spend time with mum. Some twenty odd year earlier while visiting a school/orphanage in Bangalore she had “adopted” Titus and consequentially paid for his education. Today he is married with two children – as in your photo – and is a successful businessman involved with electroinics. Appreciating the help given to him by mum – and reflecting her kindness – he has gone onto to sponsor the education of three other orphans. IN subsequent years mum returned to India on several occasions with a friend from Malvern – hospice nurse Lorraine Paine – and together they raised money to oversee the building of Help Centres for the poorest of the poor, with a special emphasis on cancer sufferers.

    Mum’s charity work in India ended with the untimely death of Lorraine – from cancer – in 2011 and when her own health was in steady decline having suffered a stroke some years earlier.

    They say every picture tells a story – well, in this case, so very much more. Thankyou Miles for helping mum’s story live on just a little bit longer.

    Louise Rumford.

    PS We will of course be visiting Cafe Bliss!

    PPS. Mum was the widow of an Italian prisoner of war – hence the Zacchi bit. She met dad when he was working on the land in Ombersley where she lived, fell in love and followed him back to Italy at the end of the war – aged just 17. But that’s another story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Louise. I am so very moved by your message. Sometimes I wonder who the “real people”and their stories are behind the images of my photographs. The shot of your mother has a wonderfully warm story behind it. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful lady. I took her expression to be one of determination (from what you have said, she was obviously a very determined lady). It had not occurred to me that Titus and his family were with her either. I would love to give you the framed photograph so please could you contact me on my email which is so I can arrange that. Thank you so much for taking the time to send your message. It makes taking my photographs seem very worthwhile if they connect so deeply sometimes as the photograph of your mother has done for you. Please email me and we can arrange for you to have the picture at the end of the exhibition. All best wishes, Miles Pilling


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