man prepares for swim in lake wearing robie and hat

Alexander Ward is an internationally published photographer in Suffolk & Essex. We first spotted his work when one of his subjects, Colin, tagged us in an image shot by Al. Colin Hill is an open water swim event director, a promoter of the sport and a coach and guide. The photo depicts Colin sitting at the water’s edge in the Lake District, wearing his Dry-Series robe, donning his boots, ready for a cold water dip. 

man in swimming trunks and swim cap stands in blue lake holding swim float

This image of Colin is part of a project by Al called Wild Swimmers. He said, “This series explores the culture of wild swimmers - those who engage in the lakes, seas and rivers of the UK. It is an ongoing series of work with an evolving methodology and forms my Masters Research Project.” 

women prepare for cold water swim wearing swimsuits and bobble hats

“In this body of work I’ve explored people who engage in the waterways of the UK. I’ve set out to show the range of people, their rituals, communities and their environments. The theme of connection to our natural environments runs through my work, so to be part of this experience and see swimmers reconnect and reground has been a privilege.”

women enter water for a swim in the lake

Al has worked with organisations such as the BBC and Comic Relief, as well as other big brands and businesses, however he explained that when shooting personal projects such as the Sea Swimmers and Wild Swimmers series’, he was equally as fascinated. “I was drawn to the way they connected with the water.” 

woman swimming in lake whilst it snows

We think the images shot by Al truly capture the emotions felt by wild swimmers and cold water dippers in their natural environment. Check out his incredible array of work by clicking here to visit his website.