Dr Maria Kempinska MBE wearing a sequinned suit at her home in north London.

a warm welcome in north london

Dr Maria's London home is such a welcoming place. She has managed to pull off the perfect balance of beautiful decor (like it's out of book) and welcoming cosiness. Of course, the welcome isn't just in the decor - Maria's natural charisma and warmth is inescapable. The two cats also help!

a legend in the comedy world

Maria is a legend in the world of comedy as the founder of Jongleurs Comedy Club (using her bicycle as collateral for a loan to finance the project!). She helped launch a host of comedy careers including Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand, Lee Evans and Jack Dee. As a successful entrepreneur, Maria appears regularly on British radio and TV to talk about comedy and how to build a successful brand. She has received several accolades, including an MBE, and is a leading authority on leadership in business. She has also been a practising psychotherapist for over 20 years. 

I can't remember the last time I met such a warm and interesting person. Maria is kind and curious - a lovely combination and it was a real pleasure to photograph her for this project. 

Dr Marie Kempinska MBE in her kitchen.

at home - a long-term book project

This At Home series gives me access to the homes of people I admire and respect. I am deeply grateful for their trust in letting me into their private spaces to photograph them and capture a real insight into what makes them tick.

Unlike shooting weddings which can be quite hectic, these photo shoots usually give me time to get to know my subject and experiment with different locations and ideas. My background is in portraiture and street photography and I love trying to capture a person’s essence in a photograph. I am a curious person by nature and always want to know the real story, what a person is really like behind their public facade.

A cat curled up on a sofa in north London.
A hand rests on the hip of a woman wearing a sequinned suit.

Photographer Gary Williams


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