A PHOTOGRAPHER is on a mission to capture the faces of Abingdon with an ambitious project.

Martin Wackenier, who also speaks five languages, is planning to take 2,000 photographs of people from the town in its market square stood in its historic Market Place.

Each photograph will have a story attached to it – a little motif from the people pictured –, which will feature on a blog.

And When he has all 2,000 photographs, he will use tiny versions to create a collage of the market place itself, which he hopes will hang in Abingdon Guildhall.

He captured the first 70 photographs in one day after putting an appeal out on Facebook, including one of the entire Abingdon Traditional Morris group.

Belgian-born Mr Wackenier, who lives in Vineyard with his wife Maria, said: “I’ve been flabbergasted by the sheer enthusiasm for it.

“I think people thought it was about time that there was a project like this for the community of Abingdon.”

The 41-year-old, who works at The Marketing Practice in East Hendred, has been taking photographs all his life, but only managed to break through as a professional in the last five years.

He has lived in Abingdon for the past seven years and said he would be well-known to locals through his former band Full Circle, which gigged in Abingdon and around the county.

Mr Wackenier, who once sang on stage with Queen, started taking photos for his band and ended up getting more work for his pictures than his singing.

He was inspired to start the People of Abingdon project by American photographer Brandon Stanton’s blog Humans of New York, where he has posted photographs of nearly 5,000 strangers captured on the city streets.

He said: “What I really liked was that behind each picture was a story – it could be a sentence or a lot more.

“The demographic of Abingdon is interesting.

“When events like the bun throwing happen, there is a coming together, so I wanted to do something to benefit the whole of Abingdon like that.”

He said he hoped to “capture the demographic of Abingdon in 2015” so that future generations could look back on it.

Mr Wackenier plans to hold photo sessions in the town throughout the summer, and hopes the project will be complete in six months.

The next session will be on Saturday, May 2, in Market Place from 10am to 6pm.

See the results at devine-timesphotography.com