The people photographed at an Oxford chip shop

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Media captionKazem Hakimi has been taking photos of his customers for the past two years

Oxford fish and chip shop owner Kazem Hakimi went viral in July when we revealed his habit of taking customers' photographs. But what was the experience like for his subjects?


Image copyright Kazem Hakimi

Kazem's chip shop is my local chip shop.

I wasn't going into it on the day he took the photo, I was passing by.

He called to me and said: "Wow, you look really great today, do you mind if I take your picture?"

Then he said: "Come round the back." I was like, "Sorry? What?" It was a little bit odd.

But I went round and he did it really quickly in front of a blank wall.

To most people I would have said "Not a chance mate" if they'd asked to take my picture randomly, but he's so nice and friendly and I felt safe and comfortable saying he could have my picture.

When I first saw it I thought I looked terrible. But that's me personally.

I feel very uncomfortable with how I look a lot of the time, and I saw all the things I dislike about myself... but the more I kept seeing it... the more I liked it and thought I did look good in it.

It's so inspirational that people have these hidden talents. It shows you can do more than one thing - no-one's just a one trick pony.


Image copyright Kazem Hakimi

My husband Prasul has been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy. It's a very rare condition. It's a degenerative neurological problem.

For four years I was struggling to look after him and run my own business of childminding.

[Before he was diagnosed] everyday he used to scream and yell and shout and by lunchtime he would be so frustrated and agitated... But in my lunch hour on Mondays I would take him to Kaz's shop and he just loved the jumbo sausages and chips.

Kaz would always ask "Please can I take a photo of you?" and we kept refusing all the time.

But this one particular lunchtime he actually shut the shop and insisted we go round the backyard and he took one photo.

It's really lovely, it's so natural. We're not done up, we're just casual, and it's just how I look when I go to the fish and chip shop on an afternoon walk, not posing or anything.


Image copyright Kazem Hakimi

I've often been to buy fish and chips at Kazem's. He's a person you can talk to.

If I don't have any money he still won't refuse to serve me. He'll be kind enough to let me pay back the money when I've got it.

One day I was coming back from a funeral, and he said: "I want to take a picture of you."

I said yes. I didn't think it was a strange question.

If a person comes towards you to damage you, you've got to defend yourself, but he was a person I knew, so I said: "Do what you want to do."


Image copyright Kazem Hakimi

I popped in to say hello to Kaz one day because more than anything he's become a friend over the years.

Usually, even if I'm not going in there to buy chips I stop to say hello.

One day he asked me if it was OK to take my picture and I looked at him a bit puzzled and said: "What's that for then?"

He said he was doing a project, taking pictures of his customers and unique looking people.

He just walked round the back of the shop with me, and said if I stood against the wall he'd take my picture. I was like, "OK, fine, not a problem, though that's the strangest thing you've ever asked me to do."

It's not the best picture of me but it was fine. I was looking quite rough. I suffer with quite severe health problems so I do go up and down quite a lot.

But it made me laugh because of the dog trying to give me kisses in it. He's my little toy terrier, called Secret.


Image copyright Kazem Hakimi

I've known Kaz for about 15 years, popping in and out of his shop.

Usually I see him when I've had a few coming from the pub and we always have a laugh. He calls me The Beast because I drink too much.

I went in one day and he asked to take my photo. I thought he was going to take one in the shop but he quickly dragged me out the back.

He was on his own, he took two photographs within seconds, and then ran back to the shop again because he's got his food to deal with.

There was no coaching. He said: "Right, I'm ready." Then, click. Then another click. And that was it and I thought no more of it.

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