Theo Mcinnes is a British photographer based in London, UK, focusing predominantly on documentary and portrait photography. After completing an MA in the subject at London College of Communication in 2016, he was selected as part of the Magnum Graduate Photo Award. His ongoing interest in British subcultures led to his most recent series, The Fanciers, which looks at the unique and fading culture of pigeon fancying in the UK, as well as at a final generation of UK hobbyist fanciers who keep their birds for pleasure and kinship, rather than their ability to win races and money.
Throughout the UK pigeon fanciers breed, train and fly pigeons to compete in races at home and across the English Channel. But there’s more to keeping the birds than their ability to race – there is a bond shared between owner and pigeon. Most fanciers have kept pigeons all their lives and, as they say, “have fancying in the bloodline”, passed down from generation to generation. Today however, things are changing, and the pigeon-keeping blood is thinning. Whilst the high-investment, professional side of the sport has a stable popularity across the globe, the hobbyist side of fancying is dying out, with little interest from younger generations.