I am shooting all week in Manchester this week for a higher education prospectus. It is great working with interesting, enthusiastic young folk and covering a whole spectrum of locations. Sometimes going through the files at the end of the day comes up with incongruous contrasts…
automotive / engineering
OK, so this was last Monday, I didn’t quite manage to post after all 4 days of that shoot. But here are some of the beautiful locations we visited in the course of our 4 day tour of Leeds (while dodging typical British bank holiday weather…).
So you’ll see why I was quite tired and didn’t manage to stay awake long enough to fire up WordPress after I had safely downloaded and backed-up all the files…
I’ve been shooting at the Live at Leeds festival today to capture some of the atmosphere for the University of Leeds. A looong day; my phone says my assistant and I have walked 14km – that is a lot of gigs. But before I picked up my press pass (which was a fun new experience for me…), we dropped into LS6 for breakfast in Hyde Park where I photographed this guy.
I’ve been shooting for The University of Leeds today (and will be for the next three days). I’m quite fond of this shot grabbed as we passed through the Trinity shopping mall.
Started months ago,… and has been very busy so far. I have lots to share, so starting randomly here is a portrait I shot earlier this week for The Manchester College.
Not my usual shoot (all lighting and Colorama), but a lot of fun nonetheless.
I’ve shot for the Fitzwilliam Estate in Malton on several occasions this past couple of years. The range of independent businesses, beautiful architecture, warm welcoming character of the place, not to mention the food market, make it a lovely place to work. I might just move there.
I don’t know who those people are, but they look like they’re having a great time, cava with fish and chips – awesome.
This is a shot from back in the summer. An art buyer at The Guardian (who had previously used my work) asked if I would photograph a couple at home as they familiarised themselves with their new smart meter (for a British Gas advertorial feature). We did shots with and without their remote meter device (which looked like a fat smart phone), and even managed to turn their concreted over back yard into something that wouldn’t look too out of place in the Saturday Magazine.
They were lovely, friendly folk. Turned out they had a cat called Cat Power (and not everyone got the reference apparently) and Kevin Smith Clerks wallpaper in their bathroom (a somewhat surprising, but Very Good Thing in my books).
The end of the year is fast approaching and I feel like I haven’t shared half as much as I could have here in 2014. It has been a superb year for me, so in a spirit of celebration I’m going to do my best to post something on here every day for a week.
I’m going to start with something personal. These shots were taken just over a week ago at the Sunday morning ‘Woodcraft Folk’ group I go to with my toddler son. It was an amazing crisp winter morning and I couldn’t resist photographing small people enjoying being outdoors.
Den building and hot chocolate in the great outdoors, lovely.
I recently delivered some shots to my friends at The Art House Wakefield. Last week I shot the Art Walk (which takes place on the evening of the last Wednesday of every second month). There are always lovely people to meet and loads to see (and shoot), but having covered it a few times now one of my favourite things is catching up with some familiar faces.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with The Art House on a handful of occasions in the course of the past year, photographing artists, their work and workspaces, and the renovations going on as they give the city’s beautiful Old Library a new lease of life (not all shots from this link are mine). A highlight for me was the fantastic experience of being invited to speak as an ‘hand picked creative industry expert’ at the launch event for their BELAY creative mentoring programme back in August. I hope they’ll have me back in 2015… probably just to take pictures though.
casual legal meeting
I photographed these busy people for Thompson Brand Partners the other week. We had very limited time to set up some ‘candid’ shots amongst the formal portraits I was also shooting that day. My subjects did really well at ignoring the camera and flash going off and just being themselves… I think we captured some lovely genuine moments.
france / belgium / luxembourg
Well I’m working on a couple of interesting projects at the moment, something of which I will post up here soonish (promise!). But in the meantime here are a few shots from my recent family jolly to the continent. I guess I could make it sound glamorous, but the reality is that we set out from Hull, did rather a lot of driving (touring?) with a bored toddler and crying baby for company, and spent a week sitting in my parent’s garden in the Lot. It was marvellous though.
Allez, au travail!
I got an unexpected call a couple of days prior to Leeds hosting the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France from lovely designer Lee Goater, asking if I was free on the Saturday. I love bikes, and you may or may not know that I am virtually French, but Lee actually called on behalf of Leeds West Indian Carnival who were running a pop up carnival as part of the celebrations. It was amazing to be part of the whole day, here are a few shots.
Sure the cyclists had lycra too, but they didn’t have wings, and their sound system was no where near as good…
I shot these a couple of weeks ago for The Beautiful Meme in York. They are collaborating with the Robotics Department at the University of York on a project about swarm intelligence (I think,…). It was a great space to work in, the boxy building had me coming up with quite boxy straight compositions.
location, location, location
Not some house buying advice, but something I’d been thinking about how lucky I feel as a photographer.
This is just a set up test shot, but it illustrates my point nicely. One of my favourite things about the work I do is the access it opens to a huge variety of interesting locations. A recent shoot was scheduled to take place on a construction site. The project was about people working together, my brief mentioned a coach station. On arrival at the location, it turned out that the bus park (uninspiring) was attached to a huge residential tower and that it would also be possible to shoot on the roof of the unfinished 26 storey building with a great view over the Olympic Park and London beyond (amazing!). Now I am not good with heights, and a ride up the side in a glorified cage on a wire was not my idea of fun. But it was too good to not take a look, the afternoon light was looking pretty amazing.
So a shoot in an untidy, tightly enclosed site full of overflowing skips turned into something infinitely more photogenic. Here is the final image in place on the client’s homepage.
the Art House
This week I’ve had five calls about totally new upcoming projects all to fit in to the next month or so. It is only Tuesday… . I’m not quite sure what to make of it, perhaps people have started reading this blog? Anyway, this is what I was shooting last week and I am pleased to say that I am spending another day tomorrow with the lovely folk at The Art House in Wakefield.
I’ll share more when I get a moment and link to the new site when it goes live, as the mock-ups I’ve seen look gorgeous.
Last week I spent a happy day shooting moving images for my friend Rob at the Capture Lab. His client develops and produces personal care products (shampoo and moisturiser to me) for some big names in the industry. These are just screen grabs from the raw footage, and before editing and grading they don’t have the punch of a nicely processed tif. It was a visually fascinating place to shoot though, and I particularly love how the restricted colour palette pulls everything together.
I wish I could share the rising steam and motion of the conveyor belts here too, but you’ll have to imagine that. I’ll link to the finished film when it appears online.
And I mean finally on so many levels… Finally some nice light around at the moment to bring warm tones to depressed photographers all across the UK. But more to the point, finally a new blog post.
It is not that I haven’t been shooting, or busy with a hundred other things – far from it, as those of you who know me personally will know only too well.
Anyway, here is something lovely that I thought well worth sharing. Actually shot back in mid-February, it felt like everything came together to make a lovely shoot – location, light and a very photogenic family. More to come in a gallery update very soon!
I’ve been setting up lights and seamless paper of late, which has been a refreshing change from my usual location shoots.
The two portraits above were from a shoot commissioned to record the some of the participants in a project that aimed to document some of the direct consequences of recent welfare reform. (www.doleanimators.org). Pictured are Adrian, benefit claimant, and Emma Stone, Director of Policy and Research at the Joseph Rowntree Trust.
The portrait below is of Marie – new starter at Diamond Dispersions. This shot is an out-take, a pensive moment between animated, warm smiles. But I think it is too lovely to not see the light of day.
long summer days
I guess they’re coming to an end now, but it has been a great summer. I have loads of work that I can’t wait to get on here to share with the world. In the meantime here are a few shots that sum up summer for me – dusky light, a trampoline and a pirate t-shirt…
I don’t think I can have too many bicycles on here can I? Is that possible? Anyway, this was a bit of good fortune on a shoot to illustrate the joys of living in a certain lovely North Yorkshire Market town. The departure of the 6:30 ride from the local bike shop met with some lovely light. It made for my favourite little sequence of the day, so I thought I’d share it here.
Having had some time off lends me the chance to share a few holiday pics. So long as you approach Centre Parcs with the right frame of mind, particularly if travel by bike holds some level of appeal (which it most certainly does for me), and especially if you are happy on a warm English evening to sit on a deck under some trees by a lake, with just the ting of cycle bells and the chink of ice in a glass as accompaniment, then it is not such a bad place.
Strange admittedly, but not bad…
back to school
I guess that many schools have broken up for the summer now, but here are a few of my favourites from a shoot a couple of weeks ago. Shot for a school prospectus and hopefully the first of a series of shoots for a trust, the aim of the day was simply to capture the children enjoying being at their lovely school. Although the staff were incredibly helpful in setting up all sorts of activities for the camera, as always the best pictures were those moments that you just can’t fake…
a new project
This is something new I’m pretty excited about. I’ve been working on this with some new friends (and will be doing for the next 12 months or so). Please contact me if you would like to see more. It is going to be great though.
I have just updated the galleries on this site.
While that obviously involves shuffling files around between a computer and some server somewhere, for me it also meant printing, trimming and shuffling lots of photographs around on my office floor. This kind of process is, for me at least, one of the joys of photography: that of venturing out into the world, looking at lots of stuff and then picking just some little snippets to take home. I think it is really important to spread them out, look at what colours and shapes and content work together. Editing is a deceptively tricky skill to acquire, and one that I don’t claim to have mastered by any means.
I probably do spend far more time looking at photographs (and not just my own), than I do taking them. It is essential, formative, but mainly a real joy.
I love my job.
It might just be that spring has finally arrived. Only a month or so late… It is time to get the bike out of the shed anyway. Here is my good friend Ben on Post Hill. Not a real mountain, but good enough when it is just across the valley from my house.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on a project for a major regional transport company the past month or so. It was great to hear that my test shots went down really well with the client. I relished the really open brief and the relaxed art direction from Lanie Green at Our Agency allowed me shoot in a manner that will hopefully be an antidote to the sort of awkward, stock photography filled ads normally seen in bus stations and on platforms across the nation. So despite record breaking bad weather (snow on most shooting days!), we have almost finished creating the first part of what I think will be a beautiful image library. Here is a small selection. I’ll be adding a full gallery to the site very soon.
It is a month since I photographed another Wakefield based artist, Richard Sweeney, who makes beautiful sculptures from folded paper. I guess I’m a more enthusiastic photographer than I am a blogger… Richard is both fascinating and lovely, and I hope that I get another chance to head over to his studio to see what he is creating. I found the combination of order and chaos typical to creative studios particularly intriguing here. Here is a little selection: