I’m delighted that Tim Farron MP was voted to lead the Liberal Democrat party. Not that I’ll necessarily be voting for him, but because when I photographed him during an interview he came across as full of integrity with lots of fresh-faced enthusiasm. The interview took place in Portcullis House, Westminster for Inside Housing magazine. Due to his schedule I got very limited time to take posed portraits, so made the most of the opportunity to photograph him in discussion. Other British MPs portraits can be seen on the portraits section of my website.
I was delighted to see my pictures leap off the screen and onto these giant hoardings, advertising courses that the College of NW London offer. I spent 2 days going around the various departments shooting specifically for this purpose, spending more time than usual lighting as I knew the quality required was of paramount importance. 2 off camera flashes were used in mostly. The fact that this college offers lots of practical courses meant that desk/computer shots were thankfully kept to a minimum. I was relieved when I saw that the images were not pixelated even at over 2 meters tall – thanks Canon 5D3!
It was an enjoyable experience photographing an individual in the law industry who is as colourful as her snow globe collection suggests.
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff was the President of the Law Society for the year 2012-13. I photographed her at the end of her term reviewing her year in office.
Prior to this assignment, I knew she was a colourful character from a sighting of her at London Pride march surrounded by leather-clad stilt-walkers with their bottoms exposed.
But when I arrived in her office I was overjoyed to see that it was littered with souvenirs which had been collected from worldwide trips carried out on duty: a mask from the Brazilian Law Society, a Canadian moose head (made from wire). And then came the snow globes, collected from every country she had passed through in the year.
I chose the above picture to show because it depicts Lucy’s commitment to her role, while also revealing the fun side to her character with her collected artefacts in the background. Another picture of Lucy Scott-Moncrieff can be found in my gallery with other exceptional editorial portraits
There have to be easier ways of fundraising than abseiling down a tall building while donning a superhero costume. Yet that’s exactly what these five did on behalf of St. Mungo’s, the homeless charity. I love the James Bond like character in the background who looks like he’s making a quick crafty getaway. It’s one of those happy accidents that photographers get after taking about 20 shots of the same scene!
It’s not every day that I get a picture in one of the national newspapers, so when it happens I’m happy. This is a local story which could potentially have repercussions across the country’s pubs. The Landlord of Kilburn’s Black Lion is furious at his supplier’s cost for beer, and has boycotted draught ale altogether, resorting to sell bottles only. It’s a big risk for him, but there are pub landlords who are behind him, so the boycott could spread throughout pubs who are trapped in similar contracts.
The photo shows a wake being acted out for a keg of beer. It’s never easy shooting subjects dressed in black at night time in front of a black pub, so I was happy that I had time to get some height on the procession, and some light came from the right of the camera by way of a TV camera.
There’s another picture from the Black Lion during some more generic shoot of the pub in my assignments gallery
It’s not often that I get a commission from a tabloid newspaper, but last week I was phoned by the Sunday World to photograph a female nurse who appeared on the Graham Norton TV show. As an audience member, she told a story about how she caught the eye of an attractive man at the gym, but tripped up on her treadmill at a crucial moment as she was establishing eye contact. When I met her in Stratford, I realised that the part of the appeal for the newspaper was merely to splash a picture of a young lady across their pages, so I dutifully obliged by producing an aesthetically pleasing one. Hearing the story before setting off, I took the orange dumbbells which are a large part of the focus.
To see the one I picked for my website, please see my best editorial portraits here.
I had a sizeable commission from Briefing Magazine to shoot 7 portraits around London and Bristol. They’re all leaders in law firms, so the brief was to have them looking powerful and leader-like, and crucially outside their normal office environments. One of my favourite portrait photographers is Harry Borden, whose pictures I like because they’re quite understated, and he has a great eye for placing people in often unexpected locations. I feel inspiration from his work. With my portraits here, I was given 30minutes+ in order to strike up a little bit of rapport and wander around the immediate vicinity of the subjects’ workplace with them. I’ve often struggled in the past to feel comfortable with city workers, because their jobs seem so different from mine. However I now realise it’s best establish common ground outside the workplace, whether it ‘s about cycling, London-life or the perils of hair blowing in the wind! I’m happy with these images because as well as having high impact I feel I’ve captured a little of their personalities. Well, all except one who didn’t let his guard down, no matter how hard I tried. (Can you guess which one?).
I have photographed many MPs and I enjoy the challenge. The common conception of them being dashing off to meetings and having little spare time is true in my experience. I was nervous ahead of photographing Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Justice Minister, as the Art Editor at the Law Society Gazette phoned me several times to warn me that they were relaunching, and that I needed to come up with some pictures with a killer instinct. It was a profile piece, rather than a chatty or animated on, so luckily the mood suited the required pose. I took my usual brollie, and due to the rain it was being inconsistent and making me convulse in nervous exasperation! Luckily the silver reflector I had lifted the light in his eyes, providing a really intense light (image at top). He was a very patient sitter, and the reporter I asked to assist me with holding duty said she got more copy out of him through casual conversation on Parliament Square than she did during the whole interview.
I was commissioned to photograph the woman who is leading the government’s troubled family’s team, Louise Casey. The pictures of her being interviewed came out well due to the light streaming in from the window behind her, and the fact that she was very animated and unconscious.
She said she could talk for hours about what she’s passionate about, to which I replied I could do the same on the subject of photography.
When it came to taking the posed shots for which I had scouted a location earlier, my lens decided to send cryptic messages to my camera, to the tune of error message. I got flustered and took it straight down to the camera doctor soon after, but I’m pleased that I got at least one shot that I’m happy with, particularly the playful nature of the colourful sculpture contrasted with her serious expression.
At the weekend I brought home more than I bargained for, as I got rained upon by sweat from boxers fighting at Alexandra Palace. I took a combination of photos from the giant organ at one side of the Great Hall, which gave me a wide perspective of the crowd on all sides of the ring. The commission required taking photos of the crowd, and as I’d never attended a professional match before, so I saw it as a good opportunity to observe. Lots of men, as you’d expect and very laddish in their behaviour with extremely glam trophy wives and girlfriends paraded around. I think all of them aspired to be boxers. I concentrated on the ringside shots once I had photographed all the context. It’s one of the most difficult sports to photograph, as there’s a very small window of vision in which to poke the camera lens through, between two ropes. No flash is permitted, and available light is minimal, while the photographers are all jostling with each other for elbow space.