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Drag Queens of London - London Live

I recently had the pleasure of shooting the campaign image for the new TV show Drag Queens of London.

A few weeks back on a rainy Friday evening whilst travelling back from a long day shopping for furniture to go in the new studio, I received an exciting call from Thom at Ian Johnson Publicity,

Thom had been tasked with commissioning the campaign press shots to promote a new TV show, ‘Drag Queens of London’.  Thom explained, “Imagine ‘Made In Chelsea’ but with Drag Queens”.  As soon as I heard the words “shooting…Drag Queens…outrageous…fun” I was immediately keen to get involved.

“Are you free Monday at all? It’s the only day we are going to be able to shoot it as they are filming the shows trailer, so all the characters will be there”. 

I was free & knew we could easily turn it around in the few days lead we had, so with a huge grin and lots of giddy school boy enthusiasm I responded “Yep lets do it, sounds awesome.”

That weekend Thom & I exchanged various emails and visual references until we nailed down a concept that we felt really suited the show.  Once this was settled I got on the phone to sort the production side of things.

Soon enough Monday was upon us and we arrived at the location the production company had sorted for us, right in the beating heart of Soho, ‘The Shadow Lounge’.

Once we learnt how to switch off the light-up dance floor, flagged the giant disco ball & mirrored ceiling, got the lights in place, set up the digi kit & took the lens cap off, we were all good to go and one by one the glamorous Drags started heading over.

I have to say that I don’t think I have ever walked away from a shoot with so many golden quotes, although, “You’ll let me know if my c**k pops out won’t you love?” was possibly my favourite.

Each of the Queens we shot were brilliant in so many ways, it made my job of capturing them even more interesting as I wanted to ensure I encapsulated each of their personas in a way that when grouped together they all stood out individually to the viewer.  Each of them brought completely contrasting characters that were both incredibly entertaining and somewhat mesmerising.

Big thanks must go to Thom & Ian from Ian Johnson Publicity, who are not only brilliant & creative professionals to work with but are great fun too.  My assistant Phil, who was & continues to be great at anticipating my every move.  Last but not least, Sophie my retoucher who put the polish (and then some) on the shots, & created exactly what I wanted effortlessly!!

Also a big shout out must go to Chris at 123 Lighting for the quick response on the weekend, and on time delivery of some awesome Profoto gear. Really looking forward to working with them again in the future.

Finally a huge thanks to all the glamorous, hilarious, charming, straight-talking, professional & incredibly talented Drag Queens of London that were involved in helping create a great set of shots; The Very Miss Dusty 'O', Meth, Lady Lloyd, Munroe Bergdorf, Silver Summers, Baga Chipz, Vanity Von Glow, Rosie Beaver, Vicki Vivacious

The show goes live on the 22nd April at 10pm on the new entertainment channel, London Live. From what I’ve heard and seen it’s going to be a make up fuelled corker!

Mc Coy's - Al Murray The Pub Landlord

I was recently commissioned to shoot Al Murray for McCoy’s crisps.

McCoy’s agency BMB wanted to capture some great portraits of Al Murray as the much loved character, ‘The Pub Landlord’ for their new ‘Rio Local’ campaign, in which people can vote online to put their local pub on a plane to Rio De Janeiro.  The lucky wining pub will be recreated in Rio for the 2014 World Cup.

Was a great day & fun shoot to be part of… as soon as you hear the words ‘Shoot Al Murray in a pub’, you know it’s going to be a good’un.

Al was an absolute gent and all round top funny bloke!

Big thanks to Pat, Toby, Stephen & Vijay at BMB. Also huge thanks to Nick & Beth who helped out on the day, your assistance was brilliant & much appreciated. Last but not least thanks to Sophie Lawes for the retouching and brilliant banter.

If you want to see the shots in situ, head over to the McCoy’s website & perhaps even get involved & nominate your local boozer. 

Chevrolet - Manchester United Autographed Trax

Recent commission for Chevrolet

The brief was to shoot a set of images of Man Utd players with a one of a kind ‘Trax’ SUV, liveried with a motif bonnet that was signed by the entire Barclays Premier League winning team of 2012/13. The shots were to promote a series of Ebay auctions hosted by the brand, in which all the profits raised from the various auctions of signed goods were donated to The Manchester United Foundation.

The shoot took place at Old Trafford itself, which being a supporter of the club since I was a young lad was pretty special for me.

It was a fun shoot technically as we only had the players for 10 minutes & that slot had to be split between both my crew and the film crew that shot the online video content.

In order to achieve the end result we had to have our set up completely nailed and marked out as we were jumping in to shoot second.  This meant, first positioning the kit and getting sign off from the client & then removing it to allow the film crew to get the shots they needed. Eventually when our moment came, we had to move quickly to reposition the lighting & get the whole set up back in place to nail the shots.

Luckily I had an awesome crew that helped out and were all over it. Big shout out to Phill Bradley who was all over the lighting crew management and keeping things running smoothly, top lad and a brill assistant.

Super pleased with how the shots turned out, and they certainly got a lot of coverage, so all in all a success me thinks.

Wolf Blass Wines - Sky Sports Sponsorship

Commission I recently shot for Wolf Blass Wines to promote their sponsorship of Sky Sports Ashes



Hurrah its almost Christmas & I’m still able to watch cricket…must mean only one thing…The Ashes!!  Which is good for two reasons. The first being that we get to see the England boys do what they do best, drink afternoon tea & whoop the Aussies in their own land....although the latter maybe looking a little less certain with the results from the first two tests and today looking even more shakey.  Although, the second joyous reason of course is that I can finally share some of the shots I did for Wolf Blass Wines for their sponsorship of Sky Sports coverage of the Ashes.


I was commissioned to do the shoot back in the summer & have to say that it was a brilliant two days in which I got to meet & shoot some of my childhood heroes & cricket legends such as Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss, Graham Thorpe, Bob Willis, Mark Butcher, Mathew Hoggard...the list goes go on and on.


The location in which the shoot took place was pretty bloody spectacularly special too, The Getty Family’s Estate, Wormsley Park.  We were given access to the family library which was exactly like how you would imagine it to be, but even bigger and full of some amazing pieces such as as a first edition of ChaucerBen Jonson's annotated copy of Spenser, and Shakespeare Folios…lets just say it was pretty grand.

I was shooting alongside the film crew doing the TV campaign on the day so was a full on hectic but great day for all involved. 

Big shout out to all the crew that helped out on the day.

You can watch a few of the videos from the day here

A few behind the scenes bits I picked up on the day for y'all:


Katie Readman – Leading Lady

I recently shot the lovely Katie Readman for ‘The Gentleman’s Journal’ a brilliant & stylish men’s magazine.

It was one of those brilliant and intense last minute jobs in which I got the call up at 8pm to see if I was keen, and we were scheduled to be on set & good to go at 9am the next morning.

After, a late night of packing kit, sourcing an assistant & pulling together a style & inspiration sheet we were good to go.

We were shooting in Ed’s Easy Diner in Soho, which was styled brilliantly to go with the 50’s American theme of the piece, but was also a rather tight space of about 3 metres wide and full of tables…not ideal but also not a problem. As I was told when first starting out all those years ago, ‘There is no such thing as bad light or no space, that’s just no imagination or technical ability’.

Katie from Models One’s special bookings was brilliant & a true professional, having just stepped off a plane from LA, one would think that jetlag may have been on the horizon, but she was more bright eyed and fresh faced than I would have been after whole week of sleep. Not only was she ace & stunning in front of the camera, she was also truly charming & a pleasure to work with.

So that was that, outfit hair & makeup all set, we got the diner to whip us up some legendary shakes & vintage style coca cola bottles & went to work, shooting on both digital & some Impossible Project Polaroid.  We were wrapped, packed & out of there by 10:30 with a lovely set of shots. Not bad if I say so myself.

Big thanks must go to all the gang at ‘The Gents Journal’. Katie, for looking & generally being great. Phill Bradley who assisted & made my day a hell of a lot easier. Daisy Knights for the awesome jewellery, & Beautiful Bottoms for the lovely garments. Last but not least my awesome retoucher, Sophie Lawes.

The autumn issue came out today, so do go check it out.

DJ Future

I recently had the pleasure of receiving the call to shoot a fresh up and coming talent, Ben Frith aka DJ Future


I quite often get calls from people telling me that the new talent they have signed or found is going to be the next big thing and that I “have to work with them” & they are ‘destined for greatness’…etc, etc.

However, when my good friend Julia from Ourkidbrother called I knew this was different.  Everyone I have ever met through Jules that she has given her seal of approval to have almost always gone through the roof, so I couldn’t really turn it down.

I’m glad I didn’t, because once I met Ben in the OKB offices in Soho it was clear to see that he emits a radiance of self-belief & talent, that is both inspiring & infectious. This self belief has allowed him to sort clothing deals with Adidas, mix exclusively for SBTV & appear on BBC 1Xtra, whilst also supporting various big name artists at club nights including Magnetic Man, Example, Katy B, Delvin, MistaJam and many more.

So we headed out into Soho with just a small crew & minimal kit and put together a nice collection of shots for Ben & the team supporting/managing him.

As we were finishing up the shoot I asked Ben if he was in town for long, to which he told me he was going to be heading home as he had to collect his GCSE exam results the next day, which at first made me feel old as f***, but also made me realise that this kid was definitely onto something great, & was more than likely going to be another one of Julia’s success stories.

Big thanks to everyone involved :)

Strongbow - Earn It

This Summer I was commissioned to shoot for Strongbow to capture their sponsorship of the self-styled "toughest event on the planet", Tough Mudder.

I was asked to capture shots of successful ‘Mudder’s’ enjoying the blissful moment of crossing the line knowing that they had a cold refreshing pint of Strongbow waiting for them, to tie in with the brands ‘Earn It’ campaign.

For those of you that have never been to a Tough Mudder event, let me tell you that it is one of the funniest & worst things I have ever seen in equal measure.  Over the course of two weekends we spent shooting, we watched grown men & women slowly broken down & reduced to nothing but broken teary eyed shivering & filthy shells of their former selves.

My personal favourite obstacle was the final challenge the ‘Mudders’ had to face before crossing the finish line, perfectly named ‘Electroshock Therapy’. It really was as if we were watching a constant stream of epic fails, as the damaged weary husks of what were originally men and women had to run through dangling live electric wires (whilst soaking wet) without getting shocked…not possible!

Basically every single person we watched tackle this 4 metre long gauntlet of hanging electric cabling was repeatedly zapped by 10,000 volts of electricity, which was usually so powerful it knocked them to the ground, & judging from the blood curdling screams it most certainly didn’t tickle….we bloody loved watching it!!!

I knew that it was directly after crossing the line that I wanted to capture the ‘Mudder’s’ portraits as it was in those first few seconds that they realised they had completed the challenge that really personified the key aspirational message ‘Earn It’. 


We would grab them in their dazed muddy states as they crossed the line & ask them to stand for a portrait & then quickly rattle off shots on a shallow depth of field that focussed on the eyes, capturing both the intensity & relief in them.  We had to be really reactive to our surroundings and the constant changing light whilst also only having seconds to capture those key moments.  But to be quite honest I find working in high pressured ever changing environments the most rewarding, as you really have to trust your instincts & to put it simply in the words of my lovely Mum “not dilly dally”.


Big thanks to the brilliant team that helped out on both shoots, Geraldine, Laura, Rosa & Anna who sorted all the logistics & accreditation. Also, a special thanks to Tom Farmery who did a brill job of fighting through the crowds with the lighting & managing to keep things as clean as possible (not easy) on the first shoot, & big thanks to the off road buggy driving extraordinaire Dan Ross who did a brilliant digi job on the second shoot and made my day an easy and smooth one. Last but not least, thanks to the super talented Sophie Lawes for the retouching. You were all great :D

Paris baby!

So I am writing this post as I edge ever closer to the tunnel ‘under the sea’(I can't ever say this phrase without putting on voice of the crab from the Little Mermaid) back to London, as I have been away on a shoot. The Eurostar truly is a great thing and makes getting to Paris easier than visiting my family up north.

I really do wish I could share with you about the job, and also tell you who it was for…but alas NDA’s have been signed and I’m not a kiss and tell kind of guy.

What I can tell you is that it was the first 2 days of a sweet ass commission shooting right in the centre of Paris for a big travel company.

I always love heading to Paris & especially when we get to stay in such swanky digs as we got put up in…although I do think a pillow menu is a little excessive

…Although I must shamefully admit that the bamboo pillow did work wonders on my neck and had tremendous 'cooling properties as described' *hangs head in shame*

Another highlight was when we wrapped day 1 on set the words that left the clients mouth were “shall we head back to the hotel and sign the shots off over a drink on the roof terrace”….WIN!!

Day two was equally fun and started with seeing a ‘crazy puppy salesman’ who had decided to set up shop just outside the entrance to the metro station, just in case any early morning commuters fancied splashing out on a little ball of fur on the way to work…or missed breakfast and was feeling the need for hot dog…*hangs head in shame again

So yeah sorry I can’t share any more about the job, but I felt the need to kill sometime and fill you all in on my goings on

I’ll leave you with the view I had as I stuffed my ENGLISH breakfast into my mouth this morning :D

See you soon London! 

& see you a few times over the next two weeks Paris you pastry filled beauty x

Ohhhhh!!! New Folio

Earlier this week, I was like an excitable teenager, when I got to head into Clerkenwell to pick up my brand spanking new Folio that had been lovingly made by the incredibly talented and bloody lovely Cathy Roberts (http://www.cathyrobert.com/) and her brilliant ‘Delta Design’ team.

 

I always love sticking new work into a folio…however, let me tell you that going down to Cathy’s studio was worlds apart from how I normally feel when I bosh a few new prints out….WOW!! What they made in there is a thing of beauty (the folio in case you were wondering) and exactly to the specifications & design that I gave Cathy two weeks ago.

 

I didn’t just get the folio, but got the full works of the slip case in inverted colours & the matching iPad case and filled it full of lots of new work.  I also went out of my comfort zone for this project & went for some double-sided prints so that I could get away from those horrible shiny plastic sleeves that have acted as barriers for my work in the past. For anyone who has never done double sided printing before its a long, confusing and painstaking process, but the end product looks beautiful. But really when has beauty been easy to make, my parents had to have two attempts before they made me :D

So if you want to see this little pride and joy that is now home to my work and have a chat, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

Douwe Egberts – The Flavour Collective

I was recently commissioned by the lovely bunch at Cubo to shoot the above the line campaign for the new Douwe Egberts ‘The Flavour Collective’.

 

Was a great campaign to be part of and ran in various formats & various mags.  In fact it has recently been put out again & this time as a cover wrap on Stylist magazine.

Huge thanks go out to Claire, Ryan & Morgan from Cubo and my witty northern assistant Dan Ross.