Thursday, 8 December 2016

Ray Mears for the Sunday Times Magazine


“Can you drive into that stream please?”
“Light a fire there please.”
“Sit in that mud please.”
“Do you mind if we pour water on your head?”

Ray Mears is not a man to complain. Maybe it’s because he is a photographer himself, but he was totally dedicated to getting the most from our shoot for the Sunday Times Magazine. After giving me a guided off-road tour in his Landrover we finally decided to shoot his portrait in a stream. He drove his vehicle into a ridiculous position, jumped out and proceeded to crack on with his bushman skills. In the time it took me to set up a softbox he had a fire going and coffee on the boil. Just to help matters the rain started pouring and the wind picked up. But Ray still didn’t complain and whilst my assistants and I waded around in the stream firing smoke machines at him and throwing leaves all over the place he just sat calmly and told us stories about his travels.

If you ever need someone to go to in a post-apocalyptic world, I totally recommend Ray Mears. A fine man with amazing skills who is full of stories.

Thanks to Emily at The Sunday Times Magazine for the fun assignment.


Monday, 5 December 2016

Don't take a picture, give it - Help Portrait at The Passage


Don’t take a photo, give it.

That’s the motto of the Help Portrait movement. Founded in the USA but taken up by people around the world it has become a way for the photography community to give back and use their talents to help others. A photoshoot is a wonderful way of paying attention to someone in a very personal way and making them feel significant. It's also a great fun experience and the memories from it can last a lifetime.
The Passage is London’s largest charity helping and guiding homeless and vulnerable people everyday. We wanted to give our time to those people who are often ignored by society and leave them with an experience to remember - as well as some great photos. So we descended on the center in Victoria and set up a full photo studio inside. Every person to step in front of my camera was amazing. They were awesome people who really embraced the experience. We had some singing Elvis to us, a few telling us their story, and others posing in the most exuberant way. I love the photos we made together. We printed the images for each of them to keep and we will be sharing the photos online to help raise awareness of the work the Passage does.

To donate to the Passage please head over here:

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Mim Quin-Harkin - stylist
Pascale Recher - Make-up
Katherin Cotton - organising
Liam Bergin - production
Angela Dennis - photo assistant
Colin Chan - retouching
Pete @ - BTS video
Tildy Allan - assistant
Fotospeed - paper donation

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The best street in Shoreditch - Wileyfox Swift 2 Phone

God bless the people of Shoreditch. There is an amazing corner right outside Shoreditch High Street station that literally has hundreds of wonderful and unique people walking past it all day long - the perfect place for a photoshoot.

This story starts with me showing my portfolio to the art buyers at Hogarth & Ogilvy. Something must have clicked because a few days later I got a call asking me to shoot a campaign in the same style as my Portrait of California project.

This was for a tech company called Wileyfox who want people to see their mobile phones as different, fun, and exciting. So Dan at Ogilvy decided to make a video in a different way: using just still images - and all those images would be portraits. But how do you find enough people to photograph who are different, fun and exciting with only a couple of days until the shoot?

Cue a fearless team who could walk up to strangers and ask to photograph them, a white sheet stuck to a wall outside Shoreditch High Street, vast quantities of energy providing jelly babies, and a nearly endless supply of interesting people walking past. 75 portrait shoots later and we had everything we needed and more. Here is what Dan made with the shots - I love it.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Caught in the moment - Middlesbrough's promotion to the Premier League


Everyone knew that the moment the final whistle went the crowd would go insane. The pitchside security had given up trying to control them. I waited, crouched behind the goal eager to capture the moment. The whistle went. One person made a jump for the barrier. Then another. Two more. Then a tsunami of fans poured onto the pitch. Grown men crying. People screaming with happiness. Euphoria took over the air as Middlesbrough celebrated.

I had been chosen by the Premier League to capture the feelings of the final match of the season. My brief was to watch the crowd and photograph them. It’s the strangest way to be in a stadium - you don’t know what’s happening on the pitch, but you do know the emotions of the people around you intimately. Every movement watched intensely, every goal a triumph, every miss a tragedy.

I finished the night standing on a seat overlooking a pitch covered in people, chants echoing around the stadium summing up what awaited them next season...



Friday, 28 October 2016

BAFTA Breakthrough Brits 2016


“Don’t ask me about apple pie… it’s a bit too personal”

When you have to spend two days photographing the best of the best in new talent you don’t quite know what to expect. It turns out that you can discover some of their more intimate secrets. Did you know that Malachi Kirby is almost romantic about his love for apple pie? Florence Pugh on the other hand has a thing for the taste of unripe bananas. And there’s nothing like dancing with Kayode Ewumi. Not only can he move his hips in an alluring manner, but he also very good at playing air guitar whilst winking at the camera. He really is a flirt, as were a lot of the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits to be honest.

BAFTA asked me to photograph their new team of Breakthrough Brits. Selected by a star-studded jury this group of talented people from the TV, film and gaming worlds are definitely worth keeping an eye on. It was a total pleasure meeting them all and I can’t wait to see what they create next.

To find out more about the Breakthrough Brits head over to the BAFTA site: LINK

Kayode Ewumi

Helen Walsh

Malachi Kirby

Jon McKellan

Marnie Dickens

Tom Davis

Matt Hyde

Ellen Husain
Michael Berliner
Tim Wicksteed
Ruth Madeley

Rebecca Lloyd

Nainita Desai
Eben Bolter

Vinay Patel

Florence Pugh

Kayode Ewumi
Ellen Husain

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A day in the life of a fan - the Premier League


Ever been to a football match? It’s all about emotion. Loud chanting, passionate gestures and the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself.

I was asked to capture this feeling for the Premier League. It was Watford's last match of the season and their fans were feeling good. Ali fell in love with Watford many years ago and introduced his daughter Sana to it as soon as he could. They now travel to most matches together and sit in the singing section at the centre of the Watford supporters. We had the chance to follow them throughout their day.

It was a pleasure to work alongside Alex Wallace and co-direct the film with him. You can read the story on the Premier Leagues site here: LINK