Monday, 24 August 2015

Helping Pathway to help the homeless: they need your support

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Have you ever been in a hospital? Not a nice feeling. Now imagine being homeless and needing help from a hospital. This is what Federico Garcia asked me to do. At Frontera he has created a wonderful idea to raise money for a homeless charity and we need your help to fund it.


Pathway is a charity that works on improving the healthcare standards for rough sleepers and homeless people across the UK and thus improving their chances of getting on the path out of homelesness. They work with hospitals across the country ensuring that the most vulnerable groups receive compassionate care leading to a more positive life path.


Pathway have just launched a campaign promoting their work in which seven former homeless people who benefited from the charity’s work donated items of clothing dear to them to fashion designers across Europe to upcycle for charity. The pieces hold particular significance as the ones they valued most from their time on the streets. The fashion designers will upcycle them and the owners’ “stories of rebirth” will be stitched to the inside of the clothing.


Frontera asked me to take portraits of the seven donors to help promote the campaign and in particular the crowdfunder which will hopefully pay for the organisation of the auction where the upcycled clothes will be sold.


The stories the sitters told me were heartwrenching. Each different and each uniquely touching. From stories of abuse at home that led to running away from home and life on the streets, to seemingly small accidents leading to the same outcome. These people have been through awful things and I was honoured that they wanted to share their stories with me in front of my camera.


If I had learnt one thing it is that sometimes a few moments of bad luck can turn one’s life upside down. Stability is not a given: even with a successful career just one unfortunate trip on the underground can lose you a family and the life you’d known. Luckily, it works both ways - even from a life of prostitution people can turn around and help others in need. We need organisations like Pathway to help the bad stories turn into the best ones.


You can find out more about Pathway on their website: http://www.pathway.org.uk/about-us/

Support their work by donating to the crowdfunder: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/stories-of-rebirth/

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Friday, 14 August 2015

Hong Kong

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I recently had the pleasure of going to Hong Kong for a commission of which I can’t tell you much about yet. What I can, however, do is share some of my photos from the day I had to explore the city. It was my first visit to the Far East and certainly not the last one. Hong Kong is a thrilling place: hot, misty and busy. Visually stimulating on every corner - from the high rising buildings to the lively markets down below - it just begs to be captured. People are always on the move, the traffic is insane, even the lights at night put on a show.


I saw the maids (apparently the profession makes up 3% of Hongkongese population) enjoying a day off in makeshift cardboard booths, tried fish-flavoured congealed rice (tastes as interesting as it sounds) and made friends with a few locals keen to show me the best of the city. One day is not enough to capture Hong Kong, but I feel my photos show at least a glimpse of the buzzing, teeming feeling that Hong Kong will greet you with.

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Nick Lovatt - A Brit abroad: Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for The Sunday Times Magazine

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I was asked to photograph Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for Sunday Times Magazine for an article about the letters she receives from people in need. You know you’re in for a treat when the sitter describes herself as a "leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist, Shia Muslim, part-Pakistani, and ... a very responsible person". In a brief sitting Yasmin told me of the letters she receives from the Muslim community asking for support. You may have heard of her alerting the police following a letter she received from from a victim of sexual abuse by BBC’s former presenter Stuart Hall. Since then, there have been many other letters and Yasmin works tirelessly to provide support to those in need.


Thank you to The Sunday Times team for the eye-opening commission.


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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Wilfried Zaha for the Premier League Kicks

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“I guess that will have to do” was the only thought that came to me when I was given exactly 30 seconds to photograph Wilfried Zaha for the Premier League recently.


The Premier League runs an initiative called “Premier Kicks” which aims to inspire and help children from less advantaged backgrounds get into sport. I was invited to photograph a recent session of Premier Kicks in Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha was the guest star of the evening and he certainly did provide the kids with inspiration. They were so excited I felt a bit sorry for the man trying not to get mobbed by the loving crowd. He did a quick presentation of his football skills and took his time letting all the kids take selfies with him. The fact that he himself was a Premier Kicks kid before his successful career as a midfielder for Crystal Palace really sparked the kids’ imagination.


At the end of it all, I had 30 seconds to take a few portraits of Wilfried to promote the Premiere Kicks initiative. He was then swiftly whisked off by his management leaving the kids with dreams of fantastic football careers and cars like his Lamborghini.


I also met George Henry who is a coach for Premier Kicks - another ex-kid from the Crystal Palace Kicks program proving that with a little bit of passion and a helping hand in inspiration, we can all do great things. After the madness of the event I jumped in the car with George and grabbed a few photos of him in the neighbourhood that he grew up in. He still lives there and tries to give as much back as he can through the work he does inspiring kids with sport.


Thank you Premier League for making me a part of your great initiative.

If you would like to know more about Premier League Kicks, here is a link: http://www.premierleague.com/content/premierleague/en-gb/communities/2014-15/about-premier-league-kicks/

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

I am off again.

 Warwick on the big ass truck

Last summer I packed a tent, a shiny new bike and my camera and headed to California for a cycling adventure.

The bike is a bit less shiny today, the tent a bit worn but the camera is the same and I am off again. Oregon and California - here I come.

Expect plenty of photos upon my return. And in the meantime catch up with me on instagram where I shall be posting the weird and the wonderful from the trip.

Oregon dunes
Yachats
 Our days look like this...
Day 2 finish - beers on the beach at Sunset in Oregon

Monday, 13 July 2015

Where other artists work - Abigail Edgar for Countryfile

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Do you wonder how others do their jobs? I do. All the time. And I don’t mean accountants and HR officers. I have little interest in the secret lives of estate agents too. What interests me is how other creatives work. Show me a photographer’s studio and I am instantly hooked. Take me to an artist's house and there will be no end to my questions.

On a recent commission for the Countryfile Magazine I was asked to photograph Abigail Edgar. Abigail is a painter and illustrator working with watercolours, pastels and charcoal. She is passionate about art and loves to pass this passion on to others. She teaches in a number of places and was keen to encourage others to sketch in her Countryfile article.

I found it fascinating how Abigail’s space seem to reflect her personality. Tranquil and atmospheric, her studio was full of light. The big window overlooking picturesque English countryside provides plenty of inspiration, no doubt. Her desk is right next to it and I loved spotting the little details around the room: the pictures of her children stuck here and there, and unfinished sketch of a tree. You could feel the creative juices flowing through the room and being translated into the beautiful art Abigail creates. My only hope is that my work space shows something as interesting about me as Abigail’s does about her!

Thank you Countryfile Magazine for the pleasure of photographing Abigail! The magazine is out now and so go and get it to enjoy some drawing tips from Abigail with my photographs.

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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

And now for something a little different - Help for Heroes Summer Campaign

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Twice a year I pack my car and head out to some great British locations to shoot the Help for Heroes catalogue. The great British locations make excellent backdrops for the great cause of the charity but they are a tad less great when it comes to weather conditions. When another gloomy winter day loomed ahead of us for the summer collection photoshoot we had a different idea. How about a day in the studio with some lively colours? Bright summer yellows, juicy greens and vibrant reds add an instant summer feel to the catalogue. The coloured backdrops complement the collection and the excellent summery props added an extra touch of fun. A bit different than usual for the team and easily as effective for the email campaign - one of the charity’s biggest source of donations.

Ice lolly anyone?


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