Friday, 30 October 2015

Rugby on the beach with Billy Twelvetrees and Crew Clothing

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It’s rugby fever in England right now with the world cup coming to an end after many exciting matches. So here’s my photoshoot with Gloucester’s captain and all round fine man Billy Twelvetrees. I captured Billy on the beach in Salcombe for Crew Clothing playing a cheeky game with the local rugby team.

I grew up in a corner of Devon with beautiful sandy beaches and endless photography locations. Not only that but it is also where Crew Clothing had its first shop and where Billy likes to spend his holidays. This made Salcombe the perfect place for our shoot. Obviously I suggested a game of rugby on the beach, something I did a lot as a teenager.

There are definitely advantages to shooting in your hometown, firstly you know exactly who to call at the local rugby club to gather together a team at short notice to play rugby with a famous fly-half. Secondly you know all the right spots to shoot, no scouting required. And thirdly my Dad can easily turn up mid-shoot in his boat with 10 pasties for the crew from the local butchers.

It was such a pleasure working with Billy again, for our last shoot he jumped about in the cold water and this time jumped face first into the sand time and again for us so we could get the perfect shot. He's always totally up for your ideas. I worked closely on the shoot with the director Joe Morgan splitting the day between to capture stills and video showing the rugby expert enjoying the seaside and promoting the game.


Find out more about Billy’s thoughts on the world cup and get some tips from the top man on Crew’s website: http://www.crewclothing.co.uk/billy/


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Ruth and Dennis Wilson for the Sunday Times Magazine

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If you open The Sunday Times magazine today you will come across an incredible story about a poet and Second World War veteran and a Golden Globe winning actress. I had the pleasure to take their portrait.

The “Relative Values” is a weekly feature of The Sunday Times Magazine about two relatives and their relationship. When I got a call to photograph Ruth and Dennis B Wilson who only found out they were related less than a decade ago, I had no idea what to expect. I won’t give away too much of that story, but I can tell you it’s a “straight-from-a-spy-novel” one.

I met Ruth and Dennis on a day when their large family was organising a gathering at Ruth’s parents’ place in Warminster. The house was busy and they were both excited to see each other. In the hustle and bustle I had only a short moment to take a portrait which would tell you something about their relationship.

A relationship is a great thing to photograph. When I work with just one sitter often I am in the leading position: coming up with ideas, giving directions, encouraging my subject to reveal themselves to me for the best image possible. Relationships are different - they simply happen. There will be an ambient around two people who know one another without anyone trying. The conversation will flow, the stories are there, the relatives are relaxed in their own surroundings and company. As a photographer my job was almost not to interfere here - I can take a backseat, watch two people being themselves around each other and … snap: a relationship captured in a still frame.


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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Work/life balance is so overrated - Gusbourne Estate wines

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People often tell me how exciting my job seems to them. However, if they ever saw me collapse in heap after 8 hours straight of editing pictures on my computer, they may change their minds. I have to admit though, a lot of the commissions I do are not too bad: from jetting around the continents for a rebranding job, to meeting top celebrity divorce lawyers. Exciting as these are, rarely do I get an assignment that feels like the full-blown holiday many of my friends imagine when hearing about my work.

If I were to choose a good weekend away in Britain, I would happily opt for Kent’s countryside with the winding roads and stunning coastline. Add a spot of wine-tasting to it and it is no surprise that Kent has recently been voted one of Europe’s top holiday destinations. It just so happened that my recent commission took me to the Gusbourne Estate where I was asked to create an image library for various promotional uses for the vineyard. The light was gorgeous, the people fascinating and I spent two days on the estate getting to know the ins-and-outs of producing top-notch wine in the UK. I made friends with Andrew, the chairman of the estate who upon his retirement as an orthopaedic surgeon bought some land and fulfilled his dream of owning a vineyard. I discovered that ancient as the craft of winemaking is, there is plenty of very modern science involved and I thoroughly enjoyed how the vineyard dog - Hamish - followed his favourite human John the vineyard manager around.

It is commissions like that that throw the whole work/life balance debate out of the window for me. Why not just enjoy both work and life at the same time? For more of these commissions I am happy to do twice the number of hours in front of the computer. Well, almost.

Thanks to Gusbourne Estate for providing me with the weekend feeling on a job and to Wondersphere for the fabulous commission. You can get your hands on a Gusbourne wine at Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason and Oddbins. I would thoroughly recommend them. Especially the blanc de blancs.

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Finalist in the AOP Awards



My photograph of the celebrity divorce lawyer Raymond "Jaws" Tooth was selected as a finalist in the Association of Photographers Awards. It is a great honour to be featured amongst the amazing images selected as the shortlist and a pleasure to see my image as part of the AOPs exhibition. It's also nice to see my image picked out in the Creative Review's blog post about the award.

Thanks again to The Sunday Times Magazine for the commission and to Raymond Tooth for agreeing to pose in a shark mask.