Now this was a big one. Being asked to shoot Ginger Baker for MOJO magazine is of course a tremendous privilege but it's not without it's own 'atmosphere'. The story is well laid out in the new issue of MOJO (December 2014) and it's worth the read because while Ginger is a legendary drummer, he is also a properly cantankerous old man, loaded with defensiveness and a lot of bitter memory. The reasons for these are well documented too but it does create a challenge when you need to sit the fella down and shoot a portrait. His health is ailing, he chain smokes, he's just done a two hour interview (like this one) laid out on a LazyBoy so it's true to say he wasn't that up for it but I harangued a good 15 frames from him, including, rather brilliantly, some happy-looking ones and I got the briefest of glimpses at what might have been some friendliness and warmth. I then proceeded to bugger that up by letting his dog out. As we left he shouted 'YOU IDIOTS!" then slammed his door. He's probably right.
Me and the team headed back to V in Chelmsford for another solid year of press, PR and back to back bands. It's full on but bloody great PLUS we mercifully have our own Winnebago. I used this opportunity to jump to Nikon after 22 years with Canon EOS, and man, I'm really impressed with the way it's gone so far. Rik at PocketLint wrote a post about it - do have a click if you're interested in the whys and wherefores, but I have to tell you Canon users - the Nikon D810 is a work of wonder and has astonishing capabilities, especially when in the hands of someone who actually knows what they're doing. I will one day hopefully.
Shot for PUMA at his training ground in Brunel University, West London on a glorious summer's day, this I'm afraid was another absolute gem of a shoot. We set up early, watched the fastest man in the world ever train, then nailed a few lovely images at a very relaxed pace. Grabbed this image below as Usain timed, then comically berated, his fellow sprinters. Not the worst gig ever.
Can you imagine, looking through your viewfinder and seeing Smokey Robinson smiling at you? When this happened to me, I have to tell you dear blog reader, that I lowered my camera and in a flash of incredible unprofessionalism, I had to proclaim to the room 'I CANNOT BELIEVE SMOKEY ROBINSON IS LOOKING BACK AT ME!' before carrying on with the shoot. Shot for the forthcoming MOJO Interview (August issue) I can honestly tell you it's the phonecall I've dreamt of getting my whole career and thank goodness Smokey was so delightfully courteous and warm else I would have been ruined. Geoff Brown's piece in the mag is an insight and a half so if I never shoot anything again it doesn't matter because this happened. Shot on a Hasselblad 50C with 35-90 lens, with Elinchrom Ranger lighting through a Photek Softlighter, photo fans.