Had worse moments in my life. More shots to follow.
The hug Graham so willingly offered me was very welcome, I can tell you. In a tricky situation you need a friend, and Graham I thank you for your kindness.
Photographed for MOJO at the House of St Barnabas, you wouldn't call Damon keen and eager when it comes to photoshoots. You have to respect that though, not everyone is up for it and you can't knock his achievements which you wouldn't call inhibited by his lack of love for the lens. He's edgy, decisive, firm and very, very cool. I love the shots.
Jerry Dammers of the legendary Specials. So proud of this one, to meet someone responsible for so much that I loved as a kid is the true privilege of this job. His music and politics were wonderfully intertwined in a way that made both stronger and the shoot I hope reflected this love and respect. A lovely addition to the experience was a shout from Supersize Art who created the Gangsters 7" replica that makes this image work so well, framing Jerry behind. Morgan Howell's art is astonishing and well worth hanging in your own home. Such a find.
You - yes - you! Soooooo many thanks for seeing the War Child project through to completion. We hit target and have now raised money to help children's lives in war torn nations around the planet. I have never felt prouder of the community around me and to have finally, after so many years of shlepping around venues and maintaining an exhausting level of pleading and begging necessary to shoot this stuff outside of normal PR situations, got this project out there successfully after so much worry and doubt it ever would make it, means everything to us. I realise that sentence was a terrible construction but it was a heartfelt stream of consciousness and they just flow like that sometimes. Cheers.
Doesn't get a whole fat stack better than this I gotta tell ya. I'm always mindful of not sounding like a smug buffoon on here but I genuinely felt really good about this one. The cover for me accurately illustrates the creative capability Damon has running through him and his directness - which will have ensured his achieving the huge amount of unrelenting success he has enjoyed, without question. What's more, he fucking hates being photographed like no one I can ever remember. Full respect though, we got on with it and we all knew when we had it, cue a massive sigh of relief. More here.
Right. A big one this. I have/had a show at the House of St Barnabas, to celebrate a year open and to mark their wonderful work as a members club that supports a homeless employment academy. The show was a pure delight to work on for the reason that the team are dedicated and delightful and this really has been as close to having colleagues as a freelancer like me ever gets - plus having the inspiration to unite with pure focus to achieve a single goal really helps make great things happen. I did a shambolic speech too, which achieved the single goal of making me look like a tit. Cool! Go see, quick! http://hosb.org.uk/retrospective/
So those of you who know me of old will know I used to shoot a band called The Bays a lot. A real lot. Too much really, but I really really believed in what they were trying to do. Here's a film I made about them with the Heritage Orchestra: CLICK. The bass player, Chris, has a son and Max Taylor is he - a huge talent, and session player who's going out solo with his own material which I love. Am so proud to point my camera at someone I've watched grow up since age 14. Stop it, I'm gonna cry. Here's Max, please show him some love, unless your heart has become a dried up old husk: https://soundcloud.com/maxtaylortaylor
My dear friends whom I love so much at White Label dragged me kicking and screaming (not at all, this is a lie) to reluctantly (ditto) shoot their portraits. It was a nightmare (nope) and I didn't get anything good at all (see above, judge for yourself).
Whoosh indeed. 48 hours on a whistlestop to shoot the incredible story of Mr.Neil Moffitt, British CEO of Hakassan Group and legend of EDM and UK clubbing. Hakassan LV rules the very buoyant US scene with an incredible club, with the biggest names in dance as residents. I've been amongst all of this for two decades yet have never witnessed anything like this. Loads more to follow from Neil too. So many thanks to the lovely team who made our stay a treat.
It's hard too hold together my fan-ness sometimes. Just scraped it with Laura. She's really, really astonishing to look at, a marvel really. This shot was outside the client edit as I wanted a slightly darker tone for it, to optimise the silhouette and her awesome rig up top. It's good to grab something for yourself with these opps, loads of the stuff on this blog was generated in this way.
How could I resist grabbing a frame like this of Cesc's handsome profile huh? Such an obliging gentleman too. I know it seems I'm ludicrously positive about all of these athletes but that is mainly because they're always up for doing what's requested, they look incredible and just make the shoots fun. Even the most reluctant ones will act professionally because I think they've learnt that the faster they crack on, the sooner it'll all be wrapped up. This was shot on a Nikon D810 with a 200mm F2 by the way, some astonishingly glass I can tell you.
Another huge talent on the PUMA roster, Man Utd's Falcao. Alas my Spanish is very shabby but we both speak keepy uppy, I'm very happy to report.
New season races off with PUMA and the wonderful Santi Cazorla. Lovely fella and consistently great to shoot. He's warm to be around and cool to shoot, and hot on the pitch right now too...
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.