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.
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.