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    Thursday, 7 January 2010

    New Blog


    Happy new year!
    I've just moved this blog and all it's contents from Blogger to Tumblr. It should allow me a lot more flexability and give me the opportunity to update more often. You can find the newlook blog here:



    Wednesday, 25 November 2009

    London Film Festival

    Just over two weeks ago I finished working on the 2009 BFI London Film Festival where I was shooting for Getty Images as the inhouse photographer.
    It was a busy 14 days shooting, covering press calls during the day, premieres - both red carpet and inside arrivals - in the evenings and after parties at night.
    Although not in the same league as the likes of Cannes, the LFF is growing in stature each year and seems to have good backing behind it. The opening gala was for 'The Fantastic Mr Fox' which attracted George Clooney, his model girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis and Cindy Crawford. Elsewhere there were plenty of well known faces attending the premieres and parties.

    As you'd expect, as well as snapping away during the festival I got to speak to many people involved in the films and learnt quite a bit about the upcoming movies. A couple that seemed really interesting were 'No One Knows About Persian Cats', about the underground rock scene in Iran and 'The Prophit'which went on to win best film at the award ceremony which concluded the festival.
    Below are the stars of the 'No One Knows About Persian Cats' Negar Shaghaghi and Ashkan Koosha posing with Colin Firth, who is backing the film and director Bahman Ghobadi. Also, director Jacques Audiard and screenwriter Abdel Raouf Dafri from 'The Prophit'.

    Friday, 23 October 2009

    Trafalgar Square At Night

    I spent last night on the roof of the National Gallery and the Canadian Embassy photographing Trafalgar Square as it hosted an outdoor screening as part of the London Film Festival.
    As you can see the view was spectacular.

    Tuesday, 20 October 2009

    B-Boy World Finals

    As the official photographer I've been covering many aspects of the build up to the B-Boy world championships in the UK for the past few months, from the regional and national finals right up to the world finals itself, which took place last weekend at a packed-out Brixton Academy.
    Watching B-Boy battles (essentially break dancing to hip hop beats) is spectacular and the highlight of the various competitions, with include everything from popping to one-on-one contests, is the crew battles. Featuring the best 8 teams from around the world, it's been described as a James Brown concert meets a boxing clash and the intensity when two crews line up to battle and out do each other is incredible.
    The eventual winners were the USA (posed in second photo from top), who narrowly beat Korea in the semi final and defending champions Russia in the final.
    Seeing the best break dancers in the world in this environment was one of the best spectator events I've ever come across.
    There was even a world record which I was on hand to help photograph for the Guinness Book of Records. Roxy (bottom photo), from UK crew Soul Mavericks, set a new record for the amount of head spins in a minute: 71! It made me dizzy just trying to photograph it.

    Monday, 12 October 2009

    Daily Mirror Front Page!

    My photo of Stephen Gately in his last public appearance before his death made the front page of the Daily Mirror today.

    Sunday, 11 October 2009

    Stephen Gately Dies

    I took these pictures of Stephen Gately arriving at the Pride of Britain Awards with Ronan Keating just five days before his death was sadly announced on Saturday night.
    Why he died appears to be a bit of a mystery at this time, but here he looks healthy, bright and happy at what was his last public appearance. It really does bring it home home when someone you've seen and photographed so recently suddenly dies.

    Here's how the News of the World broke the sad news, using my photo.

    Thursday, 8 October 2009

    Lil' Wayne Plays Hammersmith Apollo

    I'd not knowingly heard the music of Grammy Award-winning rapper Lil' Wayne before this gig, but knew of his fame in the US, so thought it'd be a good one to cover.
    Poor lighting aside, it didn't disappoint. Although really not my type of sound Lil' Wayne was hyper on stage and the fact he'd come out 30 minutes late added to the edge he and the charged-up crowd gave the night.
    My best shot of the night was this first one below of him jumping. Had the light been less saturated and red I think it could have produced a crisper shot, but given the conditions I was very pleased with the frame.

    Wednesday, 30 September 2009

    London Fashion Week

    London Fashion Week, home to a staggering amount of arrogance and pomp.
    If you can ignore that and the 16 hour days though, you're on to a winner as the it does make for some startlingly good images and attracts well-known faces from the celeb/fashion worlds and beyond. Plus there's free champagne at every big show, which, let's face it, makes all the hard work a lot easier to deal with.
    So, all this aside, what actually makes up my work at Fashion Week?
    The work starts weeks before, with obtaining an official photographer's pass from the organisers. This allows you access to the shows at Fashion Week's new home - the impressive Somerset House. However, may of the other big shows - Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, PPQ etc - take place at other venues around London and require an additional invite from the designers' PR. These are hard to come by, with access tight, so takes a great deal of work to secure an invite.
    Come the day of the show, you need to get to the venue early to mark up. There are a huge amount of photographers, from all over the word, fighting for the best possible vantage point to photograph the models from cramped area at the end of the catwalk. Typically I'll get to the venue and claim a spot (putting down tape and writing my name on it) at least two hours before the show. A good position is vital and you need to stay vigilant that no-one else tries to take your spot, which inevitably someone does.
    The catwalk show itself last around 10-15 minutes and generally looks great to shoot - with lighting, clothes and models all amazing. Of course, attention needs to be paid for any well known models, such as Naomi Campbell (below on the right) and quirky outfits which the press love. Here's some of my catwalk photos from the week.

    I was lucky enough to gain backstage access to most of the shows, so would generally spend a hour doing general reportage of the models getting ready, having their make-up applied and the last minute panics involving things like clothes malfunctions. I'll also take some time to do some portraits. This is one of the best parts to covering Fashion Week as you get to see how everything comes together, while guests are oblivious to all this, knocking back champagne, air kissing and.

    The models don't usually mind being photographed getting ready, probably knowing that they look good whatever state they're in. One exception was Daisy Lowe (pictured below on the left) who would only let me photograph her with her dog after eye make-up was applied.

    After getting what portraits and coverage I can from backstage, I rush out, re-check my position at the end of the catwalk, which inevitably ends up with an arguement with another late-coming photographer trying to take my spot and then go on the look for any celebs who might be attending the show. They tend to be given front row seats, but only take them at the last second, so it requires a few quick shots before changing lenses, removing flash and taking up my crammed position as the models walk out.

    The big designers are often the stars of their show meaning such well-know faces as Vivienne Westwood and Henry Holland will parade out with the models at the end.

    At the end of all that, there's the editing to do and photos to be sent off to clients before moving on to the next show. Time restrictions mean this isn't always possible, which means editing into the early hours of the morning after the shows are finished.
    Naturally this means a lack of sleep and a consisting largely of champagne, coffee and take aways, but it's certainly worth it when I can sit back a week later and see the full scope of my coverage.